Author Archive | Bonnie and Ken Chapman

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The Whole Scoop

Four Score Years of Shubert’s Ice Cream in Chico

Eighty years ago this past spring, as Leonard Shubert drove the tree lined Esplanade in Chico, he knew he had found a home for himself and for his ice cream parlor. Shubert made a bold decision to leave frigid Montana, where his work as an insurance salesman had been upended by the Great Depression. His departure was buoyed by an alluring offer from a company selling ice cream-making machines and the company’s promise of a hefty supply of mix with the machine purchase.

But where to settle? Shubert wanted a sunnier climate, one that would favor his luck as the owner of an ice cream shop. Little did he know that eight decades later, that very shop would proudly remain in the same location on Chico’s 7th Street, east of Main Street, run by the fourth generation of his family, still a “scoop shop”—the title the ice cream industry confers on ice cream shops that produce their own homemade product on-site.

Enter the Subsequent Generations

The second generation of the family soon entered the business. In the early 1940s, Shubert, after getting the shop established, sent his nephew Charlie Pulliam … Read More

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Order Up, Chico!

Freshly Made Dinner at your Doorstep

Is the battle for a fresh healthy dinner feeling impossible to win? Many eaters have discovered the convenience of shopping online for their meals—and Chico residents needn’t resort to the national meal delivery services. Four Chico companies provide a variety of super convenient, fresh, healthy, and flavorful meal options that they deliver right to your door in microwavable, freezable, biodegradable, compartmented containers. Eaters need only peruse what the companies’ menus offer, place an order, and enjoy food made by these local chefs.

These businesses have arrived as part of a bigger dining revolution taking place across America. Combat veterans might recall the MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) provided them by the military, but those ready-to-eat rations of yesteryear are all grown up. Instead of a vacuum-sealed bags of freeze-dried beef patties (aka “Hockey Pucks”) and vegetables, today’s MREs are brimming with fresh, local, and often organic ingredients. These are delicious, customized offerings prepared by experienced chefs and delivered directly to eaters, whether as meal kits or meals delivered. National companies providing meal kits—like Blue Apron and Purple Carrot—deliver recipes, fresh ingredients, and seasonings to recipients’ front porches, and the recipient cooks the meals at … Read More

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Perspire, Pickle, and Persevere

Sixty-five years have passed since the Moss family moved to the property that has become TJ Farms in Chico. They’ve farmed crops of alfalfa, walnuts, almonds, kiwi, and a variety of vegetables, including pumpkins. The farm’s pumpkin patch has lured Chico families to TJ Farms each October for decades and created memories for many. Julie Newby, a fan of TJ Farms from the early days, says, “TJ Farms is authentic Chico. It’s like going back in time where people were less hurried, and you can just appreciate nature.” While visitors, like Julie, find the farm idyllic, the family has had little time to idle. Their sixty-five years farming are a testament to their resilience and persistence and show how nimble they’ve been in response to decades of market fluctuations.

The Land

The Moss family moved onto the property, thirty-five acres at the time, in 1952. Sue and Marvin Moss ran the farm as a side business, while Marvin worked as a dentist and they raised their two sons Dave and Jerry.  The family started by growing alfalfa. Harvest time was laborious, cutting, baling, loading the bales.  “One of the best of days of our life was when we Read More

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Food for the Soul

On a quiet, tucked away block in downtown Chico, an unassuming building houses a safe haven for homeless youth in our town. Like me, most never notice the 6th Street Center for Youth between Main and Broadway. Unlike me, chef and restaurant owner Ann Leon, of Leon Bistro, had noticed the center. Its location is close to her restaurant. Seeing young people camping and living in areas nearby, as well as walking by her restaurant during the day, Ann would give food and a word of encouragement. These small gestures of kindness soon led her to reach out to help in a much bigger way. 

As a member of Soroptimist International (SI) of Chico, Ann attended a meeting where Jennifer Barzey, the Program Manager of the 6th Street Center, presented. It turned out that Leon Bistro and 6th Street both opened their doors in 2008. At the SI meeting, Jennifer spoke about the young people that Ann was seeing downtown. She told compelling stories of youth who feel lost, have no home or caretakers, who are hungry and without direction. Many of them are currently or were formerly in the foster care system. Most have experienced extremely Read More

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