New market in town

Gratitude Market opens on edge of downtown; Lovely Layers Cakery now serving soup; and CalFresh expanded for fire victims

I have a soft spot in my heart for businesses that make a point of giving back to the community in some way. I suppose it shows that they’re not just in it for the paycheck, for the boost to their bank account. Chico is great in that way. Local business owners tend to be pretty grounded and to not take for granted the fact that they’ve gotten ahead based on the support of others. I just met a brand-new business owner the other day, and her desire to give back was almost contagious.

Cecilia Lore opened her Gratitude Market on Saturday (Oct. 21) with an indoor/outdoor artists market at her new digs at the corner of Eighth and Flume streets—the space that was recently vacated by the Pinwheel Community Acupuncture Project (which moved in with Chico Community Acupuncture). A longtime maker and seller of jewelry and crystals, Lore says it’s been a dream of hers to open her own shop that she could share with others.

“My intention is to support community artists, crafters, healers and advocates,” she told me during a recent tour. Inside are Lore’s bright and colorful crystal necklaces and other jewelry. She says she envisions a full indoor market where vendors can pay a small fee to sell their wares, plus a workshop area for classes and another space where community members can hold lectures and meetings. There are also a couple of private rooms available for a small hourly rate for massage therapy, reiki and Tarot card readings.

“I just really want to help people like me, who maybe can’t afford their own retail space,” Lore said. Check out the Gratitude Market at 740 Flume St. on Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and check Facebook for a regular weekly schedule.

Soup season I am not a fan of cold weather. About the only thing it’s good for, in my opinion, except cuddling, is comfort food, like casseroles and soups. So, I’m happy to announce the resurgence of local soup menus! I tend to make my own soups, but sometimes I just want someone else to do the work for me. So, of course, there are the go-to spots: Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe, Tin Roof Bakery and Winchester Goose (if you have another place in mind, email me!). But, look out—there’s a new soup-slinger in town. Lovely Layers Cakery is now serving up a bowl with a roll Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Food for fire victims I was in 7-Eleven downtown the other day and noticed a sign at the register advertising hot food being eligible for CalFresh purchases with an EBT card. It’s only available through mid-November, as it’s meant to help fire victims, and applies to anywhere that’s gotten CalFresh approval. Call Butte County’s Department of Employment and Social Services (800-400-0902) for more info.

Kudos In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, five local Allstate Insurance Agencies presented $10,000 to Catalyst Domestic Violence Services, based in Chico, on Tuesday (Oct. 24). That’s a good chunk of money that will surely go far to help local victims.