6 — Women In Business
Lorina’s Edible Garden Carves Out Niche By MARG JACKSON
Creating a unique experience for Central Valley residents, Lorina Cajias has operated her edible garden business in Escalon for 16 years. From a very small beginning to now hosting several events at the Enterprise Road location throughout the year, Lorina’s Edible Garden has evolved and expanded and the owner said she knows there is still more to come. Here is a question and answer session with the ‘edibles’ businesswoman.
a lifetime of farming and gardening experience with my family but never did a focus on growing herbs. So I started growing everything I could get my hands on! When we moved out to our farm I planted lots of herbs. I had too many fresh cut herbs for our little family to eat. So I found out about Modesto Farmers Market, got accepted and then began the evolution of our little farm business. We sold our fresh cut herb bunches and by request started selling herb plants too.
Q: What prompted you to start your own ‘edibles’ business? A: I started my business because my husband bought me an herb garden gift set one Christmas. I had
You not only have edibles but have ventured into soaps and other items, what are your biggest sellers? While doing markets, our plant sales would drop dur-
ing the hotter months. So I had to figure out how to make money year round. Did some research and figured adding soap to my list of things to sell might be a great idea. Well it was! Listening to my customers, I began creating lots of natural body products over the years – lotions, lip balms, scrubs, body sprays, body wash and more. We even made different arts and crafts with a vintage garden theme to keep our customers interested. Always try new ideas and products to keep things fun! Also we sell our shelled walnuts when they are in season. Look for chocolate walnut clusters at Christmas here at the farm! Our biggest sellers would be lavender and cucumber melon soap. Basil and lav-
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ender would be our bestselling plants.
You also work outside your home business, how do you successfully juggle that? I have worked for Costco in Modesto for 24 years. I have been able to juggle my business and my job because of fantastic support from my management team at Costco. When times were lean I was able to work full time; when business is good I am able to drop down my hours to part time. They also are a blessing to honor time off requests in order for me to attend shows. Love my job there too! But my family is what keeps me grounded to achieve my dreams, great
Homemade soaps, organic lotions and fragrant sachets have helped round out the offerings at Lorina’s Edible Garden, the Escalon-based business expanding to encompass both edible items and specialty products.
lorina’s Page 7
Photo By Marg Jackson
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