Ever wonder how many things are made in Fort Bragg? I decided to look at Fortbragg.com’s business directory and here’s some of what I found. It’s surprising just how much small scale production happens in our little town.
These small producers are sometimes called Cottage Industries, and they’re often found in rural communities like ours where under-employment is prevalent. They help the local economy, in part by absorbing surplus labor.
Some of our small producers were obvious because they have storefronts or they’ve been around for years. Carol Hall’s Hot Pepper Jelly, the Mendocino Chocolate Company, Mendocino Cookies, Mendocino Mustard, the North Coast Brewery, and Pacific Star Winery came to mind first… maybe I was hungry.
It’s no surprise to find fine woodworking is well represented. Chris Perkins, Wood Finish Services, and Wood Joint Studio all make fantastic furniture and architectural millwork. And Mahout Tool & Supply sells fine woodworking hand tools, most of which they make.
Lucky dogs and cats can wear locally-made outfits my by Catron Fashions, and folks looking for healthy cosmetics created, formulated, and manufactured in Fort Bragg can choose Dr. Berrettini’s Mendocino Minerals. People who appreciate jewelry will be pleased to hear about Gemstone Magic Jewelry, who manufactures 70% of their retail jewelry right in the store.
Other local manufacturers include Hands On Leather, who makes handcrafted leather bags and belts, and Kjeldsen’s Dental Lab who fills orders for dentists.
MendoMonuments & Stone Works makes creative garden stones & water features as well as people and pet memorials. Tie-dye Heaven makes products they sell retail and wholesale, and Handwoven Webworks Design Studio makes art fabrics and ladies apparel for sale to stores and galleries.
Rising Tide Sea Vegetables is a local cottage industry with a full line of northern California sea vegetables they harvest, prepare and sell; and String Bass Shop, another cottage industry makes and restores stringed instruments.
Fort Bragg is also becoming known for the quality of the art produced here for sale in local and national galleries. From ceramics to photography, glass and jewelry, to oil and watercolor paintings, local artists and the galleries in which they show are central to the fabric of the town.
There’s a continuing need for cottage industry in Fort Bragg – with the national economy it may be the best place to start a new career, improve your income, or even save the wonderful community where we live.