beans revisited




Fall 2007 was when we first shared Andrea Taber’s Ever So Humble Pies with you. Back in 2001, Taber began with voluptuous freshly made pies sold frozen so you could bake them “fresh” in your home.  Though the Neponset River runs past and under her building, no water runs under the bridge of this woman’s entrepreneurial spirit.  Taber has leased another 3,500 square feet and relocated her retail space there, and added more production space on the second floor.

Bottom line: Taber’s got three kitchens going. One is for her famous fruit pies (to which she’s added a cream pie line—key lime, chocolate cream, banana cream and coconut cream). In the second they bake Whoopie pies, breads, cookies and anything else they will be serving in the café. But the biggest news for some, perhaps, is that Ever So Humble is producing gluten-free fruit pies, four varieties of tasty gluten-free cookies (sugar, chocolate chip, peanut butter and chocolate chocolate chip) and brownies.

“The gluten-free line is flying out of the shop,” says Taber. “I have so many people who are inquiring about these products.” The staff has grown along with her product line. And in warm weather the café offers outside seating, riverside.

Ever So Humble Pie Shop and Café
153 Washington Street, East Walpole


In summer 2006 we wrote that Carlisle Farmstead Cheese had just gotten licensed the prior summer and was the smallest dairy in Massachusetts (with a herd of 14 goats to make their award-winning goat cheese), situated in suburban and rural Carlisle. Since that time they have made a move west—60 miles away to an old farm in Hardwick on Ruggles Hill—and have renamed their increased herd and larger farm Ruggles Hill Creamery.

“This is just heaven,” says Tricia Smith, co-owner and cheesemaker with Michael Holland, of the classic New England farm built on a hilltop with good land and big sky vistas. “There is great air—it’s very energizing.” This is all our good luck. Since the move, the herd was increased by four; all the girls are from New Jersey, the buck from Colorado.  Two were the same breed as their previous herd—oberhasli.  But they have also added a new Swiss breed, Saanen, which is a pure white breed. The female goats (does) are having their babies now (kidding), and as we go to press there are only baby boys (bucks) and no new girls (the ones who give the milk), but there are many more to come.

The product line hasn’t expanded yet, but Smith, is “dying to make a nice round flat goat brie,” and may even start some washed-rind cheeses. But rest assured: Ada’s honor and Eclipse Cheeses will still be produced and even under the new Ruggles Hill Creamery name, the label will look the same.



In fall 2006, Edible Boston’s find was flavored salts from Didi Davis Food. The enterprising Ipswich woman’s business has grown considerably since that first taste of smoked paprika salt that hooked us at the Brookline farmers market. In 2008 she purchased Salt Traders, an existing company out of Aspen.

“This was a big deal that opened many doors—it gave us a national presence, a mail order business and really helped launch Didi Davis foods,” says Davis. For that line, she buys salts in bulk and still packages under the Salt Traders brand. But it’s her own blends of salt, sugars and blends, including her new kettle corn blend and cocoa blends, where Davis’s creativity and our interest lies. Using high-quality ingredients, many of them local, and a beautiful, moist, medium to fine grain base from Maine, she now has 10 salt blend flavors, including a “sagemary” salt (a Thanksgiving favorite) made from handpicked herbs. A savory Syrah salt uses excellent red wine from California or Australia, and is excellent for meat, potatoes and eggs. There are six new sugar flavors, including a curry sugar that Davis says “is great on fresh fruits, ice creams and yogurt.”

Davis has also expanded into new categories: kettle corn and cocoa.  Inspired by the kettle corn that’s always at Red Sox games, Davis started a line that includes vanilla, chili and “gold”—Maui gold sugar from Hawaii. When cocoa popped into her head, she developed Mexican-style cocoa with pasilla, ancho and guajillo chilis and cinnamon; a curry cocoa, a smoked cocoa, “Smocoa” that she smokes herself, and a malt cocoa using malt from Ipswich Ale that she buys whole and grinds herself.

Didi Davis Food has managed not only to weather the economy of the past five years, but to grow—a testament to the high-quality product she still makes in small batches.

Didi Davis Food
20 Mitchell Road
Ipswich, MA