C California Style

Rachael Sheridan and Jessie Litow. PHOTO: Diana Koenigsberg.
Solstice Canyon’s stone-ground almond butter ($16 each). PHOTO: Diana Koenigsberg.

Like Butter

by C California Style

The duo behind Solstice Canyon puts a tasty twist on a pantry staple.

Jessie Litow and Rachael Sheridan want you to know that, when it comes to food, they are not dogmatic. “We’re both free thinkers and really love the natural lifestyle,” says Litow. And nowhere is that more evident than in their newly launched line Solstice Canyon, a trio of flavor- and nutrient-dense almond butters.

The pair first knew they were onto something in 2013, when Litow, a freelance publicist at the time, started whipping up almond butter for herself and a few friends with her new Vitamix. “Within a month or so, people were bringing  back their jars for me to refill and offering to buy almonds to make more,” she says.

Over lunch, Litow pitched the idea of launching a company to Sheridan, who she befriended in 2006 while she was doing PR for the Divine Pasta Company, where Sheridan was a gourmet buyer. Thanks to the duo’s existing working relationship, they were able to hit the ground running as a team; in less than a year, all three flavors (including the original stone-ground version, Aztec chocolate, and cardamom and clove) have made their way onto shelves around the country, including Huckleberry Bakery & Café in Los Angeles and Jenni Kayne’s lifestyle boutiques in Brentwood and Montecito, not to mention inside the baskets of California home grocery delivery services such as Good Eggs and Summerland.

According to Litow, the secret to their crave-worthy butters lies in the ingredients: unpasteurized almonds, and a potent combo of raw and organic additions including coconut, which lends the mixture its smooth, creamy texture. But it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts: “As much as we wanted to have the healthiest and most delicious product, we also wanted it to be the most beautiful,” says Sheridan (who is married to chef Jeremy Fox of Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon). Together, the duo met with six local designers before whittling down the products’ final flowery label.

In addition to this year’s launch of a Nutella-esque take on almond butter, Litow and Sheridan hope to expand into a lifestyle brand down the line, with offerings ranging from beauty products to candles. In Sheridan’s words: “things that we look for, and want to buy.” solsticecanyon.com.

Written by Lesley McKenzie.