Huntington Beach resident Brandon Lewis began CherryHills Market as an online shop. Now customers can peruse his farmhouse-style storefront where they’ll find an assortment of home decor and accessories, gourmet food products, jewelry and candles made by local artisans, and more. “We’re like a gift store on steroids; there’s a little bit of something for everybody,” Lewis says. “It’s not just a place to come shop—it’s a place to be inspired.”
How did you start CherryHills Market?
It started in 2014 as an online business. It was a (collaboration) with my partner Justin Scott. He was more on the logistics and branding side of things, and my passion came in with the food products that we would sell. Fast-forward to 2015: We went to the Orange County Fair, and we had a booth. Recruiters from the Pacific City mall were walking around and saw us, and they were looking for store holders. We went into the agreement as a pop-up vendor temporarily for a year. Here we are now with a permanent lease.
You have such a wide array of products. How do you choose what to carry?
I’m highly influenced by my grandmother. She had a lot of trinkets and knickknacks. Also whatever is inspiring me at the time. Right now, it’s a lot of themes that have to do with equality and center around love. I also look for things you can’t find on Amazon. That’s my biggest thing really, which takes a lot of work in itself, but just making sure that we remain unique. We have chocolate jalapeno balsamic vinegar and lavender aged balsamic.
Can you share details of the spices?
We make our spices in-house. I hand grind and blend them in the shop every two weeks, so they’re always fresh. Sweet onion sugar is a secret weapon of ours. Our most popular spice is called Cocoa Joe. The cocoa part in the name is dark cocoa sugar and the Joe part of the name comes from coffee, which is a natural meat tenderizer.
What do you see locals shopping for?
Locals come in to fill up on their oil and vinegar. We sell quality olive oil that’s from California; and our balsamic vinegar is imported from Italy, but it’s aged really thick and delicious. Our bring-back program basically means you buy any products with our brand name—our olive oil or spices—and you’ll get a discount on a refill. Also beach-themed decor. If your decor is in blues, teals, things of that nature, come see us.
Tell us about the cooking and craft classes you offer.
(With the pandemic), we’re going to condense things so instead of classes being open to the public, it’s private events only. We have cooking classes where you can make ravioli or French almond macaron cookies. We always do a pumpkin succulent workshop. We take pumpkins and live succulents and place them on top of live moss (inside the pumpkin) so they can live and breathe. We have appetizers using the products in our store, and wine, too, so that’s a lot of fun. Our CBD class is free. Bloom Farms is the name of the brand (we carry), and there’s a representative who comes out from the company and gives all the information there is to know about CBD.