Biz Beat: Kitchen gadgets going portable in Escalon

pguerra@modbee.comJune 22, 2013 

In April, I wrote a story about mobile businesses that offer goods other than food — La Pink Boutique, which sells fashion and accessories, and Game in a Box, a portable arcade.

Jamie Butler has hitched her wagon, so to speak, to the trend, with The Butler's Pantry.

Butler, a buyer for a kitchen store in Oregon for several years before moving to Escalon, opened up shop a month ago.

"It's been going really well," she said. "I've been traveling to a lot of the smaller towns."

The Butler's Pantry sells cooking equipment, linens and home décor. "Lots of gourmet cookware and gadgets," Butler said.

She has visited farmers markets as far away as San Francisco, done private parties and even handled some wedding registries.

"I've had a couple people book me for bridal showers," she said.

So if you're looking for a new knife, saucepan, apron or gadget, keep an eye out for Butler and her bright truck, with her logo in blue on the side accompanied by a woman in pearls and apron carrying a cake.

A look at the photos she sent in shows an enviable kitchen setup that inspires me to cook more — well, maybe if I had all those nifty gadgets, and some skill in the kitchen.

Tuesday, she'll be out at the Manteca Farmers Market, and Saturday she's in Riverbank at the market in the parking lot of Cool Hand Luke's restaurant.

Or you can get in touch through her Facebook page, by calling (209) 531-4415 or at

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

Folks kept telling Rick Donnelly that his fish and chips were so good he should open a restaurant. So he and his wife, Teresa, did. Ann's Fish and Chips started serving up Alaskan cod in May, taking up the former home of frost on Main Street in Turlock.

Rick Donnelly's family is from England, and his mom owned several fish and chips shops there, Teresa Donnelly said. So he grew up around the real thing. He also taught his children to cook — with six kids ranging in age from 16 to 32, the Donnellys have raised their own staff.

Business has been brisk, Teresa Donnelly said. And the homemade tartar sauce is on its way to becoming legend, if the online reviews are any indication.

"We're constantly making it," Donnelly said. "We cannot keep it in the fridge."

Ann's Fish and Chips is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 428 Main St. Call (209) 656-9494.

Have an item for Business Beat? Contact Patty Guerra at The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; (209) 578-2343; or

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