By Emily Peters
Sierra Madre’s Savor the Flavor is bringing the finest gourmet foods and gifts from around the world to the pantries of smalltown America. Established by Karen and Denis Keegan in 1998, this gourmet foods and specialty gift shop was born of their shared love of good food and entertaining. The shop focuses on showcasing award-winning products from International Fancy Food and Gift Shows, with the owners attending shows everywhere from San Francisco to New York in pursuit of the tastiest bites the food world has to offer.
Each item at Savor the Flavor represents their hand-picked selection of “A-List” products from food show winners, as well as delicious local favorites and the “Savor the Flavor brand. “We try everything before bringing it into the shop,” said Madeline Romo, daughter of the Keegans and current owner of Savor the Flavor. “If it doesn’t wow us, then we don’t put on our shelves.” In keeping with the much-lauded mom-and-pop tradition in Sierra Madre, the Keegans brought Romo on to the company in 2002, becoming a partner and ultimate owner of the shop in 2015. When it comes to Romo’s knowledge of gourmet foods, she’s an expert.
“I was invited to be one of the judges at the International Fancy Food Show to taste roughly 500 products per day for three days,” Romo explained. “I was also on the National Retail Federation’s Board in New York and was one of the speakers for ‘Running a Successful Business’ at the International Fancy Food Show.” And though the shop is now run by Romo, she and her mother Karen continue to share the buying decisions. “The feel of the store remains the same,” said Romo. “We call ourselves the Gourmet Gals!”
Sharing gourmet goodies and gifts with the community isn’t the only aim of Savor the Flavor. Before opening the shop, Denis Keegan was a research fundraiser for the National Childhood Cancer Foundation, while Karen gained retail expertise as a hospital gift shop manager for 25 years. Their combined expertise helped them become active philanthropists, using the shop to host fundraisers for their giveback program.
“For 14 years we’ve hosted free tasting events, showcasing the best of our award-winning foods, gifts, home decor and housewares,” said Romo. “Ten per cent of the sales for the evening go to the charity of your choice.” In addition to fundraisers, the shop also opens its doors to the community for wedding showers, baby showers, birthday celebrations and other private events.
Whether you’re into entertaining, seeking that unique gourmet gift for the foodie in your life or simply want to support specialty food ways, Savor the Flavor will be able to guide you to the perfect choice.
“We love what we do,” said Romo. “We want to pass along that passion to every customer who walks through our doors.”
Savor the Flavor is located at 11 Kersting Court in Sierra Madre in the center of downtown Sierra Madre. To learn more, visit www.SavortheFlavor.net, email Madeline Romo at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (626) 355-5253. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.