The New Munch Spot is Here


Michelle Hammond is the new proprietor of the Munch Co., a long standing eatery on Mission in South Pasadena. Michelle took swift action on the popular eatery. She painted the massive wall white and contrasted it by painting the opposite walk chalkboard black giving the space a clean, yet comfortable feel. Her food is fresh and creative. She is one of the founding members of the South Pasadena Community Garden. She knows what fresh is all about. Her menu features some of the long standing sandwiches, but she’s added inventive new deli salads made with an assortment of grains and vegetables. She pickles carrots, jalapenos and other curious things you might find in the garden and displays behind the deli case. One of her current projects is colorful paletas that are beautiful to look at and very cool and refreshing to taste. Take a moment to check on Michelle’s Munch Spot. She’ll make you feel welcome and you won’t leave hungry.


Your inspiration: Where does it come from?

MH: My inspiration almost always comes from the garden. I get excited first at the seed level, thinking what I’m going to plant for the season, trying new heirloom varieties that you can’t get in the stores, then waiting…You have to be creative as most of your initial plans have to change with the success and failure of what you are growing. Some of my best recipes come from a substitution of an original plan. I am always inspired and impressed by the cooking of my seasoned gardener friends who come up with inventive combinations depending on what ripens at the same time. IMG_0215.JPG

What cookbook that you own is the most worn and tattered? What page is earmarked?

MH: By far right now my most earmarked is “Dishing Up The Dirt” by Andrea Bemis. I’ve been following her blog for years, vicariously living through her farm to table life. So inspired by her passion for growing and food, and happy for her success with her first printed cookbook. Her food is seasonal, simple, and super tasty. I’m often reading through some of my favorite recipes to capture some of the same essence and turn it into a tasty sandwich or bowl.IMG_0188.JPG

What smells in the kitchen get you the most fired up?
MH: We slow cook our chicken overnight for our chicken salad and bowl specials. When I come in the morning the smell reminds me of coming home as a child after a long day when my mom used to cook chicken for family taco night. It’s like a warm and fuzzy hug to get me started for the day.

How do you take your coffee? Favorite places for coffee?

MH: I take my coffee either iced and black or a dry triple cappuccino. When Im really feeling like a coffee treat I crave the Mocha from Cafe Zinc from when I lived in Laguna Beach. They use a really high quality cocoa without a whole lot of sugar. Lucky for me they opened up another location in the Arts District downtown so I can easily still get a fix.IMG_0198.JPG

What are you reading right now for fun?
MH: Girl in a Band: A Memoir 

What irritates you the most?

MH: NegativityIMG_0205.JPG

What is your favorite pair of work shoes.

MH: Toss up between my Birkenstocks and my Vans

Ideal day off?
MH: Swimming in the ocean with my kids.

What is something new you are creating in the kitchen right now?
MH: We’ve been having a ton of fun creating new paletas to beat the summer heat.

What is the hardest part of owning your own business?


MH: Negotiating my time from the creating and the day to day tasks. Obviously one has a stronger pull than the other. To be a successful business owner you have to become a master juggler, so many balls in the air at one time. It’s hard to keep perspective and a not lose focus. Luckily I have a few great friends in the business that have been my rocks of support and advice.

What is the most rewarding?
MH: When I see a group of friends or a family connecting over food, sharing with each other and really enjoying spending some quality time at our place. I started this to share my love of simple tasty food and a feeling of community with others. Having a sense of place and belonging within your town is such a rare thing that South Pasadena has to offer. I love the community here and am happy to be a more active member again with my kids involved as well. It was such a rewarding experience to help start the community garden and get more people growing their food, now I have the opportunity to share what I love about food as well!

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