Janice Schoonhoven-Rinehart was born on a farm in Chowchilla and continues her country roots on a farm in Delhi, where she and her husband grow almonds and raise horses, chickens, geese, along with a few cats and dogs.
Her farming roots led her to be involved in 4-H and FFA during her school years and eventually to the United States Department of Food and Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, where she became the director of the Imperial County Office and from there the director of Fresno, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Butte county offices.
After over 24 years with USDA, Janice decided to change things up a bit. She met her husband and got married for the first time at the age of 47, and in the past five years started two new businesses — Rustic Country Kitchen and Rustic Embroidery Barn & More.
Q. How did Rustic Country Kitchen come about?
A. Rustic Country Kitchen came about in 2013, when I was trying to think of things to give as Christmas gifts. While I was in 4-H, one of my projects was canning. So, I started pulling out my canning books and getting the fruit off our trees at the house and went to town. I don’t do your normal strawberry jam. I have ones like Drunk Peach Jam, Sunday in a Jar, Balsamic Red Pepper Jelly, One Hot Cot, Salsa, Bruschetta and the list goes on. I have expanded this to now include Meat Rubs as well.
Q. How did Rustic Embroidery Barn & More come about?
A. Rustic Embroidery Barn just kind of happened one day. Sewing has always been a big part of my life. I bought my first sewing machine at the age of 10 from the sale of my sheep at the fairs. In 2016, I went to a shop in Modesto on Small Business Saturday (Saturday after Thanksgiving) and they were demonstrating this machine and I was intrigued. I got to talking to the shop owner and by the end of the following week I had this beautiful machine that stitches magic. I opened my doors for business on Jan. 1, 2017. And then I went full time with it in April 2017.
Q. What prompted you to get involved with the Soroptimist Club of Turlock?
A. I have always been active in the communities that I lived in and wanted to give back and I felt that this was the right time for me to get involved with Soroptimist. We are a new club that just chartered in July 2017, and I am the Treasurer for the club.
Q. You are known to be an outdoor enthusiast. What was your most memorable camping trip?
A. I love the outdoors, hunting, fishing, riding my motorcycle and putting things on my smoker. I have taken lots of wonderful camping trips. But, the one that is standing out the most right now is the one my husband and I just took to Idaho Falls, Jackson Hole, Tetons NP, Yellowstone NP, Cody, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, Rocky Mountains. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! We took out time and enjoyed the four weeks we were gone.
Q. What is your favorite thing to do in Turlock?
A. I enjoy Turlock because it has that small-town atmosphere and the sense of community. That is what I think makes Turlock so special.
Q. What is the last book, television show or movie that captivated you?
A. I have been on a binge watching “Longmire” on Netflix. Stood in line at midnight to buy the newest “Harry Potter,” “Hunger Games” and “Twilight” books. Geek to the core.
Q. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
A. One of the things people might be surprised to learn about me is that I think I have a little over 400 cookbooks and I have the very first sewing machine my parents gave me when I was 5 that I made my doll clothes on and they are on display in the Rustic Embroidery Barn.