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Spotlighting Monterey’s Local Fabric In 'Big Little Lies'

HBO’s TV series ‘Big Little Lies’ is back in Monterey filming for the show’s second season. The Monterey County Film Commission has been working to make sure the local fabric of Monterey is highlighted.  

A few days before the cast and crew of 'Big Little Lies' returned to Monterey, colorful tissue paper, local artisanal chocolates and Central Coast bottles of wine filled the Monterey County Film Commission office.

"To showcase the hidden jewels of our county," Office Administrator Moira LaMountain said. 

Staff spent hours putting together "welcome back" gift bags for the show’s stars. The bags included a variety of locally-made goodies.

“We’re loading in Jeffrey’s Best Spiced Pecans and truffles from the Brittle Lady, made in Carmel,” Film Commissioner Karen Nordstrand said.

Nordstrand knows the stars don’t need free candies or wine. There’s a bigger goal in mind here, bring attention to Monterey’s local businesses. Nordstrand has been working with the show’s prop master and set designers to get local products in the show.

“We don’t want to see Santa Barbara or Paso Robles wines in the scene. So this time, it will be a lot more products that really represent Monterey County,” Nordstrand said.

Products like the jams and marmalades from Happy Girl Kitchen in Pacific Grove. Jordan Champagne is co-owner of the café and cannery.

“If we could be in a scene with Reese Witherspoon or Nicole Kidman… this year Meryl Streep’s going to be on the show, so to see her eating our jam would just be awesome,” Champagne said.  

She says spotlighting local products adds a layer of authenticity to the show.

“We just feel we’re a real part of Monterey, so it would be great to be in it. I mean Monterey is famous for the canning, and that’s what we do,” Champagne said.

Big Little Lies will be in town for four weeks and then back around June.

According to the Monterey County Film Commission, the first season brought in roughly $2.5 million to Monterey County. That was between the hotel stays, local purchases, rentals and permit fees for filming. Similar spending is expected for the second season. The second season will air sometime in 2019.