If you’re shopping for someone who loves food (which, let’s be honest is most everyone in town), then we’ve rounded up some of our favorite, affordable gift ideas from local businesses.
From coffee to gift baskets, cheese to ice cream—these gifts aren’t good for the diet, but they’re great for the soul. These would make great stocking stuffers, holiday gifts or a host/hostess present—or, go ahead and “treat yo’ self.” 2018 has been a year. You could use one (or all) of the items on our list.
Balsamic and Oil from Old World Olive Co.
Stop by the Old World Olive Co.’s tasting room on Monroe Avenue or at the Downtown Market and pick up a special bottle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This isn’t everyday olive oil (although if it fits your budget, it could be): Old World Olive Co. prides itself on olive oils with “distinct freshness,” and offers flavor-infused olive oils like “herbs de Provence” or “Tuscan Herb.” Pair with your favorite balsamic vinegar. We’re particularly fond of the fig balsamic – a sweet, acidic pairing ripe for the holiday season.
A Cooking Class at the Downtown Market Grand Rapids
If you’re shopping for someone who prefers experiences rather than stuff, give the gift of a cooking class from the Downtown Market. The market offers classes for all interests, from pasta 101’s and sushi roll lessons to cocktail workshops and cooking with craft beer classes.
Elevated Happy Hour Gift Basket from Art of the Table
If you’re on the hunt for gourmet foods and specialty home goods, Art of the Table has something for every occasion. Stop in and browse its selection of zesty tapenades, spicy snacks, candies and spices. This holiday season, our top pick is the elevated happy hour gift basket, which features a special selection of jam, cheese and wine paired with a beautiful marble cutting board.
Fancy Cheese from The Cheese Lady
What pairs better with a holiday spread than cheese? The go-to gift is always wine; this year switch it up, stop by The Cheese Lady and pick out a unique cheese gift. Go for something that you wouldn’t normally buy, like a Bucherolle log (a semi-soft milky French goat cheese) or a funky blue cheese.
Granola from Nantucket Bakery
For an affordable (and tasty) holiday gift, pick up a bag of Nantucket Bakery’s fruit and nut granola. It’s made with flax seeds, dried apricots, cranberries, whole almonds and pecans baked with cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest and honey. Open the bag, pour it into a mason jar with a pretty lid and voila! A great gift that anyone would love.
Coffee from Madcap Coffee
The coffee lover on your list would love a bag of fresh-roasted Madcap coffee beans. While you can’t go wrong with their tried and true staples (like the rich, chocolatey Six One Six blend), we suggest gifting Madcap’s Holiday Fusion Blend that features festive notes of cranberry and milk chocolate – the perfect warming brew for cold winter mornings.
Wine from Martha’s Vineyard
We couldn’t pull together a foodie gift guide without mentioning wine. Plus, it’s a great present to bring along with any other item on our list. Marth’s Vineyard sources wine from around the world – and if you’re looking for a wine they don’t carry, they’ll custom order a bottle for you! Branch out and try something new, like a salty white French Chablis or a dry, smooth red Lacryma Christi (a wine that’s been made since ancient Roman times).
A Pint of Love’s Ice Cream
Known for their delectably creaming dairy ice creams and tasty vegan gelatos, Love’s Ice Cream is the perfect gift for anyone on your list. We’re partial to their apple pie (dairy) or vegan lavender blueberry (vegan), but really you can’t go wrong with any of their flavors. Pick up a pint at the Downtown Market Grand Rapids, Martha’s Vineyard, Bridge St. Market or other local retailers.
A Loaf of Bread from Field & Fire
I know what you’re thinking – bread is not a present. But, if bread is good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for me (and you!). Besides, we’re not talking about a sad mass-produced loaf from the grocery store. Pick up a rustic, hearth-baked loaf from Field & Fire, like their holiday cranberry walnut or buttery brioche (makes incredible French toast!), wrap it in some rustic paper and plop a bow on top. An instant gift that anyone will love – just be sure to buy the bread the day you gift, otherwise you risk it going stale.
*Main photo courtesy of Art of the Table. All other photos courtesy of individual businesses.