There’s no better strategy for gift-giving than leaning into the one thing that brings people together: food. For the food enthusiast who has everything, the enterprising home chef or baker or the perpetual host with the most Instagram-worthy kitchen, there’s something on this list for everyone.
There are so many ways you can help local small businesses and restaurants thrive and survive this season and into the next: Shop online, buy gift certificates and gift cards, call to place orders and verbally let the staff know you’re ready and willing to support them now and hereafter. Send a holiday care package to a loved one or to yourself, because if you can’t care for yourself, you can’t care for someone else. The current climate of physical distancing doesn’t mean that meaningful gift giving can’t foster social connections through local efforts.
Haand Ceramics (featured photo)
Haand specializes in handmade porcelain pottery, crafted by hand in a 13,000-square-foot factory in downtown Burlington. Each piece is unique in design and use but the quality remains consistent across every product. Dinnerware like bowls, cups, plates and other serving accessories are used in restaurants all over the world and locally too. Order online or visit the showroom to see first-Haand their beautiful, durable porcelain pottery. From $22.
Fool’s Gold Honey Company is a collection of the world’s finest honeys, curated from all corners of the Earth and bottled in Winston-Salem. Whether you are looking to create a culinary masterpiece, a smashing cocktail or to simply satisfy your sweet tooth, each honey is unique and luscious. From bourbon-infused to the spicy honey infused with NC grown Jamaican Scotch Bonnet peppers, don’t be a fool and skip over this local gift. From $8.
Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours has put together boxes of goods from the businesses that it used to frequent on its food tours, making for a thoughtful gift for those who put trips across the state indefinitely on hold. Carefully selected options include a sampling of six downtown Greensboro restaurants and food shops. Packaged in branded reusable cooler bags, each gift is perfect for two to four bons vivants for a holiday treat no one will soon forget. Available for pickup on Saturdays at a scheduled downtown location or delivery. From $89.
This artisanal butcher is known for custom cuts of sustainable beef, pork and poultry but the shop also has a pantry of house-made spice blends and rubs for your favorite cook’s culinary needs. Four different blends are available with names that call up geographical points in our region. Examples include: Black Mountain (a rub with activated charcoal for deep, dark crusts on smoked items); Pisgah (select dried herbs and cumin meant for poultry and lamb); and Pilot (for ribs and pork) With visible, sizable granules of salt, spices and herbs, it’s easy to see the high quality and freshness of each jar. From $10.
The kitchen is where we all spent months baking, cooking and reheating this year. All of those cookies, cakes, pies, stocks and cuts of meat have to have somewhere to go when the freezer is full and the refrigerator has no more room in the inn. An upgrade or new-to-you major kitchen appliance is not out of the question for you or your favorite foodie. Servicing the Triad for almost 50 years, Wagner Appliance is family-owned and family-friendly. Select used and new items from freezers, refrigerators, ovens and icemakers with limited warranties and local delivery are available. From $189.
Open up your dearest gastronome’s palate to a great number of flavor combinations and possibilities with olive oils and vinegars from Midtown Olive Oil in Greensboro. Ranging in colors and flavors from mild and mellow to deep, languid greens with sharp spice levels, each olive oil and infused vinegar are presented with different mouthfeels and textures. Choose a dark toasted sesame, piquant chili oil or a vibrant California Cuveé olive oil to add complexity to someone’s kitchen. From $12.
Cheer Boxes feature some of the best NC food products sold at Lowes Foods grocery store locations in North and South Carolina. This Winston-Salem based outfit hand packs each box. This year, three versions of Cheer Boxes — the North Carolina Box, the South Carolina Box and the Big Box — highlight products from both Carolinas proudly. An easy, thoughtful gift for anyone, foodie or not, this one-size-fits-all box is filled with local foodstuffs like Brasstown Craft Chocolate Coffee Bark, Dewey’s Bakery Ginger Spice Moravian Cookie Thins and Sunshine Ginger Berry Energy Beverage, all from Winston-Salem. From $30.
If there is a such thing as a box full of magic, you’re likely to find it in Greensboro at Vida Pour Tea. A play on the Spanish phrase vida por ti, “life for you,” the shop will “matcha” you up with select offerings of oolong, rooibos, black, white and green teas along with herbs and add-ins like elderflower, slippery elm, cocoa nibs, turmeric and St. John’s wort. Don’t forget to add tea pots, cups and infusers to your order for a complete experience. From $18.
Now how about something for the coffee lover? Take the guesswork out of holiday giving with a sweet packaged deal sure to delight any caffeine fiend in your life. What started as a hobby and a coffee CSA program for family and friends, Fireweed Coffee is now a full-fledge business operating at the Corner Farmers Market in Greensboro every Saturday. This small-batch roaster’s beans and cold brew are served in a number of local restaurants and independent shops and recently made its debut at Bestway Grocery. Choose from boxes that include everything from high-tech electric kettles to leak-proof smart mugs, fancy tea sets, coffee grinders and monthly bean-subscription boxes. From $65.
Send a kit of the quintessential local holiday treat, Moravian sugar cake mix, this holiday. Straight from the 1700s, the result is a yeasty pastry that is lightly spiced with cinnamon, heavily handed with butter and brown sugar with the addition of a special secret ingredient: mashed potato flakes. While pre-made boxes of this Winston-Salem delicacy are available, your favorite novice or expert baker will enjoy making history in their kitchen in the form of cake. From $9.
When all else fails, books are really the best gift you can send to anyone with varying levels of interest in food. The foodie basket from Scuppernong features Dirt by Bill Bluford, Anthony Bourdain: The Last Interview and Other Conversations, a Scuppernong Books branded mug, a sample tea from Vida Pour Tea and a bar of chocolate. From $75.