Here we are. Again. It’s been one year since we’ve been exactly here. Families have gathered; Thanks have been given. Christmas – or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa – is a few weeks away. Your to-do list gets longer. Your should-do list gets filed under “April”.
If you have time to read this then you are either:
1. Done with your holiday shopping;
2. Took advantage of Cyber Monday and are just awaiting a few more boxes to be delivered;
3. In denial.
While I’m not one to wait until the bitter end, I do have a tendency to dilly-dally just long enough to make shopping a chore and not the joy it should be during this most festive of seasons. (I mean…everyone looks happy in those Target ads, those Abercrombie posters.)
It’s easy to shop for your kids, your husband, your partner, your sister. They drop obvious hints or just cut to the chase and tell you what they want. But your babysitter, your boss, your great-aunt who still remembers your birthday with $3 tucked in a card? They require a bit of thought…a bit of time spent perusing catalogs and store aisles when time is exactly what you don’t have alot of! Sound familiar? Then consider this my little gift to you. A round-up of our most popular items – and not just during the holidays, these things consistently sell even during the barren wasteland of retail: July. They’re easy on the budget and sure to please even the most persnickety. If they don’t, then they’re just asking to be moved to your Christmas Card-only list.
Local items are always a hit. People who live close to home recognize them and those who live far away welcome a culinary reminder of the place they left behind. And for the dietetically-challenged (either by choice or by chance) – the 100-mile dieters, the vegans, the allergic, the just-plain-picky – you really can’t go wrong.
Squash Seed Oils from Wholehearted Foods. Grown in Brockport, loved everywhere. Choose from Butternut, Acorn, Kabocha, Pumpkin, and Delicata. These are addicting and will quickly replace Olive Oil as your go to drizzle. From $10.95 to $12.95.
Karma Sauce – from Pittsford! In flavors like Good Karma (mild), Bad Karma (hot) Smokey Karma (BBQ) and Curry Karma (uh…it’s Curry flavored) there’s a heat index level for all of your friends. And really, who doesn’t want a little good karma during the holidays?! $7.95.
Flour City Pasta is made in Fairport from stone-ground, local grains. This is about as artisanal as it gets and comes in every flavor and flavor combination that you can possibly think of! Try the seasonal Pumpkin Pasta served with browned butter and fried sage. About $7.99.
Seneca Lake Culinary Salt. Mined deep below Seneca Lake this is a true culinary flake salt…for serious foodies! In Rosemary, Lemon, and Grapevine Smoked Salt. From $8.99 – $14.99.
Tranquility Herbals. If you love tea then you’ll love this brand from Albion, NY! From tonics to tisanes you’ll find a flavor that will become your all-time favorite. Try our private label Masala Chai (MY all time favorite!) Prices range from $6.99 to $11.99.
Keuka Lake Coffee Roasters from the bucolic rolling hills of the Southern Tier. We love their Harvest Spice Blend and their Scandanavian Winter Blend…perfect for a snowy morning. $11.49.
Hill n’ Hollow Blueberry Vinegar hails from Pavilion, NY and is just about the tastiest thing this side of the Erie Canal. Dress your salads, swirl into bean soup, or drizzle over goat cheese. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without blueberry vinegar! $5.50 – $8.50.
Emmy’s Organics Chocolate Sauce – it’s vegan. It’s raw. It’s gluten-free. It’s organic. And it’s local! A true chocolate flavor that starts out as intense and finishes clean. $7.99 and worth every penny!
Got a hipster in your midst? Then you know that gift-giving ranks right alongside oral surgery. The following items will be adored by the too-cool-for-school, the my-palate-is-very-refined, and the go-ahead-and-try-to-surprise-me-I-dare-ya types. (Seriously, you should get new friends.) Unless otherwise noted, all hail from Brooklyn, NY…where else?!
Early Bird Granola uses maple syrup, sea salt, and olive oil so every crunch/salty/sweet cluster sings with slow-roasted flavor. Try their “Jubilee” with dried cherries and pistachios for a red-and-green addition to your breakfast table this Christmas. $7.99 – $8.79.
Granola Lab – if you’re looking for a less-sweet alternative to traditional granola then Granola Lab is a notable nosh. We love Cranberry Cashew but with flavors like Maple Orange, Gingersnapping, and Activation Energy (with real ground coffee beans!) you’ll love them all. $11.99.
Spoonable Caramel Sauce. Mmmm. I can’t help but be over-the-moon about these sauces! Peppered-Orange Caramel; Spicy Caramel (tastes like toffee!); Salty Caramel; Chewy Sesame Caramel. $10.99.
Brooklyn Brine makes a mean pickle. Try Whiskey Sour Dill Pickles or Spicy Maple Bourbon Pickles. Our in-the-know customers recognize them from places like Murray’s Cheese and Smorgasbord in the borough. $ 7.99 – $9.99.
Tickle Sauce will tickle your fancy in flavors like Tiny Tickle (mild) and Tangy Tickle (Sweet-hot mustard) made by Julia Tickle. Yes, that’s her real name! $8.50.
Jenkins Jellies Hellfire Pepper Jelly (this one’s from L.A….home to hipsters-with-a-tan so it makes our list by default). It’s a consistent favorite and comes in 4 “hot damn” flavors: Hellfire Pepper, Guava Brava, Passionfruit Fire, and Fiery Fig. $10.99.
Seriously obsessed product junkies love our skincare selections. All organic, vegan, and cruelty-free and perfect for girly-girls. You know who you are.
Acure Organics has serums, masks, lotions, and shampoos and $1.00 from each sale goes to cancer research (a cure organics?! Get it?!) $9.99 – $27.99.
Bubble & Bee is a great little company with amazing products. We love their lotion sticks…they’re waterless so there’s no evaporation issues. That means they last a long, long time! Coconut-Lime, Pomegranate Kiss, Lavender-Orange. $7.99 and stocking-stuffer sized!
South Wedge Soap is made in…the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester, NY! An all-botanical soap that is vegan friendly. Mango and Shea Butters blend with herbs and florals to create beautiful soap and shampoo bars. We love the super exfoliating Rosemary Bar. $4.59.
Nanny Naturals from Holley, NY – just a stone’s throw away! Did you know that Goat Milk and Human Skin share a nearly identical pH? Let these lovely soaps, lotions, and body butters prove it to you! $4.00 – $8.00.
17th Century Suds uses 3 ingredients in their super pure products: Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, and the pure essence of Lavender, Peppermint, or Lemongrass. $6.99.
Still at a loss? Don’t forget the ever-popular FoYO gift card…let them choose their own #$@%in’ gift. Or let us get creative and throw together a little something. Need it shipped? We do that! Eight bucks gets it there; spend $50 or more and shipping’s on us. So come see us at 46 Main Street in Brockport, NY. We’re open most days from 11 until 6 (check our website for the deets). Or give us a call at 585.637.3696. From us….to you….Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Yule. There. That about covers it.