If you’ve tried ordering something in the past 18 months, I don’t know, you quickly realized that delivery times, especially for anything complicated or unique, can be long and unpredictable. When it comes time to shop for holiday gifts, try ordering delicious, locally made items that your friends and family won’t be using until next year. I will be supporting a small business at the same time. It might seem like sacrilege to get a gift that doesn’t result in a huge box appearing under the tree, but trust me, recipients won’t care once they start eating and to drink.
Put all the stereotypes about farm shares out of your mind – it’s no longer about standing in line at a depot for a giant box of cabbage and figuring out what to do with it. During the height of COVID, local farms received a huge infusion of new customers and money, and the smarter ones used it to modernize their operations. Nowadays, agricultural stocks have become high tech. For example, Mountain of tomatoes book, allows customers to choose what’s in each box (if you hate sweet potatoes, ditch them!) and lets you add anything you want to make shopping easier, such as a delivery of weekly eggs. Register a friend and pay for a month as an awesome and unique gift; they will probably want to continue on their own.
Gift cards for restaurants
It might sound obvious, but for some reason I always forget – pretty much every restaurant in town has gift cards, and they’re right at the counter! Buy your friend a super cool dinner, prepaid, and they’ll definitely be thinking of you for the New Year. If you know their favorite restaurant go for it, but if not, I suggest buying a gift card from one of the local restaurant groups to allow for some flexibility (think Boka, unique hospitality, Where Lettuce keeps you entertained). Plus, some restaurants and groups offer special bonuses so you can get a little more out of your dollar.
Cooking classes are always one of those things that I think will be a little lame until I actually attend them, and then I inevitably love them. They are also a great opportunity to put together a memorable experience with a friend or loved one, rather than just giving them more stuff. The classic and the most practical is the amazing knife mastery course at The chopping block, but if you want to try something different book an Indian or Thai cooking class with Naveen’s kitchen or go all out and buy a French cooking class for eight to Cooking with wine.
I love a giveaway that keeps on giving – and again, a giveaway that means someone doesn’t have to worry about buying something on their list if supply chains tighten next spring. . Fortunately, there is a great subscription to suit everyone. Virtue Cider has just launched Cider society, a quarterly subscription club that includes four unique and hard-to-get cider bottles as well as a special gift with each delivery. Underground meats, who is my favorite butcher at the moment, offers his salumi club of the month “Buy Curious”, with three and six month options. And if you’re in the mood for something more boozy, Lost lake offers both cocktails of the month and rum of the month clubs.