Gifts can get tricky, especially for someone like me. I prefer local, well-made things so they don’t have to get thrown out in a short time.
But here’s the trick: a gift anyone can use, like food (easy to re-gift too :P). Fortunately, we have some great local businesses. Here are some ideas.
Local Foody Gifts
We are all foodies at heart, right?
Seasonal Honeys - The Bee Shed
If you haven’t tried their honeys yet, it’s time. Get yourself some too. Made by local bees and operated by two local guys, they extract the honey multiple times throughout the year to get unique, seasonal flavors. It’s available in shops all over town, at the farmers market, and online. Who doesn’t like honey?
Taiwanese Teas - Knotty Woodpecker
Yes, this is self-promotion, but that’s not why I’ve listed it. Since this tea is made by family in Taiwan, I got to spend time touring the farms and learning the tea making process in action. These experts still make tea by taste and smell, not an automated processes. Taiwan makes amazing tea unique to the island, and we can definitely use an upgrade in tea quality here in America.
Curated Gift Boxes – This is Food Union
This is a local shop born from food obsession, curating hard to find flavors of the best quality into the perfect foody gift box. What’s in the box? It’s a collection of cheese, charcuterie, and/or pantry envy. You can buy online, but visiting the shop is an adventure: find the right downtown alley, head through the side door, up the stairway and down the hall to a 2nd floor hideout.
Coffee Beans - Fiddlehead Coffee Co
Not all coffee shops are the same. Fiddlehead sources their own beans, creates the blends and roasts their own coffee beans. They are one of the few cafes to source shade-grown coffee beans, meaning healthier, happier farm land with more bio-diversity. If tasty beans aren’t enough, their espresso brewing uses the ristretto technique, unique to Rochester. It’s a finer grind, creating a smaller, more condensed espresso shot. Lattes are made with less milk and more coffee so you can taste the quality, but I usually go for the smaller Cortado. If you’re looking for a photogenic holiday season, then the colorful coffee bean bags are a perfect match to holiday colors.
If you are still looking for more, Threshold Arts is the perfect stop for gift shopping. Everything is locally sourced, handmade, and they give more back to the artists and makers. You can find popular local artists’ paintings, photography prints, pottery, earrings, candles, and much more, all handmade. Many items are available online, but you can find more in the store.