Local Holiday Gifts- Top 10

Colorado celebrated its 4th annual Buy Local Week two weeks ago. The concept was to connect local businesses with …the rest of us during this particular week. Nice concept – but a week flies by too quickly. So I think we should keep going – local all the way, all the time.

No matter what local is to you, to me, it is about roots and community. It is about quality and reliability. About belonging. About respecting nature, your body, and the traditions of those before us. So this holiday season, turn to local for gifts, food-focused gifts.

Here are my top 10 Colorado local food/holiday gifts.

1. The cookbook: Colorado Organic- Cooking Seasonally, Eating Locally.

Why: it just has it all. The book is a collection of profiles of eight of Colorado’s most loved chefs (think Teri Ripetto, Yazmin Lozada-Hissom, Lachlan McKinnon-Patterson), recipes from their restaurants (yes, recipes from Potager, Duo, and Frasca), and stories featuring eight of Colorado’s most interestinging farmers. The recipes are approachable, the stories intriguing, and the photography stunning. And let’s face it, everyone who loves food loves a good cookbook.
Where: Online if you click here. Or for a list of retailers, click here.

2. The meat: Il Mondo Vecchio

: Cause they’ve got meat curing down to an Italian-back-door- loading-dock-selling- only-once-a-week-science. Yes- you can go to the loading dock on Fridays afternoon to sample and buy. You can create your selection from a great variety of meats- I wouldn’t miss the bresaola, duck prosciutto, and vine e pepe nero.
Where: Order online here or visit these locations.

3. The cracker: 34 Degrees Crispbread

Why: Because it is the easiest thing to pull out of a pantry and have a snack with or serve an appetizer on at a party. It is versatile and the variety of flavors gives the chance of creating a nice selection for a present.
Where: basically everywhere these days- Whole Foods, Safeway, Marczyck or online at amazon.com.
4. The spices: Savory Spice Shop

Why: because everyone should have the chance to throw out their old spices and start new with fresh ground spices and hand crafted seasonings. They have pre-made gift sets but you can always make your own- that is my favorite part!
Where: Online- here- or at one of the many locations in Colorado (and now in a few other states!).

5. The preserved fruits and vegetables: MMLocal

Why: Because they are beautiful (literally), interesting, and deeply rooted into the farms and orchards of Colorado. They have the skill and the commitment!
Where: Online if you click here. And with one more click here, find a list of retailers.

Why: cause a bottle (or a six pack) of anything is an easy and successful gift every time. And because these Colorado companies actually provide high quality
Where: Well, your friendly neighborhood liquor store should carry all of this. But, in case that doesn’t work Total Beverage- which rocks- carries and will ship any and all of the above.

7. The sweet treat: Enstrom’s Almond Toffee

Why: have you tried it? Crunchy and smooth at the same time, flavorful, unique, and about as easy as a gift as it gets- you will find this baby wrapped in the freezer.
Where: retail locations are here. And of course you can order this online too.

8. The Coffee: Conscious Coffees

Why: cause they figured out a way to grow coffee in Colorado. No, just kidding. Because, frankly their coffee is the best and your favorite coffee addict will recognize that immediately. Roast Magazine, the premier coffee publication, declared them winner of 2011 Roaster of the Year. Aside from having the best tasting coffee, Conscious Coffees is also committed to working with coffee farming communities that respect the Earth and its people- always a good thing.
Where: Online if you click here. Otherwise, at your local Whole Foods or any of the shops listed here.

9. The apron: Apron Divas or your favorite local-designer shop carrying aprons (Decades, Fancy Tiger come to mind).

Why: I don’t know about you, but I love a nice new thoughtful apron. I have an apron- no, I have several aprons, but I wouldn’t mind a new one.
Where: Apron Divas at these 3 locations. Decade is here and Fancy Tigerhere.

10. The gift certificate: to a restaurant that respects and celebrates local food- my favorites- Fuel Cafe in Denver and Cafe Aion in Boulder.

Why: cause, let’s face it, while the gift certificate gets a bad rap for being ‘not thoughtful enough,’ we all love a good gift certificate. And these two places are fantastic- simple, thoughtful, unpretentious, producing beautiful dishes in a comfortable atmosphere.
Where: call your favorite restaurant and get it done. Visit, call, or email Fuel Cafe with just a click here and Cafe Aion with one click here.

Happy shopping!
Photography comes from the website of the business represented.

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  • Charmaine @ Speakeasy Kitchen

    Great post. I <3 Colorado.

  • Monet

    Great list! I am coming home in a few days, and I can hardly wait! Even better news…they just opened a savory spice shop in Austin. I'm so very excited because I've been missing that store terribly. I hope you have a wonderful end to your week. Thanks for brightening my day!

  • Janice

    Aren't you lucky! Colorado…who knew?

  • Simply Life

    Great ideas!

  • Spice Sherpa

    Great list! I loved the local spin on it. Small world though–I was at a party a few weeks ago here in New York State and met a guy who is a design/build developer who did a project in one of the Carolina's (I think that was the state) and the starring tenant? Savory Spice Shop. Must check it out! Happy holidays!

  • Tes

    What a great list! These are so great idea for gifting my foodie friends :)

  • Island Vittles

    Great ideas! The 3 lbs of bacon and 3 huge bottles of artisanal beer I gave to my brother last year were quickly declared "THE BEST GIFT EVER!" Theresa

  • Sara

    Fantastic Colorado gift list. I'll be bookmarking and sharing with a few peeps I know.