Shop Local for the Foodie in Your Life

You hate the mall and your gift recipient in a major foodie?  Here are some great gift ideas (big & small) from Hamilton’s independent artists and entrepreneurs….mall free!

For Under the Festivus Pole: You have several foodie forward stores in the  Hamilton area to find your loved ones the perfect foodie gift. From Pure, The Keeping Room, The Causal Gourmet, to Greensville Gourmet; there’s a plethora of shoppes at different prices ranges that offer good quality but unique kitchen ingredients and gear.

For  instance, as one of my gifts this year I purchased a pizza stone and ornate pizza cutter from Greensville Gourmet along with a couple fabulous flavoured oils.  Included with the present will be one of my favourite pizza dough recipes, a bottle of local wine (I’m loving Strewn wine right now) and a movie I know that person will love. Not only does this give the gift recipient a valuable kitchen tool to use and enjoy over and over again, but the inclusion of the wine, recipe and DVD gives a certain “event” quality to the gift.  I just planned a date night for my friend and their spouse…and all under $30 dollars!

The Foodie Experience: Give them a restaurant tour! I’ve done this for a couple of friends/family members who aren’t big on “stuff” but love experiences.  Buy gift certificates from several local restaurants for your your gift recipient to try at their leisure. I usually like to include a gift certificate to one of their usual favourite haunts and then add in one or two certificates to a restaurant they have either wanting to try or one totally off the beaten path.  The gift recipient has the ability to try some delicious new dishes, has the excuse to have a couple nights out with different friends and family and to explore a part of the city they may not frequent very often.

Some great restaurant choices: WASS Ethiopian Restaurant, Mex-I-Can, August 8, La Piazza etc.

Authentic & Local: Many people don’t know this, but the third largest industry in Hamilton is Arts & Culture, which means th city is bursting with talented artists and their crafts are readily available for the holiday season.  Now, where to get such artworks? Art Gallery of Hamilton has a gift shoppe full of locally created art, and actually much of the art is centered around entertaining and food. From wine glass charms to hand-crafted wooden salad bowls; one can browse for hours in just the gift shoppe! This Friday AGH has a Moon Light Madness Shopping Experience just in time for the holidays.   Or talk a walk down James St N and slip into the many art galleries to pick up a local crafted treasure.

Stocking Stuffers: For a little extra treat, or even a hostess gift, head down to the Hamilton Farmers Market. Beanermunky Chocolate Experience is there to fulfill all your chocolate needs (my personal fav is the chocolate covered pretzels) and Blair Elements has dozens of types of organic and delicious teas. Red Hill Coffee will have a stand in the Farmer’s Market in 2011, but you can pick up some of his coffee currently at the Cossart Exchange in Jackson Square.  Red Hill Coffee is actually made right here in Hamilton and is a satisfying and interesting gift for the coffee lover in your life (who knew there was delicious and rich coffee made in your own backyard?!). All these companies offer locally crafted treats, under $15!

Hope this helps! Happy shopping…don’t forget to taste test!

Cheers,

Shannon

www.FoodandDrinkFest.com

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