Spread some holiday joy this season by giving unique, food-focused gifts. Colorado has so many great artisans, writers, chefs and other creators making quality goods that all of your loved ones will appreciate. Or just send a gift as a thank-you to someone who has helped you through this pandemic. With these ten gifts, you can shop locally and support the community while sharing something meaningful, delicious and useful.
Barrel Stave Marshmallow Roasting Stick, $12.50
Now that the fire ban has been lifted, we can rejoice at home around the fire pit. But what's a roaring fire without s'mores, or at least toasted marshmallows? These sturdy sticks are made with repurposed wine-barrel staves and measure forty inches long. The wood from the wine barrel makes up the finished handle, creating a safe way to get those sweet treats into the fire. Order online at alpinewinedesign.com; because these are handmade, supplies are limited.
A Bite of Boulder Cookbook, $29.99
Give the gift of knowledge with the first-ever A Bite of Boulder cookbook. Released this November, the cookbook was created by First Bites Boulder and Jessica Benjamin as a way to celebrate local restaurants during a time when they're struggling. There are more than a dozen recipes, along with beautiful photos and quotes from chefs and restaurateurs. And when you give one of these unique cookbooks, a portion of the sale goes back to the eateries featured. Order online or head to Cured, Peppercorn or Savory Spice Shop, all in Boulder, to pick one up.
Bits & Pieces Dry Rubs, Starting at $10
Stuff a stocking with the flavors of Mexico, carefully blended and curated by chef Orlando Benavidez, owner of the popular Bits & Pieces Con Cerveza food truck. Each 3.7-ounce jar contains fresh spices with varying degrees of heat, such as the spicy Main Squeeze Chile Limon Salt or the Smoked Out BBQ, or the less spicy Mexican Jerk or Lime ’N Pepper. Labels include tips on how to use the spices to liven up your favorite foods. There are six options altogether, available on the Bits & Pieces website or from the Spice Guy. Or you can purchase them at Element Knife Company inside Stanley Marketplace or at Pochitos Tortilla Factory, 4421 Tejon Street.
Glow in the Dark Gobblebox From the Inventing Room, $55
If a treasure chest of sweet treats that glow in the dark aren't on your kid's Santa wish list, it's only because they don't know about it yet. Send a truly unique snack to any sugar lover from the Inventing Room Dessert Shop in Sloan's Lake. The glow-in-the-dark Gobblebox includes treats that exude luminous colors under black light (included in the package), all created in-house by chef Ian Kleinman. Each box contains organic raspberry cotton candy, lollipops shaped like a Game Boy, Etch-a-Sketch, Harry Potter frog and two mystery shapes, plus honeycomb candy, a birthday-cake marshmallow and unicorn pop rocks. You can also choose to add other treats to the blocks (though the other selections don't glow). The shop is currently closed to visitors, but treats can be ordered online for delivery, with free shipping on orders over $49.
Grillmaster Set From the Local Butcher, $20
Head to the Denver Central Market, at 2669 Larimer Street, for a great stocking stuffer perfect for home grillers. The Local Butcher, inside the market, has put together a kit of grill accessories that includes a sleek Escali digital thermometer and a bottle of Bad Byron's Butt Rub, a gluten-free, all-purpose seasoning blend of onion, garlic, salt, paprika, chipotle and pepper. The kit is a little reminder that it's never too cold to grill, and adding on a Local Butcher gift certificate will just make this gift even better. Buy yours in person or order for delivery. The Local Butcher also has a location at 2242 Oneida Street; call 303-974-1020 for details.
Hazel Moon Pottery Mugs, $40
Each of the beautiful mugs from artist Ashley Scobey are made by hand, so no two are exactly alike. Scobey works out of her Golden studio, where the designs are crafted, glazed and fired into sturdy cups perfect for hot cocoa, coffee or soup. Designs capture mountains, trees, flowers and patterns in rich colors; there are also holiday-themed options with snow globes or quotes from Elf. All of the stoneware is durable and microwave- and dishwasher-safe. Order online for shipping anywhere in the United States.
Ice Cream Delivery From High Point Creamery, $24
It's never too cold for ice cream, especially when it's made locally, hand-packed and sent right to your door. If your college-bound kid misses Colorado, make their day by shipping a four-pack of holiday flavors, including peppermint, babka, dark chocolate-orange and brown sugar-cinnamon, no matter where they are in the country. Or choose any flavor from the current menu and have the ice cream delivered within a five-mile radius of the mini-chain's three shops in Berkeley (3977 Tennyson Street), Hilltop (215 South Holly Street) and RiNo (2669 Larimer Street, inside the Denver Central Market), or pick up the pints and grab a treat for yourself.
Konjo Holiday Spice Pack, $30
Konjo Ethiopian Restaurant's spices tell the story of a world far away. Since a trip to Africa isn't likely, Konjo's spice pack is the next best thing. The gift set comes with 4 ounces of berbere seasoning, 4 ounces of mitmita seasoning, 5 ounces of Awaze hot sauce and an 8-ounce jar of kib'eh clarified, seasoned butter. Not sure how to cook with them? Make this holiday gift even better by adding on one of the restaurant's monthly virtual cooking classes. Order online for shipping or pick the gift up at Konjo, inside Edgewater Public Market, 5505 West 20th Avenue.
Madre Coffee Collective Coffee Club, $19.99
For some, that first cup of hot coffee in the morning is the greatest gift of the day, and this Denver-based roaster can help you make this the best holiday for that person. Sign up your boss, boyfriend or mom for the monthly fresh-roasted bean delivery service and let them enjoy the gift that keeps on giving through the darker months. The coffee comes from all over the world and is hand-harvested on small farms that Madre Coffee Collective works with because of their commitment to good working conditions and wages. Order a subscription for a month or more, or send coffee by the pound, on the Madre Coffee Collective website.
Valentich Goods Apron, Starting at $90
We're all in the kitchen more these days, so why not encourage your husband or girlfriend to keep being creative with those loaves of bread and grilled vegetables by giving them the finest apron they've ever worn? Valentich outfits professional chefs and servers, so any home cook will be delighted by the sturdy construction and many pockets. The aprons are so useful that they're also great for gardeners, crafters and garage tinkerers. Choose from classic or cross-back straps, and in colors from olive to black to burgundy. Each is made in Denver and can be ordered at valentichgoods.com.