Tag Archives: Carmel Honey Company

Santa Cruz Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Local gifts, part 7

Goodies from Cheese Shop 831
Photo courtesy of Cheese Shop 831

Welcome to the final installment—part 7—of my holiday foodie gift guide with information for several local businesses if you have some last-minute shopping to do. Contact me at tara@santacruzfoodie.com with questions or comments.

Also see:

Gift guide part 1

Gift guide part 2

Gift guide part 3

Gift guide part 4

Gift guide part 5

Gift guide part 6

Note: some past installments include events that have taken place, but they also mention local businesses you can still support!

I wanted to mention one non-food-related idea: there are so many wonderful artists in our County, and some rely on the annual Open Studios event to bring in a significant part of their income. Due to the pandemic, OS could not take place this year. The sponsoring organization—Arts Council Santa Cruz County—launched a great “curated directory” website to showcase visual artists and provide easy opportunities to support these creative individuals. Visit the Visual Artists Network website at visualartsnetworkscc.com.

My mother, Fereshteh Fatemi, is one of these artists—a talented jeweler—and she’s donating 10% of her sales through Christmas to Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County.

Speaking of Second Harvest Food Bank, another gift idea is to make a donation to them in honor of someone that you care about. This year, more than ever, people are relying on SHFB for food. The organization distributes over eight million pounds of food each year to children, families, vets and seniors in Santa Cruz County.  More than half of the residents they serve are kids. Traditionally, every dollar donated provides four healthy meals to someone in need. Right now, thanks to a challenge grant from the COVID-19 Local Response Fund at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, donations are being matched so your dollars are having a double effect.

Here are a few more gift possibilities:

Captiola’s Brown Ranch Marketplace (the center with Trader Joe’s) recently welcomed the store Cheese Shop 831. Owner Jillian Pirolo was supposed to open her business several months ago but got delayed due to the pandemic. I’ve been told by one friend who shopped there that they have amazing cheese—including local, regional and international varieties—and I’ve seen on Instagram @cheeseshop831 that they have other products like olive oil, handmade cheese boards, truffle hot sauce, towels and oven mitts. Visit cheeseshop831.com.

Aptos gift shop Hammond Glass Engraving & Gifts is open by appointment from Tuesday through Saturday. They carry items like Christmas mugs,  Spode mugs, wine glasses, high-ball glasses and serving dishes. The shop has been around for 30 years, and Jessie & David Campbell bought the business in 2018. I haven’t been there myself, but I hope to check it out post-holiday-season. Visit hammondaptos.com.

Five Star Catering put together a fun Local’s Gift Box; read more and purchase online. It supports eight local Santa Cruz area businesses affected by the pandemic including Mutari Craft Chocolate, Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company, Edith Meyer Wedding Cakes, and Magnolia Fine Gifts and Apothecary. They are even offering no-charge, no-contact SC County delivery. Visit fivestarcatering.com/holidayboxes.

Michelle Kneads Dough Monterey County is home to talented pastry chef Michelle Lee. A finalist on Food Network’s recent Halloween Baking Championship and a former staff member at restaurants including The C Restaurant+Bar at Intercontinental the Clement Monterey, Michelle found herself out of work due to the pandemic. She decided to get her cottage food permit and start doing pop-up “QuaranTreats.” I’ve enjoyed her food at The C and at special events, and also bought one of her yummy QuaranTreats and plan to buy more. I don’t know if she does gift cards for future treats, but just telling any “sweets fans” you know about her is a gift in itself! Visit Instagram.com/michelle.kneads.dough.

Lots of wineries and breweries are offering gift cards if you want to give your gift recipient the choice of what exactly they will receive. You can get contact info for many wineries at the Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains website. Visit winesofthesantacruzmountains.com/wineries.

A final list of stores & vendors (without going into too much detail I wanted to make sure and at least share a few more names):

Santa Cruz County

Counter Cultures Kitchen Visit IG @countercultureskitchen

El Salchichero Visit elsalchichero.com

Far West Fungi Visit farwestfungi.com/pages/santa-cruz

Farmer Freed Salts Visit farmerfreed.com

Itso & Notso Hot Sauce Visit makefoodhappy.com

Marini’s Candies Visit mariniscandies.com

Mountain Feed & Farm Supply Visit mountainfeed.com

Sushi Market Sprouts Visit Instagram.com/sushimarketsprouts

Monterey County

Carmel Honey Company Visit carmelhoneycompany.com

The Chef’s Stash (weekly local food boxes curated by chef and restaurateur Gabe Georis and chef Brandon Miller, with omnivore and pescatarian options). Visit thechefsstash.com.

Elroy’s Fine Foods Visit elroysfinefoods.com

Happy Girl Kitchen Visit happygirlkitchen.com

Jerome’s Carmel Valley Market Visit jeromescarmelvalleymarket.com

Other Brother Beer Visit otherbrotherbeer.com

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Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Local gifts, part 2

British-style “Scrumptious Fish & Chips” will be at the West Cliff Outdoor Market this weekend. Photo courtesy of Scrumptious Fish & Chips

Here is part two of my local foodie holiday gift guide, including several Santa Cruz County businesses (here is part 1). Happy shopping; let’s support small businesses & buy some gifts for friends and family at the same time.

Can’t decide what to buy but want to support downtown Santa Cruz businesses? Purchase some Downtown Dollars (they come in $10 increments—I’ve been using them as fun gifts for years!) online or in person at Bookshop Santa Cruz, the Downtown Information Kiosk (1130-K2 Pacific Ave.) or Pacific Cookie Company. Your gift recipient can spend the dollars at places including restaurants and grocery-and-other-retailers; see full list on the site. Visit downtownsantacruz.com/discover/downtown-dollars.

Speaking of Pacific Cookie Company this sweet vendor has options like Surf City Sweets Cookie Gift Tower ($19.95) with a dozen two-oz. cookies, The Santa Cruz Cookie Gift Tin ($31.95) with 36 one-oz. cookies, or Sleigh All Day Cookie Basket ($32.95) with 15 cookies on a birch sleigh. They even have a Quarantine Cookie Care Package ($21.95) that includes a dozen cookies plus toilet paper (!). They are offering a 15% discount if you shop online by Sunday, Nov. 29 at 11:59pm PST (enter code EARLY2020 at checkout). You can choose a future ship date if you prefer. UPDATE DEC. 2: I realize that promotion ended; I just heard of a new one that is valid until 12/6 – use HOLIDAY5 at checkout to save $5.

Toque Blanche recently started its Black Friday specials, which last through Monday 11/30. The downtown Santa Cruz kitchenware retailer is featuring discounts on items such as Le Creuset (stock pot, roaster, whistling kettle) and Wusthof knives. Don’t forget they also carry a selection of packaged food including Carmel Honey Company and Rancho Gordo. 1527 Pacific Ave., 831-426-1351, mytoque.com.

Small Business Saturday is this Saturday, Nov. 28. Some retailers are having specials. Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta is offering this bonus: For every $25 you spend on gift cards you get $5 off. Customers must purchase in person at the restaurant. 1100 Pacific Ave., 831-469-4400, kiantis.com

This weekend is the West Cliff Outdoor Market 2020: Friday & Saturday, Nov. 27-28, 10am-4pm.

The socially distanced holiday outdoor market features unique artisans, and food trucks will be there with items for purchase. The market will be held in two parking lots along West Cliff Drive, overlooking Steamers Lane. Social distancing guidelines will be enforced; all vendors and attendees are required to wear face masks. Artisans selling products include Davenport-based Ancient Hands Tile Art and Santa Cruz’s Be Heart Now. See event page for full list of vendors. Food trucks will include Scrumptious Fish & Chips (British-style fish and chips made by England natives who live locally) and Santa Cruz County’s Taquizas Gabriel. Admission is free.

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