Thyme machine: get to know BC’s herb producers!November 7, 2016
17 local recipes that will get your 2017 off to a mouth-watering start!January 5, 2017
This year, give a gift that also gives back to your community: buy local! Below, check out our 2016 annual gift guide with great suggestions for gifts that you can source locally. Browse our ideas, then check out our “Find Local” tool to find BC goods near you. And, if you’re in search of yet more local gift inspiration, head here. Happy gifting!
- Coffee break in a basket: Stuck on what to give your co-worker for Secret Santa? Perk up their day with a “coffee break in a basket” - just tuck your favourite locally roasted coffee, mug, and treats from one of BC’s artisan bakeries into a hamper. There’s any number of local coffee roasters to pick from in BC (try Dancing Goat Coffee, Whole Bean Coffee Co., Pacific Coffee Roasters!) and with our recent round-up of BC’s best bakeries, you’re sure to find plenty of sweet treats to include with the perfect roast.
- Give them a weekend to remember in wine country: BC’s wineries (and cheese-makers!) are amazing places to visit - so why not wow your loved ones with an incredible weekend away? To get your mini-vacation planning started, here’s our list of our favourite day and weekend winery destinations. Don’t forget some BC cheese to go with that wine - try any of the dairy farms suggested in our winery getaway round-up, or go off the beaten track and visit a farm like Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.
- Dinner at home: Give your home chef the gift of a night off: cook up something special for your sweetie with our recipe ideas! Our recipes always feature local ingredients you can source from farmers’ markets, fishers’ markets and grocery stories no matter where you live in BC.
- Make a bang with some blooms: Delight your giftee with bouquet or subscription for gorgeous flowers, instead weighing them down with more stuff. Stuck on where to source a winter bouquet? Start with this list of six sustainable BC flower shops we love. We Heart Local award winners Bloom Boom Room also offer the perfect local gifts to go with their gorgeous bouquets and holiday wreaths, including chic hanging terrariums and unique local foodie baskets.
- Delight them with gourmet goods: The tastiest way to tell someone you care! Fill it withlocally made products from Saltspring Sunrise and Edible Canada, or check out Saul Good Gift Co’s local sampler baskets! For folks in the Okanagan, try Gifted Okanagan or Sweet Bees Baskets, and Vancouver Island Gift Basket offers a range of local island delights. Prefer to assemble your own goodies? Include some of Chef David Robertson’s holiday must-haves.
- Warm their hearts with a family recipe: Take a loved one for a trip down memory lane: tie together ingredients like artisan pasta, local herbs, tomatoes from the farmer’s market plus your Nonna’s tomato sauce recipe -- and start a new family holiday tradition together of trading recipes! Or, tuck your favourite recipes into one of these locavore cookbooks and food guides.
- Tour your town together: Whisk your favourite foodie away on a food tour - not only will you get to spend the afternoon together discovering new things about the place you live, but you’ll be treated to some phenomenal local dishes. Get started with our favourite tours here. To really level up your adventure, gift your sweetheart with a year of monthly local food adventures: write 12 envelopes to be opened each month with date ideas that will get you both out on the town and exploring together. If you’re looking for inspiration about what to include, try these reads about the Hot Chocolate Festival; BC’s summer night markets and even fall harvest fests.
- Be sweet: Stuff everyone’s stockings with local BC faves like Urge Chocolates or Denman Island chocolates. And skip the maple syrup for friends visiting from out of town - fragrant BC honey is a gift everyone will love (read up on it here!)
- Feed their appetite for adventure: from agri-ranches to getaways, BC’s got the perfect mix of food and travel fun to choose from. Book a cooking course on an island retreat, or take them bike-riding on an artisan brewery tour - there’s no tastier way to experience British Columbia’s local delicacies than in some stunning countryside. If travel isn’t an option, or you’re looking to expand your skills closer to home, why not take a local cooking course that supports using local foods? This helpful search tool will help you find the nearest one to you so you can get cooking for the holidays.
Need more ideas? Check out last year’s local gift guide for even more home-grown gift ideas!
Photo credit: The Bloom Boom Room