The 2022 holiday season is in full swing, and your shopping days are winding down. You can add meaningful impact to your gifting by shopping for locally-made products supporting small businesses.
To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of Virginia-made products that will please even the most discriminating foodie. We’ve got temptations for the sweet tooth, ways to stock a cocktail cart, some kitchen essentials, and even cookbooks to help tackle that answer the age-old question, “what’s for dinner?”
Bonus tip: Make a gift basket! Mix and match from our selections to make a themed gift focused on the love of good food and good people, sourced from some very good brands.
Remember, cut-off dates are EARLY, so order soon! And please be patient with your package delivery — overloaded delivery drivers mean it may take longer for your gifts to arrive.
Are you a last-minute shopper? Gift cards to local businesses are a great idea and will give these small shops a year-end boost.
Amateur and seasoned mixologists alike will enjoy thoughtful flavors like Blood Orange, Grapefruit, or non-alcoholic G&T and Ginger Beer. An early addition to the VAFoodie gift guide, Navy Hill was founded in Richmond by two friends who wanted more value from their mixers. Their first product, a lower-calorie soda and tonic blend, was a huge hit. From that first “sonic” sip, a brand was born. Founders Jenny Lucas and Katie Williams are committed to keeping Navy Hill authentic and exceptional, choosing to cut calories (not corners.) Late-breaking addition: Tequila Sodas are the newest addition to the Navy Hill lineup. You must be 21 to order.
Cirrus Vodka is triple-distilled from high-quality, nonGMO Russet Potatoes before passing through an 8-step charcoal filtration process. Then it rests before bottling. Nearly 90% of vodkas come from corn, rye, and other grains, but Cirrus believes potatoes give a smoother, full-bodied flavor with a creamier, sippable profile. Smoothness aside, the latest addition to their product line, Cirrus Jala-Piña, will give your tastebuds a much bigger kick. Made with that same award-winning Cirrus Vodka, it’s infused with golden pineapple & jalapeños. Grab a bottle, or two, before they sell out. This is a limited-release product…for now!
Here’s a must-add item for your cocktail bundle or tea collection. The Sugar Cube Trio from Storied Goods will be the sweetest gift for whoever is on your good list this year. The 3-pack holds one tin each of Cinnamon Vanilla, Orange Zest Cherry, and original Rose Petal sugar cubes offering 45 ways to brighten a beverage or lift your next cheers to a higher level. Headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, founder Martha Bourlakis her business knowing that celebrating even the smallest moments in life can bring absolute joy. She believes that savoring stories over delicious drinks and food brings hope to a complicated world. And that’s a mission we wholeheartedly support!
French for “Holy Cow,” La Vache Microcreamery was founded in 2013 by an architect passionate about local food. Owner Stephanie Williams brings that architectural precision into the kitchen as she crafts caramels from grass-fed cream and organic sugar – and absolutely no corn syrup! She sources her seasonal flavors like Honey Lavender and Molasses Ginger as locally and sustainably as possible. We’ve had them on our guide before, but the new subscription service will have your best giftee thanking you all year long. The LVM Addiction Subscription delivers a half-pound of caramel in two seasonal flavors to your doorstep 4 times a year: January, April, July, and October.
Perfect for the chef on your list or for making multiple Made-in-Virginia gift baskets, the new Misto case collection from Foggy Mountain Pasta is a true foodie’s delight. Chef-Owner Gabrial Key brings decades of culinary experience from his years in Tuscany and Northern Italy to the kitchen. He seeks out wholesome, hearty grains from small regional farms that lend a wealth of flavor to simple, elegantly crafted, small-batch pasta. Now milled on-site from heritage and heirloom grains, the products from Foggy Mountain Pasta express Gabriel’s most profound belief: that proper nourishment for your mind, soul, and heart comes from food that is economically, socially, and sustainably produced.
Small-batch sauces and condiments are always good hostess gifts, and they are especially nice when tucked into a curated basket. One of 2022’s Made In Virginia award-winners, Nona’s Italian Cucina Small Batch Tomato Sauce is hand-crafted in Charlottesville, Virginia. Using a timeless blend of Imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes and Virginia-Grown fresh herbs and spices, owner Yvonne Cunningham learned her craft in Nona’s own kitchen in Milan, Italy. Order in lots of 3 or 6 online and complete your gift baskets. Be sure to save a few jars to feed the crowd around your holiday table.
Ceramic cookware may flood your social streams, but cast iron cooking is having a revival. Enter Dryad Cookery. Owner Brian McKee was on a camping trip and found himself searching for a spatula. He couldn’t find one that suited his needs, so he set out to make the best spatula for cast iron cooking. The result? Dryad Spatulas are constructed of exceptionally durable, flexible, and lightweight titanium, with colorful G10 handles that won’t melt if your spatula touches your hot cast iron. You may never need another spatula – but they are so beautifully crafted you’ll want one in every color.
The holidays are the time for sweet treats, and we’re always looking for tasty indulgences that are as easy on the earth as they can be. Clean Conscience Chocolates tick all those boxes and then some. Hand-crafted near Charlottesville, Virginia, Clean Conscience uses single-origin organic 70% cacao that is also biodynamic-certified. Founders Mary and Steve Kennedy believe that food is medicine and that chocolate is food! We are happy to get on board with a daily dose of chocolate! Packaged in fully compostable wrapping, this is a sweet treat you can feel good about gifting.
Gifting a can of peanuts is indeed a Virginia holiday tradition. You sure won’t have trouble finding the peanut in Hubs Choco Covered Peanuts. They use their signature, salted, super extra-large Virginia peanuts and dip them in a light coating of a satisfying chocolate shell coating that doesn’t overpower. We love Hubs because they are the first-ever specialty peanut company, and they are probably why that peanut can is your go-to gift. Founded in 1954 in Sedley, Virginia, Dot Hubbard developed a unique way to cook the Virginia peanuts grown on her father’s farm. She used only the finest peanuts from the local harvest. Today, Dot’s family, and the company she created, continue that tradition.
There are many things to love about Clara Cline, the artist behind the Wild Wander. Not only is she the talent behind our Field Guide to the Virginia Table, but she’s also a thriving fempreneur in her own right. Created in collaboration with Join or Die Knives, Wild Wander’s Oyster Shucking Guide is the perfect addition to a coastal kitchen or bar and a unique gift for oyster enthusiasts. The tea towel version of the Guide to Oyster Shucking is printed in black ink on a durable and absorbent natural flour sack tea towel.
No one can thrive on an empty stomach, and food insecurity is still a concern across the Commonwealth. This year, help your neighbors by donating to Blue Ridge Area Food Bank or to the Feeding America organizations that support food banks in your region. You can give on behalf of a loved one, and you both get a special note stating a gift was made in their name.
After you’ve made your local food gift selections, pack them into one of our VAFoodie Tote Bags. You’ll support VAfoodie, and our mission to bring free local food content to shoppers in and around Virginia. Your giftee will be proud to show their love of local as they stow all those market goodies in this generously sized all-cotton bag. It’s beautifully illustrated by our friend and fellow Virginian, Clara Cline, from The Wild Wander.
The Humane Table: Cooking with Compassion
For the home chef who is mindful of the welfare of animals, The Humane Table shares mindfully prepared recipes constructed around the seasons– summer, fall, winter, and spring. Compiled by Dr. Robin Ganzert, CEO of American Humane, each recipe features ingredients compassionately produced by farmers, ranchers, and other American Humane Certified(TM) organizations. Whether simmering a stew on a cold night or grilling out under balmy skies, it is possible to set a humane table year-round. American Humane is the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, overseeing the care of some one billion animals every year.
I Am From Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef
On the opening page, Chef Vishwesh Bhatt declares, “This cookbook thoughtfully, and persuasively, expands notions of what it means to be, and cook like, a Southerner today.” I Am From Here invites you to grill, stew, and fry your own way to an evolved southern table. Try Peanut Masala–Stuffed Baby Eggplant alongside fried okra tossed in tangy chaat masala, or Collard-Wrapped Catfish with a spicy Peanut Pesto. Organized by ingredient, the book emphasizes the staples, spices, and vegetables that are as beloved on the Indian subcontinent as they are in the American South.
Gullah Geechee Home Cooking: Recipes from the Matriarch of Edisto Island
Emily Meggett, the matriarch of Edisto Island, shares the recipes of an essential American community, the Gullah and Geechee people from the Sea Islands of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. In Gullah and Geechee Home Cooking, Meggett shares recipes that have only lived in her head for decades. Heirloom rice, fresh-caught seafood, local game, and vegetables are key ingredients that are readily available to the Virginia cook. The cookbook includes snippets of the Meggett family history on Edisto Island, which stretches back to the 19th century.
The 2022 Gift Guide has a little bit of everything for all your favorite foodies. If you are searching for more Virginia businesses to support this holiday season, please check out our EAT and DRINK lists, too!
NOTE: The 2022 gift guide is not a paid promotion. Although we will not receive compensation for sales attributed to this content, some of the products on this list are from businesses that have used our parent company, Water Street Design, LLC, and our sister brand, The Virginia Foodie, for marketing strategy, coaching, training, and creative services.