Whether it’s for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas itself, here are some gifts that not only taste spectacular but have a thoughtful story behind them, crafted by passionate entrepreneurs looking to a build a more artisanal and regenerative supply chain in food and agriculture.
Based in California, Enzo, a fourth-generation family-run operation makes organic olive oils, vinegars, and scrumptious snacks. It’s that time of the year though when this year’s harvest is being pressed. Enzo’s 100% organic and estate-grown Olio Nuovo, the first pressed olive oil of 2022 is ready for your holiday table. Fresher, more potent, and a much more full-bodied oil, this is the cream of the crop. The first press means only limited quantities are available each harvest, and because Olio Nuovo isn’t filtered, it has a shorter shelf life than the oil found on store shelves. Take a bottle for a dinner party host or get a box set for the olive oil aficionado in the family.
Buy a single bottle of the 2022 single-varietal Arbequina Olio Nuovo. Or opt for their 3-bottle Olio nuovo gift set as a more luxurious gift. If you want to make sure this holiday salad is properly dressed, the ENZO premier has both red and white wine vinegar plus a bottle of olive oil.
Brooklyn Delhi is the beloved Indian-American food brand founded by cookbook author Chitra Agrawal. Chitra recently teamed up with single-origin spice company Burlap & Barrel to create a one-of-a-kind condiment: Spicy Mango Chutney, featuring heirloom Kashmiri chili peppers grown on a family farm in Pampore, Kashmir. (Note: it tastes great on eggs, as a side dipping sauce, or of course, with Indian food). For the holidays, she has a Spicy and Sweet Trio of some of her pantry essentials: Roasted Garlic Achaar, Tomato Achaar, and Mango Chutney. (And yes, she’s the one who took on Trader Joe’s recently on their copycat “aachar.” Go buy the real stuff instead!)
Saltverk’s medley of salts feature the scents, sights, and flavors of Iceland: arctic thyme (which grows wild), smoked birch, and lava salts. These hand harvested salts are procured thanks to the country’s geothermal energy, and is an integral part of the company’s identity. Based in the Westfjords, accessing their salt workshop takes some planning, particularly in the winter months, when weather conditions can lock in whole communities. These salts will transport you to the frigid beauty that is Iceland.
Beyond Good has a unique model in the world of chocolate-making. Theirs are made in Madagascar (and Uganda) in an effort to create more jobs and value for those closer to the supply chain. In addition, Beyond Good’s been doing agroforestry (before it was a trend) and supporting research on how its cocoa trees amidst a forest could be a haven for the native lemur population (which are on the brink of being extinct) — and feature so prominently in their branding and on their packaging. (They also now have lemur shaped individual size dark chocolates.)
This holiday season, they have a beautiful Madagascar Small Batch Collection Gift Box which includes three small batch chocolate bars (Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Madagascar Plantain & Sea Salt and Madagascar Fleur de Sel) made with with the complex, fruity flavors of Madagascar cocoa, and paired with unique, local ingredients from the country. It also looks so nice that you can forgo the gift wrap.
For the chef or baker in your family, consider the Explore Vanilla Gift Box made of Beyond Good’s single-origin Pure Vanilla Extract and Pure Ground Vanilla. The latter is truly sublime.
Boonville Barn Collective
Boonville Barn Collective is a seven-acre farm, owned by Krissy Scommegna, sustainably growing unique chiles and producing unique chile powders in Anderson Valley of Northern California. Piment d’Ville is their signature, California-grown version of Piment d’Espelette. Peppery, sweet, and mildly spicy, it offers a ton of layered flavor, without overwhelming heat. For the spice lover in your household, this is a beautiful gift supporting local farming here in the US. Choose from two of their bundles, the Piment d’Ville Collection or Chile Powder Collection. Add it to risottos, pastas, chic takes on toast, eggs — the gamut.
Champagne Telmont is a luxury sustainable champagne brand and part of the Rémy Cointreau family. It has some interesting eco goals: converting all vines to organic by 2025, foregoing all air freight, reducing the weight of bottles (not the Champagne in it), and this season, they’re getting rid of gift packaging altogether. Telmont says just this last move of forgoing unnecessary packaging has reduced the carbon impact of each bottle by more than 8%.
Founded in 1912, the Telmont Champagne House is located in Damery, near Épernay, France. In 2017, it earned its first AB Certification (organic agriculture) for part of its vineyard. Telmont’s Réserve de la Terre is their first fully certified organic cuvée. However, all their champagnes are sourced sustainability, and a more affordable bottle is the Réserve Brut.
It’s the holidays. If you want a special treat, nothing better than a beautiful bottle of Champagne — not wrapped in plastic.
Dr. Bronner’s launched chocolates last year, getting them out of the soap aisle. This holiday season, they have a new flavor that your guests will love: Cool Peppermint Cream Chocolate , which has a smooth, sweet caramel-colored peppermint filling that harkens back to Dr. Bronner’s love for peppermint-scented products. Coupled with complex notes of roasted cocoa from Ghana and Ivory Coast, coconut sugar from Indonesia, vanilla from Madagascar, and cocoa butter from Congo, it’s a more elevated mint chocolate bar. A new take on the classic after dinner chocolate mint treat. The cocoa beans used in Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One Chocolate are grown using regenerative organic farming practices by fair trade small-scale farmers.
Not a peppermint fan? They also do lovely hazelnut, almond, and coconut praline bars! Likely to find a match for everyone.
The Diaspora Masala Renaissance 6 pack: colorful, fun, and flavorful. But most of all, Diaspora’s commitment to working with smallholders farmers in India — and the transparency of their supply chain — means that the premium prices actually support these farmers who are the backbone of agriculture in the country (If you want to really get into it, have a look at their first impact report). For the cook in the family, treat them to this six-pack, or even just a single jar of one of their best-sellers like Pragati Turmeric, Aranya Pepper, or Kashmiri Chillies.
Ziba sources heirloom and organically grown nuts and dried fruits from Afghanistan’s farmers. With 80 percent of the company’s workforce being women, they’re hoping that they can help change the narrative around working women in Afghanistan. Offering year-round pay, alongside addition benefits like free English classes, Ziba (which means “beautiful”) aspires to combine profit with purpose.
The dried mulberries are a real treat, as are the kishmish, or raisins. The heirloom almonds taste better than your grocery store offering. Create a customized box for the health nut in the family who will likely appreciate this thoughtful company.
If you have a friend who cannot go a few days without coffee, even if they’re out camping somewhere remote, these compostable coffee pouches are a good idea to enjoy that cup of coffee camp side.
Santa Cruz-based B Corp, Steeped Coffee is trying to pack in the freshness of craft-roasted coffee in a fully compostable single-serve coffee bag (the outside packaging is compostable too). No pods, plugs, or gear need. They have every option from light to medium to decaf, and feature Fair Trade and organic beans in some of their blends. With a nitro-seal, they’re designed to hold onto that freshness, even in a bag. Consider getting the outdoor and coffee enthusiast in your friend circle The Lineup, which features two of each variety.
The zero-waste, plant-based snacks, spreads and pantry essentials brand, crafted by chef, founder and activist Camilla Marcus, has a variety of munchies for the holiday season. But the Limited Edition Green Plum Shiso Butter is a favorite and will elevate your morning toast. Sweet and tangy seasonal tart green plums combined with herbaceous shiso leaf and cardamom bring east and west together. These small-batch butters are made with upcycled Green Gage Plums (who were too wonky to be sold, but taste great).
Spending the night at a friend’s house this holiday season? Buy a beautiful sourdough loaf and this butter for breakfast. They’ll be thrilled you came!
Oregon-based artisanal salt maker Jacobsen Co. has been collaborating with a variety of brands to blend salt with spice. This collaboration is a hit. Working with Spanish Town Kitchen owner, Pat Marrett, the Caribbean Jerk Sea Salt is reminiscent of her Jamaican roots. It goes great with meats, but also veggies, eggs, on avocado toast, in rice — the possibilities are endless.