Forget the fruitcake. Try giving gift baskets instead. Like fruitcakes, they’re a universal holiday gift. But unlike fruitcakes, people are actually happy to receive them.Boulder County is home to a wealth of locally owned businesses that offer unique products ideal for making creative gift baskets. With a little planning, you can give a gift that demonstrates not only thoughtfulness, but also a commitment to our local economy.
The first step is to pick a theme and then be creative. Want to please a reader?
Stop by a locally owned new or used bookstore — they are numerous — to put together a basket of books, creative bookmarks and other reading paraphernalia.
Toss in some organic tea, coffee beans or yerba mate with a nice mug from a local tea or coffee shop, and you’ve just given someone hours of cozy pleasure. Want to pamper a loved one? There are a host of local businesses that offer skin care products, bath oils and scrubs to please the senses. With a gift certificate for a massage, it’s a gift anyone would love. Want to help someone have a greener new year? Try a basket with reusable shopping bags, green cleaning products and organic personal care products.
If there’s a foodie on your gift list, Boulder County has countless options to consider, from gift certificates to local restaurants to treats from local bakeries. Here are some hidden gems you’ll want to make a part of any foodie’s gift basket:
Cheese Importers sells cheeses from 25 different countries in Europe and South America. They also carry local cheeses:
MouCo from Fort Collins, Haystack from Longmont and Sunny Breeze from Craig. Their cheese ranges from $8.99 per pound to $25.99 per pound. Cheese Importers also sells fine olive oils, aged vinegars, tasty olives, hard-to-find European candies and cookies. Pre-made gift baskets are available, or you can personalize a gift basket.
Cheese Importers is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are located at 33 South Pratt Parkway in Longmont. Call 303-772-7626, or visit www.cheeseimporters.com.
Herb’s Quality Meats can fill your holiday basket with hickory-smoked elk and buffalo sticks, seasonings, dressings, barbeque sauces and marinades. They are open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Herb’s is located at 2530 Baseline Rd. (the Basemar Shopping Center) in Boulder. For more information call 303-499-8166, or visit www.herbsmeats.com. At the end of the year, Herb’s is moving to 1000 Depot Hill Rd. in Broomfield.
The Savory Spice Shop sells culinary herbs and spices and specializes in spice blends, like meat rubs. Savory Spice’s seasonings are hand-blended once a week, so they are always fresh. Themed gift boxes, like Mexican and barbeque, are available, with four to 10 jars of seasonings. Or you can customize your own box of seasonings as a gift. Savory Spice is open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Savory Spice is located at 2041 Broadway St., Suite 1, in Boulder. For more information call 303-444-0668, or visit www.savoryspiceshop.com.
Belvedere Belgian Chocolate Shop offers an assortment of European-style holiday treats. A few that would be appropriate for a gift basket include a custom chocolate bar for $1.75 or $2.75,where you choose a picture, saying or message to put on a chocolate bar wrapper.
Chocolate bars are available in milk, dark and extra dark chocolate. The truffle sampler box is also a crowd-pleaser, ranging from $12 to $52. If you plan ahead, you can customize your truffle box, too.
Belvedere is open Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Belvedere is located at 1468 Pearl St. in Boulder. Call 303-447-0336, or visit www.belvedereboulder.com.
To save yourself time … If you don’t have the time to run around Boulder County to personalize your gift basket, hop online and visit Boulder’s Best Organics website, www.bouldersbestorganics.com. Boulder’s Best Organics creates gift boxes filled with organic and natural goodies from all around Colorado. Create your own gift box on their website to fit your budget or order a pre-made box. The boxes, which are manufactured in Denver, feature paintings of Pearl Street, the Flatirons, the Maroon Bells and a high country meadow, all designed by artist Jim Freeheart. Boulder’s Best is a brand ambassador for Boulder and Colorado — 98 percent of the businesses they represent are Boulder-based. If you create your own combo box, you can add a Bobo’s Oat Bar, Chocolove, Fiona’s Granola, Justin’s Nut Butter, Celestials Seasonings’ tea, Pixie Maté, etc. Include products from Pangea Organics, Zambeezi’s lip balm and Lumia Organic’s candles, to name a few.
Boulder’s Best gift boxes are also sold at McGuckin Hardware, Whole Foods, Ellie’s Eco Home Store, Boulder Book Store and Invironments.
Other gift basket websites: www.basketplusgifts.com and www.bbkase.com.