By Wini Moranville
Sending gifts near and far this holiday season? Consider skipping the usual food-basket catalogs, and offer friends and family a food (or food-related) gift that’s Iowa made or purveyed. And, by the way, this Saturday would be a great time to do so – it’s #SmallBusinessSaturday; the items here hail from small businesses:
• Gong Fu Tea: Eight years ago, I gave a San Francisco-dwelling friend a gift box of rare specialty teas from this East Village shop. She said she’s never found a better white tea than the one I sent her. She continues to order it from our local venue, which attests to just how impressive these teas are.
• Beaverdale Confections: This cute neighborhood candy shop’s homemade chocolate-covered marshmallows are sheer delight; in fact, I try to pop in and buy a small box every time I’m in the area. For someone on your list who’s been very, very good, consider sending the “Cocoa and Marshies” combo gift ($19.95), with homemade marshmallows and a tin of their select hot cocoa powder.
• Famous Banana Bread Flour Sack Heirloom Towel: Food bloggers are small businesses, too (unless they’ve gone mega like the Pioneer Woman!). Ally Koch Billhorn, who blogs from Wilton, Iowa, has recently produced a charming flour-sack tea towel ($17.98), printed with her famous banana bread recipe written in her trademark handwriting. Sweet on its own, the towel will make an even better gift if you bake a batch of the bread to present with it. Order the gift on Billhorn’s Sweet and Savory Eats website.