Santa isn't the only one making lists and checking them twice. But unlike the list, ours has gifts for everyone — naughty, nice or somewhere in between — and supports local businesses.
Have a treasured friend? Give the treasure of oyster-shell art. There's also no shortage of options for cocktail and coffee lovers, or for those who have yet to meet a condiment they didn't want to try. Cookies, bread subscriptions, an at-home Juicy Lucy kit and cotton candy? Check. And we didn't forget the dog, either.
So rest easy, weary shoppers; buying will be easy. Not keeping everything for yourself is another story.
Old Fashioned Variety Three-Pack from Dashfire
Minnetonka-based Dashfire has single-serve, ready-to-drink cocktails down pat, from martinis and Manhattans to White Russians. This year they upped the ante, making their Old Fashioneds available in a variety three-pack, which includes a 100ml can of its classic bourbon version along with ones containing rum, cane and allspice and rye and ginger. "Having just one Old Fashioned didn't seem like enough," said Dashfire owner Lee Egbert. That it slides right into a Christmas stocking makes it meant to be.
Brown Butter Spread from Bogart's Doughnuts
Anyone who has ever sunk their teeth into the pillowy raised doughnuts from Bogart's knows the bliss of the brown butter glaze. Now, the kitchen geniuses behind this shop have done us all a favor by selling this liquid gold by the jar. Spread on toast, dip in an apple slice, frost a cake, or whatever — this spread is good on just about anything that could use a sweet-with-a-savory-edge upgrade. These little jars are perfect for tucking into stockings.
$8 for 12 ounces, 904 W. 36th St., Mpls., order online at bogartsdoughnutco.com.
Hoodie from Mr. Paul's Po' Boy & Jams
The new Mr. Paul's Po' Boy shop in Edina is a rollicking good time with a jukebox stocked with tunes and a menu packed with stuffed sandwiches. Take home a cozy bit of fun with the ultra-plush black zip-up hoodie adorned with a jaunty hot pink crawfish outfitted in a festive bow tie.
$45, Mr. Paul's Po' Boys and Jams, 3917 Market St., Edina, mrpaulssupperclub.com.
Hot sauce from Churchill St.
This suburban newcomer has joined the many restaurant kitchens turning out pantry items. Chef Aaron Marthaler was visiting Twin Organics farm in Northfield in late August, spied sweet Carmen and hot Cherry Bomb peppers and decided to make this ideal stocking stuffer. "It's my way of getting what I could out of the last of the summer produce," he said. "I can't wait to revisit farms next spring and see what everybody has to offer."
$10. Purchase in store at 4606 Churchill St., Shoreview, 612-466-2596, churchillst.com.
Earthtani CSB membership
Acclaimed pastry chef Toni Luschen (Augustine's, Lucia's, Good Day Cafe) has applied the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model to baked goods — hence the name CSB. Each month, she'll deliver to members in Minneapolis and St. Paul a loaf of bread, a baker's half-dozen cookies and one seasonal bake incorporating fresh or preserved produce from her own garden. (Members from outside the Twin Cities can pick up at her house in St. Paul.)
Juicy Lucy kit from 5-8 Club
Believe what you want about which bar invented the Juicy Lucy. If you want to ship Minnesota's cheese-filled burgers cross-country, your only choice is the 5-8 Club. They're packaging up their patties (classic Cheddar, habañero Jack or Bleu), chilling them on dry ice and shipping via Goldbelly, so Minnesotans who have scattered far and wide can still burn their tongues on hot oozing cheese.
Starting at $99 for four burgers, with sweet potato puffs. Order at goldbelly.com/5-8-club.
"The Great 2020 Pepin Pandemic Cookbook" by Lake City Rotary Club
Now on its third printing, this hyperlocal cookbook by community members near Lake Pepin has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and purchased by home cooks in 16 states. A fundraiser for the Lake City Rotary Club, the book includes humorous quips about lockdown cooking, and includes recipes such as Cheer-You-Up Apple Cinnamon Muffins and Fau-Cheesy Rice and Broccoli. (Get it?)
$15, plus $5 shipping. To order, send a check to Lake City Rotary, Attn. Dick Boerger, 1002 Hidden Court, Lake City, MN 55041.
Gift of Espresso set from Alma
Alma's extensive offering of provisions for the pantry, kitchen tools and bath products would make great gifts individually, or as a luxe curated set from the restaurant/cafe/hotel. The Gift of Espresso set comes with Kopplin's espresso beans, housemade cardamom sugar cookie syrup, a gold stirring spoon, and two handmade mugs from local potter Guillermo Cuellar, who has provided the restaurant with its vases, platters, soup bowls and mugs for more than a decade.
$65. Gift sets and provisions can be ordered online for pickup or purchased at the Alma Cafe front counter. 528 University Av. SE., Mpls., 612-379-4909, almampls.com.
Blind wine tasting kit from France 44 Wines & Spirits
For the friend who knows about wine — or thinks they do — this set will put their taste buds to the test. France 44 selects two bottles and wraps them up so the labels are hidden. The kit comes with a glossary of tasting terms and a helpful grid for tracking impressions, and an envelope contains the bottles' true identities.
Olive oil from Due Focacceria/ie: Italian Eatery
The proprietors of Due Focacceria and ie: Italian Eatery import new harvest olive oil from the Careletti family in Umbria's central hills just a couple weeks after it's pressed, so fresh that it's neon green. What's not used at the restaurant is sold by the bottle. While you can cook with the oil (and the restaurants do), all that flavor is best used as a drizzle. "The oil of the gods is a secret touch to our food," said owner Eric Carrara.
$15.50. Order online for pickup or purchase at the restaurants. Due Focacceria, 475 S. Fairview Av., St. Paul, 651-493-8858, duefocacceria.com. ie: Italian Eatery, 4724 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., 612-223-8504, italianeatery.com.
Gift set from the Get Down Coffee Co.
North Minneapolis' new coffeeshop-barbershop hybrid is shipping nationwide. In addition to owner and designer Houston White's apparel, you can get other branded items, coffee subscriptions and this gift set. It comes with a sampler pack of three coffees, roasted in collaboration with Dogwood Coffee Co. (Drip Drip, Turntables and Plus One Espresso), plus a 12-ounce stainless-steel camp mug.
$75. 1500 44th Av. N., Mpls., order online at getdowncoffee.com.
Blueberry Maple Sour Kit from Tattersall
For Minnesotans, the best part about visiting the new Tattersall Distillery in River Falls, Wis., is experiencing the gift shop. Not only is there a bunch of swag outfitted with Tattersall's scripted logo, but there is an entire shop stocked with actual full-size bottles of their liquors available to buy and take home any day of the week. Pick up a ready-to-pour Blueberry Sour Cocktail Kit of rye whiskey, blueberry liqueur and a bottle of bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup for a toasty, tart taste of Minnesota summers. It's all packed up together in a pretty little box, too.
$77 Tattersall Distillery, 1777 Paulson Road, River Falls, Wis., 534-248-8300, tattersalldistilling.com.
Be-A-Pearl oyster art from Meritage
Meritage co-owner Desta Klein was paying people to remove the thousands of oyster shells the St. Paul restaurant wound up with after service each week. (The restaurant shucks about 50,000 oysters a year, plus another 20,000 at its Oysterfest event.) To close the waste gap, she decided to repurpose the shells into art. "I believe in being creative with the resources you have," Klein said. With the help of her mother, Klein cleans and sanitizes the shells before the interiors are hand-painted, decoupaged and gilded. Small sizes can be displayed as art or ornaments; larger oysters are repurposed as trinket trays.
Minnesota Award-Winning Charcuterie Kit from You Betcha! Box
Share some of the most delectable food products from Minnesota with loved ones around the country. Themed gift sets by You Betcha! Box are available for nationwide shipping. This one provides all the fixings for a holiday meat and cheese board (recipients provide their own meat and cheese). It includes savory rosemary nuts from Patti's Deluxe Mixed Nuts, Flavour in a Jar's smoked tomato and rosemary jam, Zambezi Kitchen's herb supreme spice blend and lots more.
$100, includes shipping in the continental U.S. Order online at youbetchabox.com.
Virtual wine class by Ženska Glava
Wine and spirits education from a women-led group (ženska glava translates to "woman's head" in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian languages) is aiming to "eliminate gate keeping" in the beverage world. Hence populist class options such as "Burgundy for the People" and "Just Tell Me What to Order: A Guide to Restaurant Wine Lists." Virtual classes are offered twice a month and can be taken anywhere, but if you'd like wine to go with it, local shop Henry & Son provides the goods. In-person events are coming soon.
Gift cards toward future events can be purchased at zenskaglava.com.
Sota cookie cutters from Sota Clothing
Stamp out your holiday cookies in the shape of Minnesota and the accessories needed to get through an Upper Midwest winter: sweater and mittens. The set of three cookie cutters is designed locally. Or, go big with a Minnesota-shaped cake pan.
Cookie-cutter set $12, cake pan $36. 6518 Walker St., St. Louis Park, 952-446-7836, and 401 Main St. S., Stillwater, 651-571-2523. sotaclothing.com.
Honeypot from the Salsa Collaborative
If you haven't drizzled hot honey on pepperoni pizza, you're missing out. The Salsa Collaborative, a small-batch saucemaker, has teamed with chef Mik German's 14 Spice to make a sweet and spicy habañero-infused topping that gives a welcome kick to pretty much anything.
$10. Order online at thesalsacollaborative.com.
Snowie Tubs from Spinning Wylde
The whimsical cotton candy maker — a hit at this year's Minnesota State Fair — is moving to Union Depot in St. Paul, where you can get an assortment of dye-free, sugar-spun gifts in 60 flavors. These adorable Snowie tubs contain two snowball-sized cotton candy balls.
$12. Order online for curbside pickup at Union Depot's Head House Carriage Way, 214 E. 4th St., St. Paul, spinningwylde.com.
Dog Box from Vivir
Even dogs can be foodies. This gift set from the Mexican market and cafe Vivir comes with Cheddar- and beef-flavored "dog tacos." They can be washed down with Zinfantail dog wine, a peppermint leaf brew that acts as a breath freshener and natural sedative for pups. A "Topo Chihuaha" squeak toy and a dog-themed candle complete the set.
$55. Order online for pickup or purchase in store. 1414 Quincy Av. NE., Mpls., 612-345-5527, vivirmpls.com.
Pasta cutters from Broders' Cucina Italiana
Make your own pasta like the pros. The Broders' trio of south Minneapolis Italian restaurants is sharing some of the tools of its trade, such as stainless-steel-bladed pasta cutters and wooden corzetti pasta stamps. The casual cafe and market also sells a variety of Italianesque housewares and pantry staples.
Pasta cutters start at $13.75; corzetti $34.50. Order online or purchase in-store at 2308 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-925-3113, broders.com.
Matcha starter set from Northeast Tea House
This Minneapolis tea house is one of the few to mill its own matcha. Along with a 20-gram tin of the fresh-milled, ceremonial grade tea, add a bowl, bamboo whisk and whisk stand, and bamboo scoop for a make-your-own matcha gift set.
$80. Order online or purchase in store at 224 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-321-8215, northeastteahouse.com.
Cocktail classes from Jester Concepts
The cocktail-forward restaurants from Jester Concepts (Constantine, P.S. Steak, Parlour Minneapolis and Parlour St. Paul) all share their behind-the-bar wisdom at monthly cocktail classes with their mixologists. Coming up in January, P.S. Steak is examining American whiskey and Constantine mixes up rum drinks. Enjoy half-portion cocktails, a history lesson and some bites.
Jerky of the Month Club from the Herbivorous Butcher
Get your favorite vegan a gift they can really chew on. Minneapolis' groundbreaking vegan butcher shop, the Herbivorous Butcher, offers a meatless jerky subscription, which sends subscribers 6 ounces of two mystery jerky flavors per month. (Note: the jerky does contain wheat and soy.) Nationwide shipping costs included.
$30/month for one, three or 12 months. Order online or purchase in-store at 507 1st Av. NE., Mpls., 612-208-0992, theherbivorousbutcher.com.
Gift basket from the Shop at Khâluna
Chef Ann Ahmed's restaurant Khâluna is home to a jewel of a shop filled with Southeast Asian wares and foods. Even the baskets are special in the gift sets; they are hand-woven by a village artisan in Ahmed's home country of Laos. The baskets are customizable, with a wide selection of kitchen items available, including a teakwood spoon and spatula, smoked bamboo basket and hand-turned bowl by local artist Adam Croft.
Prices vary; purchase in-store, 4000 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. (market entrance on W. 40th Street), 612-345-5199, khaluna.com.
Spritz kits from Surdyk's
Pick up everything you need for some easy-drinking spritzes with Surdyk's curated spritz cocktail kits. Go traditional with the Aperol Spritz (prosecco and Aperol aperitif) or floral with the St. Elder Spritz (cava and elderflower liqueur). Or enjoy a spirit-free alternative, with Wilfred's Aperitivo and tonic.
$30-$35. Purchase in-store at 303 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-379-3232, surdyks.com.
Joy Summers, Rick Nelson and Nicole Hvidsten contributed to this gift guide.