The tried and true way of spreading holiday cheer involves just three easy steps, not necessarily (but preferably) performed all at once: smile, hug, share a thoughtful gift. Seems pretty doable right? Truly, the the trickiest part is nailing that whole “thoughtful” factor. What makes a gift thoughtful? At PF3, we like to think a thoughtful gift is a gift that celebrates the lifestyle and individuality of a person. Practical + unique = happy gift recipient. The equation seems simple but it’s not always easy to get it right which is why we’re pleased to share these prime gifting options that support a variety of local sectors. Can you think of anything we missed?
CSA memberships are gifts that truly keep on giving. Find a local membership and sign up someone special in your life. They’ll be reminded of your thoughtfulness every time they enjoy their weekly box of local goods and they’ll be eternally grateful for the health boost. Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, Kneehigh Farm, and Taproot Farm offer CSA pick-up spots in the Philly area but feel free to explore this 2016 directory from Be Well Philly for more options.
Do you have that one friend who’s in love with exploring the newest options of their local dining scene? From head to tail tacos and house-made gnocchi to contemporary PA Dutch and a classic soup sandwich combo, celebrating the talents of local culinary all-stars is their jam. Surprise the locavore in your life with a gift certificate to one of the area’s standout eateries. Talula’s Garden is always a dreamy food experience and Urban Farmer is sure to satisfy with local cheese selections sourced exclusively from Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market. The locally sourced, rustic but edgy cuisine at High Street on Market will not disappoint and you can’t go wrong when choosing Philly Style Bagels, who’s Classic Lox Sandwich was recently placed at the top of Bon Appetit’s “5 Best Sandwiches In America” list. Lastly, there’s always room for dessert when you choose local ice cream to cap the meal. Little Baby’s small batch, super premium selections are sure to please and Weckerly’s new Scoop Shop is officially open, which would make for an extra sweet food excursion. No matter where you choose, grab the check of course.
This is not only a way to get unique – there are so many locally roasted beans available – but it’s often a practical, smile inducing gift. For many, coffee is a crucial element for revving them up to take on professional and personal tasks. For others, it’s the perfect dessert or a must-have “accessory” in their reading nook. Regardless of where, when or how they enjoy it, there’s a roast for everyone. Rival Bros Coffee Roasters, ReAnimator Coffee Roasters, La Colombe, One Village Coffee, and Backyard Beans Coffee Company are a few top notch artisans to consider. Insider tip: snag a bag from each and create a custom coffee basket.
There are meat eaters and then there are meat appreciators. What do you gift the person in your life who is clearly head over heels for a mouthwatering and sustainably-minded meat experience? Primal Meats butcher club is a true gem among meat membership clubs. If you’re still interested in thoughtful but maybe not ready to go as big as a membership, consider a gift certificate to Kensington Quarters, La Divisa Meats in Reading Terminal Market, or Wyebrook Farm. Your lucky gift recipient can stock up on goods of their liking or use it toward an event.
Holiday cheer is just not the same if there is nothing to cheers with. If you have that someone in your life who appreciates pairing life’s special moments with a libation or two, there are plenty of local beers, wines, ciders and spirits to put a smile on their face and a craft drink in their glass. Subarashii Kudamono offers a unique pear wine that would pleasantly surprise. Bluebird Distilling and Manatawny Still Works craft fine local spirits that can be purchased in-house or at the occasional PA Wine & Spirits store. As for craft beer, Philadelphia is overflowing with options. Sly Fox is a solid go-to for classic styles with a craft twist. Tired Hands will always be in a category of their own, know for microbrews with varieties of depth and originality. And when you can’t pick just one local brewer, a mix of six local sips from your nearest bottle shop is fail proof.
Craig LaBan recently admitted “cheesemaking around Philadelphia has progressed so dramatically I could not find a platter big enough to hold all my current favorites”. In other words, it’s the perfect time to give the gift de fromage. Most of the cheeses on Mr. LaBan’s list can be purchased from the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market, 7 days/week. The cheese lover in your life will absolutely swoon over a membership to Collective Creamery, seasonal artisan cheese shares brought to you by Birchrun Hills Farm and Valley Milkhouse. They have gift boxes, too! Yellow Springs Farm is another standout cheese maker in the area and they offer several gift options online. Plus, Chester County-based The Farm at Doe Run recently returned from the 2016 World Cheese Awards with two golds so you can’t go wrong gifting their cheese. And if you happen to need more ideas and inspiration Madame Fromage’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide should do the trick.
We didn’t forget about the person who adores local food culture and perhaps already filled their life with farm memberships and a local-inspired dining routine. Their pantry is always overflowing with the area’s best breads, meats, and cheeses but we’re certain they’d be pleasantly surprised to receive seeds from Happy Cat Farm, setting the gift recipient up for a fun and sustainable grow-your-own experience. If they’re not growers? Spring for a gift from some of Philadelphia’s most talented craftsmen and makers. Peg and Awl have a gift guide on their site to simplify your search. All of their items are built from salvaged material with utmost care and creative eyes. The mugs from Felt+Fat are pure perfection and would also likely be adored by any gift recipient.
Know someone who loves a little bit of everything or just can’t put your finger on it at the moment? The Philly Farm & Food Fest ticket is a perfect option that covers all grounds. Currently going for $15 as the Early Bird Discount, PF3 tickets are screaming this year’s “it gift”. Seriously, no bias whatsoever.
More Ideas & Inspiration
If this roundup didn’t set off any light bulbs, here are a few of our favorite gift guides for further inspiration.
Good luck and happy holidays!