With Hanukkah upon us and Christmas less than a week away, we thought it was a great time to share local gift ideas.
Local businesses are seeing an increase in demand for locally made gifts. That “Buy Local” attitude is, of course, something we’re happy to see and help with.
So, take a look at some of our ideas — new and revisited from last year’s guide — and feel free to share your own suggestions. Happy shopping!
POMEGRANATE WINE: Twin Pomegranates is a Fresno-based wine co-created by twin brothers Nick and Brian Davis that incorporates locally grown Wonderful pomegranates into its wine. The Fresno company wines are tasty, and look festive too. You can find it at these stores. Local farm Simonian Farms is also selling its pomegranate wine made in the Central Valley ($14.99). You can try before you buy since this is the first holiday season the store at 2629 S. Clovis Ave. is offering wine tasting. While you’re there you can add locally made jams, honey, nuts and produce to your gift.
SUPPORT A LOCAL CAUSE: These graphic T-shirts for I Bike Fresno look great and support a good cause: Making Fresno a more bike-safe and friendly city. You can also snag cute bike lights for $10, the perfect stocking-stuffer for anyone with a bicycle.
GIVE CREATIVE FRESNO: Buy someone an annual membership for Creative Fresno. Stay with me here. It’s not exactly like getting someone a library card. Not only does a Creative Fresno membership support a local organization that’s working to make Fresno cooler, members also get discounts from local businesses (like Dusty Buns, Fulton 55, etc.) and get access to special members-only events.
THE FRESNO NECKLACE: Know someone who love Fresno enough to put it around their neck? Then this Fresno necklace from local designer Alexa Westerfield oughta be a hit. You can get it Tweet Boutique (more on them below) for $22.
P*DE*Q: Some people might know P*DE*Q from its recently opened cafe space near Fresno High, but these makers of cheesy Brazilian bread also sell frozen bags that you can bake yourself. Good for a gift or to bring to that holiday party.
SKYWALK: Skywalk — the trampoline arena along Highway 41 in Fresdera — is one of the coolest new recreational spots in town. So why not give the gift of flight? Get a jump-happy kid a “frequent flyer” pass ($75) or just a few one-hour passes.
THE HANDY HAMPER: Here’s one from the “It Came from Fresno” file — The Handy Hamper. It’s a combination laundry hamper and garment bag. It was invented by local guy Steve Berglund, the owner of Mastercraft Solvent Free Dry Cleaning.
KIDDIEPASS: Got friends with rugrats? Locally owned KiddiePass is a
membership card that gives families with children under 12 a free kid’s
meal at participating restaurants, as long as Mom or Dad buy a regularly
priced entree. KiddiePass cards range from $39 to $79 and can be used at
places like Cool Hand Luke’s, Logan’s Roadhouse and Qdoba Mexican Grill.
THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER: The Beehive’s SW Parra just published a book of some of his drawings, with captions by some known Beehive contributors. “Pinot Envy” (Amazon, $9.99) includes 33 drawings similar to the “Caption This” feature he creates here. The drawings in “Pinot Envy” were posted on Facebook.
Here’s a recap of some of our 2010 gift suggestions:
BIRDSTONE WINERY: If you’re looking for a gift that gives back to the community, head to Birdstone Winery in Madera for a bottle of Alegria Reserve Chardonnay or Dolcetto, both of which benefit the Alegria Guild of Children’s Hospital Central California. Can’t get much better than buying alcohol in the name of charity!
TWEE BOUTIQUE & GALLERY: Don’t know what you’re looking for? Then head to the cutest little shop in town selling hand-made goods. It’s called Twee, and it’s full of fun, quirky and original gift ideas, many of which are made by local folks. You know those Fresno-themed buttons that you’ve seen people wearing all over town? Well, you can get those here and stick them in someone’s stocking. Twee also carries everything from stationary to stuff for your dog.
E13CTRON iPHONE CASES: If you’re shopping for someone tethered to his/her iPhone, consider the aluminum E13ctron case made for iPhone 4 and 4S. They’re manufactured here in Fresno, but are already being sold internationally. Industrial-looking and sturdy, the cases are made from the same aluminum used in the aerospace industry. They also get cool points for coming in various colors and offering plenty of customization options.
BISCOTTI HOUSE: Give a package of treats from the Biscotti House in Clovis. Besides a variety of biscotti, they have candies, gift baskets and cakes. Just walking into the little shop on Clovis Avenue will make your mouth water because it smells so good from all the baking going on in the back of the shop.
PILLOROO: A Pilloroo is a pillow with a pouch, perfect for hiding any illicit things you might need to keep close to you while in bed. Okay, okay — they’re more for kids and toys and stuffed animals and innocent stuff like that, but this is the Beehive, so ya never know. Pillorroos are made by a local company, come in various designs and are available both online and in local shops.
CREATIVE CAKES & MORE: Give the gift of decorating classes from Creative Cakes & More on Ashlan Avenue near Willow Avenue. It’s creative and fun, and just think of the great treats you might get in return.
RIVER PARKWAY BOOK: The book “Take Me to the River” is a fascinating local read. This collection of 33 transcribed memoirs is culled from filmed interviews over the last 10 years. The mother/daughter team of Coke and Joell Hallowell asked people with deep connections to the San Joaquin, “What was your life like along the river?” Fishermen, miners, immigrants, Native Americans, hunters, farmers and environmentalists are all represented. The book can be purchased at the San Joaquin River Parkway headquarters and online at Heyday Books. You also can take a look at the film produced for the project:
BOUQUET OF FRUITS: Get local eats at this Bullard and West shop, best known for its combinations of chocolate and fruit. Think chocolate-dipped clementine oranges and giant Fuji apples, as well as champagne-fig truffles. Bouquet of Fruits also sells items such as sweet red pepper jam from Top of the Hill Produce in Reedley, salami from Busseto Foods in Fresno, organic almond butter from Braga Organic Farms in Madera and biscotti from Hottie Biscotti in Firebaugh.
CAFE CORAZON: Got a java fiend on your shopping list? Skip the chain coffee slingers and head to CafÃ© CorazÃ³n in the Tower District, which freshly roasts various flavors of coffee beans. Get a bag of beans and let your loved one play barista at home.