This year hasn’t been easy on anyone, but small and independently owned restaurants were hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. For gift givers, it’s a great time to look local when shopping for those foodies in our lives. Most local restaurants sell gift certificates, which is a great way to support the businesses, and many bars and breweries do as well. The Tampa Bay area is also home to plenty of local shops selling great food-themed gifts. From coffee bars to local distilleries and specialty food stores, there’s no reason not to shop local this holiday season.
For those who want a (coffee) buzz
Give the gift of caffeine with Buddy Brew Coffee gift packages, which include the Wayfarer ($85) for traveling coffee fans and comes with an AeroPress coffee maker, Klean Kanteen and a 12-ounce bag of coffee. (Most packages include the Buddy’s Holiday Roast.) For the fancy coffee aficionado, the Chemex Enthusiast ($155) includes a Chemex coffee maker, filters, a Fellow kettle and a 12-ounce bag of coffee. On the cheaper side and right in time for cooler weather, the Triple Threat gift set ($45) includes a diner mug, a 12-ounce bag of Buddy’s Holiday Roast and a pair of cozy cotton-knit Buddy Brew socks.
For those looking for a steady and reliable caffeine fix in their lives, the subscription services at Bandit Coffee Co. include a weekly coffee delivery ($18 a week) that sends a 10-ounce bag of coffee straight to your door. The local cafe also sells a variety of natural wines, coffee merchandise and homemade syrups.
2662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-201-9140.
Kahwa Coffee Roasters is selling a variety of holiday gift packages online, including the Bestseller 3-pack ($36.99), which includes a bag each of the Sirocco, Cubano and Organica Colombia blends, and the Cold Brew Bundle ($29.99), which features a Kahwa pitcher, two boxes of cold brew pods and a reusable silicone straw.
For the farm-to-table foodie
Support a local farm and give the gift of fresh produce by purchasing a subscription to a community-supported agriculture box or farm membership. Clearwater’s Life Farms will offer a five-week trial box starting in January for $125 and a separate, all-greens box for the same price. Worden Farm in Punta Gorda offers monthly veggie boxes with weekly pickups at the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg for $100. Little Pond Farm in Sumter County is selling e-gift cards online that can go toward any of their weekly veggie box pickups at the Saturday Morning Market. And a premium membership at St. Petersburg’s Brick Street Farms ($29 per month) includes 10 percent off market purchases, unlimited reverse osmosis water and a monthly discovery gift package that includes a selection of food and health-based products. Here’s to eating healthier in the New Year. 2233 Third Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 329-6608.
For wine lovers
Give the gift of travel without having to leave your couch with MUST Wine Loft’s Learning to Flight virtual tasting packages. Every Wednesday the St. Petersburg wine bar’s sommelier Jessika Arkwright and chef Raymond Cotteret lead a wine tasting on Facebook Live where guests can sample along with preordered “Flight Kits,” which include 8-ounce tastings of four different wines from different regions of the world plus a selection of cheese and charcuterie. Flight kits are packed for two ($60) and for six ($150) — no passport required. The bar and wine shop also sells customized gift baskets ($95), which include a selection of two wines, two cheeses, dry-cured salami, almonds or olives, crackers and other accoutrements.
442 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-289-6418.
Holiday wine two-packs from Cru Cellars include a California cabernet duo ($50), which features two of the most popular cabs on the Palma Ceia wine shop and restaurant’s menu: a cabernet from Broken Earth Winery in Paso Robles and the Silver Ghost from Napa Valley. For natural wine oenophiles, the natural wine two-pack, also $50, includes the Love Red blend from Broc Cellars and the Ramato Pinot Gris, from the Donkey & Goat Winery.
Throughout the pandemic, the shop has been selling “survival” cases to help get folks through quarantine. They feature a selection of 12 bottles — bubbles, reds and whites — for $140. They’ve been rebranded as holiday survival cases, but would still make a great starter gift for the New Year. After all, who knows what 2021 will bring?
2506 S MacDill Ave., Tampa. 813-831-1117.
For brewery fans
Like restaurants, local breweries were hit hard by the pandemic and ensuing shutdowns. Many of them sell gift cards, which make for great stocking stuffers or last-minute presents. (And really, who turns down an open tab?) Most breweries also sell branded gifts, and stocking up on brewery merchandise can be a great way to support your favorite locale. Tampa’s Angry Chair Brewing is selling stuff like Christmas mugs ($12) and bandannas ($12). Dunedin’s Caledonia Brewing sells clothing like women’s sugar skull unicorn tank tops ($18.69) and gift boxes, which include a pint glass, sticker, pint cookie and a gift certificate for a free beer inside a metal Caledonia lunch box ($28.04). St. Petersburg’s Green Bench Brewing sells everything from T-shirts ($20) to hats ($25) to dog collars ($20).
Angry Chair Brewing: 6401 N Florida Ave., Tampa. 813-238-1122.
Caledonia Brewing: 587 Main St., Dunedin. 727-351-5105.
Green Bench Brewing: 1133 Baum Ave N, St. Petersburg. 727-800-9836.
For the literary foodie
Get a sampling of some of St. Petersburg’s most popular chef’s kitchen secrets with the St. Pete Eats cookbook ($20), which was published earlier this year and is about to release a second printing, right in time for the holidays. The book was compiled and written by Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin and includes a collection of health-focused recipes from well-known restaurants including Red Mesa, Dr. BBQ, Trophy Fish, the Library and La V. Proceeds from the sale of the cookbook go to St. Petersburg’s Fighting Chance Fund, which provides grants to local and independently owned restaurants that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
For vegan home bakers, Curious Cat Bakery founder Natalia Lima’s recently released e-book Great British Baking Show Vegan Challenge Cookbook ($9.99) includes 10 vegan riffs on some of the most popular recipes from Season 11 of the hit show — from a vegan version of Paul Hollywood’s pineapple upside-down mini cakes to Laura’s cheese and onion cornish pastry to Peter’s key lime mini cheesecakes. There’s also a book that plays off Season 10 recipes ($9.99). Neither book is authorized or in any way affiliated with the series.
For the home cook
At Gracie Pasta & Provisions in Pass-a-Grille and St. Petersburg, guests can design their own gift box set at any price range. The curated gift boxes are filled with both local and international goodies, like La Panzanella crackers, Valencia almonds with smoked paprika, cookies, assorted charcuterie and cheeses, Italian sodas, wines, gourmet hot cocoa and high-end trail mix assortments. The gift baskets are 10 percent off if ordered before Dec. 31. For last-minute presents, the store also sells loaves of freshly baked bread and handmade pastas and sauces from chef Giuseppe De Lorenzo.
116 Eighth Ave., Pass-a-Grille; 1431 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-317-4777.
At Kalamazoo Olive Co., the St. Petersburg olive oil tasting room and store stocks gourmet oils and vinegars from all over the world. A selection of five different oils, vinegars and a copy of the At the Table cookbook by Andrea Messina is $125. Mini samplers of six different olive oils ($36) or four ($24) make for good stocking stuffers. There’s also a Bloody Mary gift box, which includes all the fixings for the cocktail (except the vodka) like Bloody Mary mix, olives, salami and crackers ($55). The store also stocks a full selection of olive wood cutting boards, spatulas, spoons and various serving bowls, all of which can be added to any customized basket.
1008 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-258-4925.
For heat fiends and barbecue aficionados, Spiceman’s Kitchen in Tarpon Springs is the place to go. The local shop, on the west end of the Sponge Docks on Dodecanese Boulevard, stocks more than 300 different hot sauces as well as barbecue spice rubs, glazes, pepper jellies and spreads. The selection includes a wide array of international, national and Florida products, like Terrapin Ridge farms hot pepper bacon jam and Gator Hammock gator sauces. Customized gift baskets can be made with anything the store stocks.
815 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs. 727-945-7101.
For the studious foodie
While in-person classes and tastings have been curbed, there are still some places offering in-person tasting seminars and classes in the New Year. St. Petersburg’s Urban Stillhouse is offering interactive classes by private appointment ($50 per person), which include a flight of Horse Soldier bourbon and a charcuterie board. The courses are held in the distillery’s tasting room and include a primer on the tasting process as well as a rundown of the history of bourbon in the United States.
2232 Fifth Ave S, St. Petersburg. 727-440-8040.
For the meat lovers out there, the Boozy Pig in Tampa hosts regular butchering tutorials that include classes on half hog butchering, beef butchering, plus a hands-on chicken workshop and a sausage-making classes, among others. Though no dates for 2021 have been announced yet, there will be courses offered each month and they can be paid for using gift cards. Currently, guests get $10 for every $50 gift card purchase. The butcher and restaurant is also selling curated gift sets with charcuterie and other foodie accoutrements from the shop.
3255 W Cypress St., Tampa. 813-488-5333.