Supporting Small Makers

Small batch may have become a cliche way to describe smaller, more niche, specialty food producers, but I don’t care. Small batch is my jam (literally. … sometimes I buy small batch jam!). I am always someone who is apt to spend a little more to help entrepreneurs sell high-quality products and turn their visions into reality. Given the times, I’m being bit more selective, and may be buying in less quantities, but I’m still trying to support my favorites!

The great thing about small food producers is that their products don’t just serve for personal consumption, but they also make for great gifts. Know a friend who could use pick-me-up? A family member’s birthday coming up? …still haven’t gotten your mom a Mother’s Day gift? You may not be able to be there for them physically this year, but you can still send a small something that shows you’re thinking of them.

I’ve included a list below of products I particularly enjoy. I would love to hear who you’re supporting and adding them to the list, too!

Bee Raw Honey: this is a New York producer that’s great and could use support during the pandemic. If you couldn’t guess from the pun-ny name, Bee Raw primarily produces honey with a focus on supporting American farms and saving the bees. They also produce teas — a natural complement! I’m on their mailing list and they’ve sent great content and recipes throughout the pandemic. They are even doing virtual Zoom tastings! I admire the creativity. They have quite the variety from different regions of the U.S. to try and you can get it all shipped right to your door.

Bee’s Wrap: OK, Bee’s Wrap doesn’t offer food products, but this might be the single best addition to my kitchen “tool kit” last year. If you enjoy fresh-baked bread, but you hate that it gets stale after two days, the bread wraps are for you. Sustainable, too! Bee’s Wrap is a great replacement for plastic wrap and is reusable.

Brightland Olive Oil: I love the ceramic bottles almost as much as I love this olive oil. Brightland is a California brand, creating olive oil from hand-sourced products. The olive oil industry has a history of corruption (just read this book if you don’t believe me), so it’s no wonder this brand prides itself on being clean, bright and traceable. Their duo is $74 and a perfect way to start, especially since free shipping starts at $60. If you get hooked, they have a subscription!

Bushwick Kitchen: honey, maple syrup and sriracha. Three things you might not typically mix together, but those are the flagship products from Bushwick Kitchen. We tend to keep the sriracha in our house, but I’m sure the other products are just as good.

Bushwick Tea: Bushwick Tea is a maker out of Brooklyn that produces organic, whole leaf artisan teas with slick packaging and names like “K-Town” and “Carroll Gardens” that make it known that these are made in NYC. The top six gift box runs ~$45 and you get a good selection of both caffeinated and decaffeinated varietals.

Heatonist: if you like things hot, you’ll enjoy the Heatonist. As they proclaim, they are purveyors of fine hot sauces, and they have quite the collection. Hot sauces from >35 creators — mix and match, bulk up on your favorites. Go wild!

Hudson Standard: it seems like a lot of people are trying to be their own mixologists these days. Hudson Standard’s shrub and bitters can help. Produced in Hudson, New York, this company makes these small batch mixers from ingredients found in upstate New York. The website provides recipes and how-to videos so you can really up your cocktail game.

Model Bakery: Model Bakery is an acclaimed bakery in Napa Valley that carries, hands down, the best English Muffins I’ve ever tasted. Best of all, they deliver! The bakery carries other tasty treats as well, but, I’m telling you, don’t hit check out until you’ve added those English Muffins to the cart.

Vafels: the wafels from this Boulder-based company have become a staple in my house. Vafel makes authentic Belgian Liege Wafels that are dense and have just the right sweetness. Don’t worry, there’s a gluten-free version, too. The wafels are handmade, organic and made from plant-based ingredients. All the things people want in 2020! If you live in Boulder, you get free delivery. Otherwise, there’s free Nationwide shipping for orders over $50.

Which small producers are your go-tos? I’m always looking for new things to try!