As Valentine’s Day approaches I find myself scouting the internet for original ideas that might mix it up a bit without breaking the bank. Though I am a local devotee I also am a big supporter of cottage industry and would usually opt for something from a unique marketplace. I wanted to share some of my recent finds as well as some proven resources with you. I tried to find things that would be available to most via the internet (even with local sources) and some my fellow locals could visit in brick-and-mortar form. Hope you’ll find some things you like!
Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade, homemade, artisan wears of all sorts including food. I’m always amazed what I find there (including my blog designer Kristen from The Girl Makes Banners). Have an idea you are hunting down? Try Etsy.
Liking bright, sparkly things, this gift set of Cocktail Rimming Sugars immediately struck my fancy. This store, Dell Cove Spices, offers individual sugar colors (there is an aqua blue that is divine), large sets and many price point options. I also found this charming Gourmet Popcorn Spice perfect for Valentine’s Day in a variety of sizes and prices. Valentine’s delivery order date: February 8 for regular mail and February 11 for Priority Mail.
I have a personal connection to Burwell General Store. Christanna , the proprietor also started the monthly vintage recipe swap I participate in. She has many connections into the food world personally and professionally, and her taste is impeccable (culinary and aesthetics). Her store is offering a heart shaped Chocolate Chip Quick Bread that comes with a heart shaped baking pan (one use). Pair it with her Chipotle Hot Cocoa with homemade Heart Marshmallow and you have a beautiful, delicious gift. Valentine’s delivery order date:February 6.
I discovered Beach House Living a few years ago and was immediately charmed by the hand stamped vintage silverware. I have a spoon myself and love it. Rita has expanded her offerings to include new stamped flatware as well for those who might prefer that bright, shiny look over vintage. She has a few themes and unique adaptations for wine bottle labels, garden markers, inspirational sayings and weddings. Valentine’s delivery order date: Since all pieces are custom made, to ensure Valentines’ Day delivery you’d want to check her shipping time frames directly with her.
It’s often the details that make an occasion fun and festive. I was delighted to discover Sophies Big Day on Pinterest before the holidays and placed an immediate order. Nicole carries vintage style paper straws that are thick and robust and will even create banners to go with them. She has a cheery selection of baking and treat cups, treat bags, colorful twine. Right now there are several Valentine’s Day options but she is a great year round resource. Valentine’s delivery order date: February 8 with Priority Mail.
Though this is not a food or drink related gift I had to pass along this t-shirt and tote bag artist. I don’t recall how I ambled upon Look For Fiddleheads but have a number of t-shirts and tote bags being completely mad for the graphics of their design. They are playful, unique, and architectural but smacking of old school typeset designs. And Lee, the artist, is the most positive, creative soul I think I’ve ever encountered. You must check this store out. Valentine’s delivery order date: February 8.
After sharing these decorated shortbread cookies from Loris Place I’ve gotten so many emails about them. I have one reader who I feel sure has shared them with every relative and friend in her address book to their delight. Lori’s range is vast and themes fantastic. She has traditional Valentine’s Day colors and some unique designs as well. You must check out her whole line. If there was ever a theme you wanted she’s likely to carry it and her artistry is beyond anything I’ve personally seen on a decorated cookie. Valentine’s delivery order date: February 6 or later if using expedited shipping.
What is the old phrase? A way to man’s heart is through his stomach? I think the way to show anyone love is through food. One can taste love in food and the care that has gone into it regardless of how simple a dish. A wonderful option for those who cook of any skill or gifting for a cook is the Savory Spice Shop. They have spices for any dish, palate and every culinary genre. I perused there gift set lists and found some I thought would be fun for Valentine’s Day.
Lovin’ Spoonful (a collection of flavored sugars), Chili! Chile! (a collection of varied chile seasonings to spice things up) and every ‘Lover’s’ set imaginable (Seafood, Pasta, Curry, Steak and more) They have many stores but one can order online as well. Their quality and assistance cannot be beat.
For those who want to make something for their Valentine, I think these Jam filled Heart Cookies are the sweetest! The recipe is featured on a ‘must read’ (local) blog, Two Tarts. Sarah and Dulcie, two recently relocated-to-Colorado friends began the blog almost a year ago this month. It is a beautiful blog. Their recipes are inspired with unique, sophisticated flavor profiles yet are completely doable for any home cook. Their photos are fantastic and the clean design of their site is welcoming and hip. Click here for their recipe.
Robin Chocolate heart truffles: Rose Caramel, Rosemary Caramel, Raspberry, Lavender
I could not do a Valentine’s Day gift idea post without including Robin Chocolates, one whom I’ve written about before. Robin produces exceptional truffles and chocolate confections of a caliber expect to find in any urban culinary corridor, though we are lucky to call her local. I’m impulsive when I have a vision so when I decided I was ready to take some photos on a Sunday and Robin’s new store was not open, I headed to Pearl Street to buy some of her chocolates at the relatively new Piece, Love and Chocolate. I now believe the Chocolate Gods were guiding me as I discovered the Valentine’s mother lode. This completely charming boutique a few blocks west of the walking mall on Pearl Street offers every aspect of chocolate you’d imagine and in the most tasteful way.
I found beautiful vintage designed chocolate bars, several Valentine’s gift ideas (non-chocolate); exotic offerings from around the world, a dedicated collection of Colorado local confectioners of every sort (love that) and even chocolate-flavored pasta. They custom create gorgeous heart boxes of chocolate from their extensive truffle counter. They are also a bakery and I sampled the most delicious Gluten-Free Chocolate Ganache filled cupcake ever. Truly out of this world. The store offers different classes even some sexy chocolate classes for couples. It is a ‘don’t miss it’. If you have a chocolate craving, no question, this is your place. You can also pop by the card store next door for a unique Valentine too! Piece, Love and Chocolate does not ship sadly though Robin Chocolates does!
Photos from the Etsy artisans and Two Tarts are being used with written permission.