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I live in a small town where tourism is a large industry. I do not work in tourism, but there are some major upsides which benefit me, like having over a dozen restaurants and bars which manage to stay open due to the out of town customers. Due to the tourism town aspect, making local gift baskets can be quite easy. That said, most towns and cities can offer up lots of great things that you can use when making local gift baskets.
I have to give full credit for this post idea to my spouse, who decided to put together a local gift baskets as Christmas presents for some of our friends!
Who to Give Them To
Local goods tend to be premium or luxury items, not mass produced things that you can pick up off the shelves of Walmart. They can also be something unique to your town, region or country, perhaps chocolate covered chips or dulce de leche. A common local gift basket item is coffee from a local roaster.
When they are luxury goods, people who live in the area often don’t purchase them regularly, due to the cost. If they are goods from a larger city, it might be too long of a drive to justify in order to get some gourmet mustard, so people do not get to have it very often. Thus, locals can be very appreciative of local gift baskets. I live in a small town, where a lot of local items are luxury goods, so locals appreciate the opportunity to have some of the fancy goods which are produced here.
If you have out of town or overseas friends you are going to visit, local gift baskets are a great way to go. If you work in an industry where you gifts to clients, such as real estate or financial planning, local gift baskets are a fantastic way to say thank you!
Content Selection Tips
There are so many different themes you can draw on for local gift baskets. I recommend trying to include at least one thing that is permanent or has longevity, such as a coffee mug by a local potter, a woven basket or a woodworking bowl. Galleries, artist studios and artist co-ops are a fantastic place to start. You can often also find handmade soaps, lotions and jewelry made by local artisans.
Next up: Food!! I think this one is my favourite. There are so many things to pick from, such as cheese, wine, chocolate, mustard, vinegar, dips and sauces, coffee, local meats, beef jerky, cupcakes, etc. etc. etc! You can also just wander around the farmer’s market, picking up produce that can be combined into a basket!
Another thing that you can add is a gift certificate for a local coffee shop, breakfast place, or restaurant.
When you are selecting things, think about how they will go together. If you pick up local cheese, add in some gourmet crackers or a loaf of bread from the bakery. Perhaps add in a cheese knife or board, for that touch of longevity. If you buy a pair of pottery coffee mugs, get something to go in them! When you buy foods made locally, often the company will have recipes which incorporate their products as ingredients, to try to pick one up to include.
As an added bonus, when you shop local it encourages diversity in what’s available for sale where you live and diversity in your economy, plus the dollars usually are re-spent locally. Wash, rinse, repeat!
Is there something local that’s unique to where you live?
[Photo – Creative Commons Attribution – gilbert928]