Stores have been filled with holiday cheer for months, but it can be hard to summon that shopping spirit amidst palm trees and balmy breezes. Nonetheless, the holidays are quickly approaching, and it’s time to shop. For the discerning eaters on your gift list, consider a gourmet food basket. Skip the premade variety and tailor one to your recipients’ tastes with goods made in Naples. Here are a few ideas.
The Farm Stand at Naples Canning Co. could well be your only stop if you’re shopping for locally made jams, pickles, salsa, and mustards; hand-forged cast-iron cookware; or handmade pottery for cooking and entertaining. And let’s not forget the canning company’s bestseller: pimento cheese made from aged sharp white cheddar and piquant peppadews (for local giving only as it’s perishable). Another popular item is chef/owner David McCone’s strawberry and rose jam, which contains rose petals and local strawberries. McCone says he sources as much produce as possible from area growers, such as Inyoni Organic Farm and 12 Seasons Farm.
“We use no pectin and low sugar,” McCone notes. “We reduce it down so it’s delicious, clean, and really great.” The Farm Stand storefront is on Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs, but McCone and his canned goods also are regulars at the Third Street Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.
Amber’s Chocolate Chip Cookies are the perfect gift for the cookie lovers in your life. As the name of the company suggests, baker Amber Hill’s specialty is chocolate chip cookies. Customers may choose between the original 4-ounce cookies (sold individually or by the dozen) or a smaller-size cookie. Cookies are available for pick up, though Hill does deliver these tasty treats to Naples locations.
For those furry friends who deliver nonstop unconditional love, Top Dog Kitchen offers something they can really sink their teeth into: crunchy dehydrated meat treats. Owner/baker Juan Padilla sells single-ingredient treats, such as lamb-, turkey-, pork-, or beef-based treats. “I don’t use sugars, and they’re gluten-free,” Padilla says, adding that his French bulldog, Louis, faithfully tests all but the chicken products to which he’s allergic. “I use the best meat,” relates Padilla. Top Dog Kitchen treats are available online and can be found at Seed to Table and at local farmers markets in Naples and Marco Island.