Still Need Ideas for Holiday Gifts? Think Local!

Still can’t find that perfect gift for your friends, family or coworkers? Charleston Scene did a great round-up of local food-related gifts, as well as Post & Courier.

Christophe Artisan Chocolatier: They truly look too good to eat, but go ahead, the chocolate is luscious. Christophe is turning out hand-painted nutcrackers and soldiers, elegant candles, dazzling ornaments, so-cute snowmen and bears, jolly Santas and glittery Christmas trees. Certain ones hold chocolate-covered almonds inside. There’s a range of sizes and prices, $3.95 to $49.85. Order by phone at 297-8674, at or in person at 363½ King St. or 357 N. Shelmore Blvd. in I’On Village, Mount Pleasant.

Charleston Coffee Roasters: Premium Arabica beans have been selected from around the globe, then hand-roasted slowly in small batches. From that, Charleston Coffee Roasters is able to offer 50 different whole-bean coffees, both single-origin and blends. The Holiday Blend here is full-bodied, rich and smooth with a whisper of an almost chocolate taste on the finish. Find the coffees at Piggly Wiggly, Harris Teeter, Earth Fare, Whole Foods, specialty shops and even Costco. Or, drop by their building at 289 Huger St., Charleston, or visit About $10 for a 12-ounce bag. Plus, for every pound sold on its website, $1 will be donated to the Sea Turtle Hospital at the S.C. Aquarium.

Giddy Goat Cheese: Creamy, handmade goat cheeses come four ways: pure, salt-free chevre; pimento; cracked green pepper and sea salt; and a sweet crystallized ginger. They’re perfect for hors d’oeuvres, snack attacks or any other inventions. Find them at specialty markets and a few larger stores such as Whole Foods, where an 8-ounce container is $9.99. Visit for more info.

Amelia Clare’s Cake Truffles: With cake balls or pops all the rage, baker Amy Bearden decided to up the ante by adding interesting new flavors to the cake-and-icing orbs: chocolate raspberry, marble peppermint, Italian cream and coconut, all decoratively iced in dark or white chocolate. She’s toying with other fresh combinations as well. She crowned her version “Cake Truffles.” They’re priced at $2.50 apiece or $27 a dozen including a gift box.Visit the bake shop at 1804 Meadowlawn Drive west of the Ashley or online at Orders may be e-mailed to [email protected] or placed by phone at 225-2253. Call first to check flavor availability and also for large orders.

Charleston Chops: A cutting surface is your palette in the kitchen, so Charleston Chops wants to ensure it gets due respect. Father-and-daughter team Jim and Sarah Jacobs earlier this year launched a sustainable line of cutting boards, butcher blocks and kitchen work tables produced in the Lowcountry. Products are made using only three wood types — sapele, maple and cherry — and are offered in a range of styles and features. The family-owned company has been operating since 1979.Cutting boards start at $42. Visit or call 744-0016.

YesUMay: A new bakery makes cookies with panache. Here, you’ll find sea salt-sprinkled toffee and chocolate cookies as well as oatmeal, apple and butterscotch. There are eight regular flavors and a few holiday specials. Each sizable cookie is $2, a dozen is $21 and so on. Minis are available, too, as well as gift boxes. YesUMay is at 280 W. Coleman Blvd., Suite L-I, next to the Southern Belles kids store. Also visit or call 647-6217.

Pawmetto Pet Treats: Dogs and cats love Christmas, too, and face it, they give the gift of themselves every day of the year. What began as the Williamson family making treats for their pet-sitting clients has grown into a business of its own. The all-natural treats, made at a “bone factory” in Columbia, are available at more than 100 retail stores in South Carolina. Flavors for canines are Peanut Butter With Flaxseed, Cheddar Cheese and Wheat-Free, and for felines, Cheddar/Parmesan. Look for the cute cellophane bags with a red ribbon, priced at $5-$6. Visit on the web at

Sweet Tea Bourbon: Firefly Distillery deftly combines two Southern favorites in a spirit perfect for sipping.Handcrafted straight bourbon whiskey from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky is infused with authentic Wadmalaw Island tea and sweetened with Louisiana sugarcane. Liquor stores price the 60-proof, 750ml bottles from $18 to $21. To learn more, visit

Slatherin’ Sauce: Heads up ketchup! The Slather Brand calls its all-natural sauce “the cure for boring food.” A year ago, Johns Island native and country girl Robin Rhea launched her blend of ketchup, pineapple, honey, crushed red pepper, garlic and spices, which is available in original and spicy flavors. Use as a gourmet cooking and finishing sauce on everything from meatloaf to baked brie, even shrimp and grits.Find it at, some Piggly Wiggly stores, Boone Hall Farms and Whole Foods for about $6 for 16 ounces.

Carrie’s Fiery Pimento Cheese: Callie’s Charleston Biscuits, headed by mother-daughter team Callie White and Carrie Morey, has birthed a new line of gourmet products under the “Carrie” name. The first is a spicy pimiento cheese that is handmade in small batches. (Callie’s already offers a tamer, traditional style). In the new mix are shredded cheddar cheese, pimientos, green onions, a “secret” blend of spices as well as a “secret” fiery addition, which promises a spread “as hot as a Charleston summer.” 577-1198 or via e-mail at [email protected]. Sold in two packs of 15 ounces each for $19.90 at or at specialty retailers.

Scales Bloody Mary Mix with lower sodium: Scott and Stephanie Meadows of Mount Pleasant wanted to challenge the notion that cocktail mixes had to be loaded with sugar, carbs and salt to taste good, so they launched a line of their own in 2009. The result was Scales 0 carb, 0 sugar Margarita, Strawberry Daiquiri and Sweet & Sour cocktail mixes. Now they’ve come out with Scales Bloody Mary Mix that boasts 70 percent less sodium than other leading brands. Their formula, which includes Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and sea salt, is so well-spiced that you don’t know any salt is lacking, and there’s no MSG. We compared Scales’ sodium content — 200 mg per 3 ounces — with three other brands and the same quantity: Zing Zang counts 610 mg, Tabasco Extra Spicy has 723 mg and Charleston Mix, 390 mg. Scales Bloody Mary Mix is priced in the $7 range and can be found at retailers including Piggly Wiggly stores, Boone Hall Farms, Newton Farms and soon at Harris Teeter. Visit or call 614-1098.

Dale’s Lowcountry Cuisine: Yes, there is a real Dale, and she has been making homemade stuff for appreciative family and friends for 30-some years. Now her cooking has gone public in the form of Fish Stew, Shrimp Creole and Lowcountry Sauce. Lance and Dale Nilsen of Awendaw made the leap about two years ago when the economy began tanking and Lance’s contracting work began to dry up. So they decided to see if Dale’s cooking was as good as everyone told them it was. “Things got really slow so we decided to put these products on the market and see if they would get rolling,” Lance says. The products come in two sizes, 16- and 32-ounce. The Shrimp Creole and the Lowcountry Sauce are either mild or spicy; the Fish Stew is spicy only. The idea with the sauce is that you may add fresh fish, seafood or sausage to your liking — it’s the same sauce as the creole minus the shrimp. Also, the vegetables are from South Carolina, the shrimp from McClellanville and the catfish from Lake Moultrie. All the products are made a gallon at a time for consistency. Prices range from $6 to $14, depending on the product and amount. Dale’s Lowcountry Cuisine may be found at select Wiggly stores, Boone Hall Farms, Newton Farms and SeeWee Outpost in Awendaw. Also visit

Salted Caramel Crepe Cake: The Charleston Crepe Company is offering this new treat as a limited edition. Company owners Jack and Rachel Byrne have stacked 25 layers of crepe and interspersed them with vanilla pastry cream and homemade caramel. Their crowning touch is a bruleed top finished with a sprinkling of French sea salt. The 10-inch cakes serve 12, are packaged in retro tins and will ship. Each costs $50. For more information or to order, call 573-3458 or e-mail [email protected]. Local pickup is available by arrangement.

Still need gift suggestions? Check out Charleston Scene’s Shopping Local series (The Penisula, East Cooper, West Ashley & The Islands and The North Area)

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