The holiday season is officially here and so is my annual Holiday Gift Guide is back for 2021!
Every year, I curate a list of local products that would make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones. I have tried (and use!) all of these products from various food, drink and home decor categories, so you know that they are high-quality and well worth the money! I aim to exclusively include locally made products in my Holiday Gift Guide since it aligns with my philosophy of buying local and supporting local businesses and the local economy. For my Holiday Gift Guide 2020, I’ve kept it super local– all of these products are made on Vancouver Island or the Lower Mainland!
Check out these amazing products and pick them up for your family, friends, or even yourself this holiday season! Plus, scroll down to the bottom of this post to see how you could win ALL of these items included in my Holiday Gift Guide for 2021 (worth $250+)!
Island Eko Pantry Ginger Miso & All-Purpose Gochujang
Of course we are starting off my Holiday Gift Guide with a food item, and this Ginger Miso and All-Purpose Gochujang from Island Eko Pantry had to be a part of my local gift guide this year. I discovered Island Eko Pantry at the Esquimalt Farmers Market this year and fell in love with their locally made miso and gochujang products. I have a TON of recipes that feature gochujang on my blog (and will have some miso ones coming soon!), and being able to use a locally made gochujang and miso paste is a dream come true!
Gochujang is a spicy and sweet fermented Korean chili paste that goes great on just about everything from chicken to vegetables. I really enjoy the All-Purpose Gochujang since it has incredible, well-rounded flavour with a bit of a spicy kick! The Ginger Miso is also a favourite of mine, especially for the winter months as the ginger flavour is so warming in many recipes. I love adding this to roasted chicken with some butter as well as to hearty soups such as butternut squash soup to add a gingery kick! There is also a bit of local honey in the Ginger Miso to make it sweet, which is such a delicious flavour combination!
You can feel good about buying Island Eko Pantry products since they make their ferments with local and organic ingredients whenever possible and they have a range of gluten free and vegan products available.
Old Soul Jam Co.
For those foodies with a bit of a sweet tooth, Old Soul Jam Co. is the perfect place to pick up some delicious locally made jams as a gift this holiday season. Old Soul Jam Co. has been around since 2019 creating local and artisan jams, spreads and pickles right here in Victoria, BC. There is always something new and fun to try from Old Soul Jam Co. since they cook with the seasons, sourcing the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables available.
I particularly love their Blackberry Honey Lavender Jam since it is has the perfect amount of sweetness and a light note of lavender. Sometimes, lavender can be a bit bit overpowering, but they have nailed this recipe with the perfect amount. This jam is great on toast, but is also delicious in cocktails! I like to mix a teaspoon of this jam into Gin & Tonics or mix it in with sparkling wine to give it some fruity flavour. I highly recommend trying out the gin and tonic recipe with Victoria Distillers Empress 1908 Gin…it’s such a great favour combination! And of course, their Cranberry Sauce is perfect for the holiday season. Top this on your festive turkey or ham, and you are good to go for the holidays!
Cordova Candle Co. Candles
You know that this Holiday Gift Guide would not be complete without a candle! This year, I discovered Cordova Candle Co. that hand-pours soy wax candles right here in Victoria, BC. Not only are these candles locally made, they also have “local” hometown scents that were developed for different parts of the city. From Fernwood to Saanich to Sidney and Sooke, you can have your very own neighbourhood-scented candle!
Cordova Candle Co. also carries other scent collections, including seasonal scents as part of their Four Seasons and Summer collections, as well as global scents as part of their Around the World collection. You are guaranteed to find a scent that is perfect for your loved one…and for you of course! And if you can’t decide on one candle, you also have the option to try out multiple candles through their gift sets!
My favourite scent has to be Tall Trees since it smells like the forest and is a great scent to use year-round in your home! It is also perfect for the holiday season as it does have notes of pine, cedar, and woodsmoke and smells like a fresh Christmas tree. I also adore Winter for the holiday season as it has festive cranberry, frosted juniper, and pine!
Linen Tea Towels
Tea towels are the perfect gift for that person who loves to cook, as they always have a need for more tea towels! I have recently transitioned to purchase linen tea towels recently, as I love the texture and how they feel as they soften up over time. I also love that they are made from natural linen, making them a more sustainable option for your kitchen.
West Coast Kitchen Garden has a great selection of linen tea towels (and matching sets of napkins and tablecloths!), but I particularly love this beautiful Chambray colour. I think it is so bright and refreshing for the upcoming spring and summer months. Anyone would be happy to receive this set of tea towels as a gift this holiday season!
Be sure to check out other kitchenwares, home products, eco-products, and specially curated vintage items from West Coast Kitchen Garden that will make more amazing holiday gifts!
Honey Tobacco Bath Soak
Would my Holiday Gift Guide be complete without Picot Collective? As you may know, I am obsessed with their Honey Tobacco scented candle that I have burning year round in my home. This year, Picot Collective released a Honey Tobacco Bath Soak (and other bath soaks) so that you can literally bathe in this gorgeous scent!
This bath soak features a variety of salts (epson, dendritic and dead sea salt) that help to relax and restore your muscles. MCT oil helps to soften your skin after bathing and the dried calendula leaves look gorgeous floating in the bath.
The Honey Tobacco Bath Soak is an excellent gift for those who love to pamper themselves!
Sea Cider Sassamanash
Sea Cider’s Sassamanash Cider is probably the most festive cider for the holidays! This jewel-red cider is made locally in Saanichton, BC with local apples and delicious seasonal cranberries. The cranberries are soaked with hibiscus flowers and eau de vie (from Victoria Distillers) until it is ready to be mixed with the fermented apple. This cider is the perfect balance between sweet and tart, and is not too strong with an alcohol volume of 9.9%.
This has become a staple for us during the holiday season, basically from Thanksgiving until Christmas and I couldn’t enjoy the holidays without this delicious Sassamanash!
Mozzarella & Ricotta Cheese Making Kit
CheeseMaker.ca’s Mozza & Ricotta Kit is the perfect gift for all the cheese lovers out there! Making cheese at home is super easy with this kit as it comes with everything you need in order to make your own mozzarella and ricotta cheese at home. It comes with citric acid, rennet tablets, cheese salt, cheese cloth, a thermometer and well-written detailed instructions on how to make each type of cheese. All you have to do is buy your own milk, and you are good to go!
This kit is well worth the price as you can make up to 40 servings of cheese just from this one kit! Imagine 40 mozzarella balls…drool! But if you want to try other cheeses, Cheesemaker.ca has a variety of other cheese kits including Farmhouse Cheddar, Feta & Goat Cheese, Poutine Curds, and even a Vegan cheese making kit! There is truly a cheese making kit for every cheese lover out there!
WithinUs Cacao Misto + TruMarine Collagen
Enjoy a festive cup of hot chocolate, but make it healthy with WithinUs Cacao Misto + TruMarine Collagen! I have been enjoying WithinUs products since 2017 since they are a tasty way to get your collagen into your diet. Ever since taking their collagen, I have noticed an amazing difference in the strength of my nails and the overall health of my hair and joints. While my results didn’t appear overnight (it took ~4 months of consistent intake), I cannot live without my WithinUs!
I particularly enjoy this collagen supplement since it is made from fish scales and has basically no flavour compared to other collagen supplements that are make of bovine. Plus, WithinUs is locally owned (out of Vancouver) and they have come up with some great flavours including Lemon ReHydrate, Coconut Creamer, and my favourite…Cacao Misto.
Cacao Misto is perfect for the winter and holiday season since all you want to do is drink a warm cup of hot chocolate! This powder is simply mixed into hot water, or hot water with a splash of milk, and you have a chocolaty, (and healthy!) drink any time of day!
Enter to Win!
You can enter to win ALL of these products (worth $250+!) included in my Holiday Gift Guide 2021! I am hosting an exciting Giveaway on my Instagram and is open to Canadian residents 19+! Get all the details on Instagram!