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Homemade Holiday Gift Guide: 6 Local Food Gifts That Taste Like Home And Support Small Businesses

Homemade Holiday Gift Guide: 6 local food gifts that taste like home and support small businesses

Think back to your favorite cookie, jam or jelly, or slice of bread. More than likely, your favorite food items were made by someone you knew or were related to in their home kitchen. That’s because the best tasting products are usually the ones made at home, with time, care, attention, and a whole lot of love.

Finding food products that “taste like home” is easier than ever thanks to the Home-to-Market Act. The law gives food entrepreneurs the opportunity to prepare or lightly process certain baked goods, jams, and jellies (and so much more) in their home kitchens as Cottage Food Business

This holiday season, we’re serving up six local food gifts made by Illinois Cottage Food Businesses will make your giftee say “Oh *wow* I love it”…and actually mean it.

1. River to River Farm Ramen Noodle Nests

River to River Farm, located in Tunnel Hill, Illinois, offers a ton of great homemade products, including Ramen Noodle Nests. These delicious little nests of noodles take the time and effort out of having to make your own ramen noodles from scratch, or use the sodium-laden, pre-packed bagged noodles. Nothing is more comforting than a hot bowl of soup, and putting a gift pack together with all of the dry ingredients needed to make a quick homemade ramen sounds like a heartwarming gift. River to River Farm products can be found through Little Egypt Alliance of Farmers and at the Carbondale Community Farmers Market. [Photo credit: Carbondale Community Farmers Market]

2. Berries and Flour Wild Cake Club

Cake is a comfort food, and nothing sounds more comforting than having a cake delivered to you every month of the year! That’s where Berries and Flour come in. Located in Champaign-Urbana, Berries and Flour offers a Wild Cake Club where once a month, you can select one of their 4-6 monthly featured specialty cakes (like Persimmon Pecan or Chocolate Cherry,) in either a 6″ round cake (six servings), six small square cakes, or six cupcakes. The best part? They offer free delivery within the Champaign-Urbana area. You can find Berries and Flour products online, at the Champaign-Urbana Farmers Markets, and other events across Central Illinois. [Photo credit: Berries and Flour website]

3. Not Your Papa’s Farm Salsa

Who doesn’t love salsa and chips? Not Your Papa’s Farm, based out of Le Roy, Illinois, serves up a host of salsas that, once you start eating, you just can’t stop (or the heat may catch up to you!). We love their small batch salsas, like the Macho Salsa or Simple House Salsa. They’re chock full of fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, and onion. Not Your Papa’s Farm also offers jams, jellies, pickles, relish, and so much more. Shop Not Your Papa’s Farm products at the Le Roy Farmers Market and at other events across Central Illinois. [Photo credit: Not Your Papa’s Farm Facebook page]

4. Artisan Bread from That’s My Jam

Artisan. Sourdough. Bread. Those three words should be all you need to decide that small batch, scratch-made bread needs to be on your holiday shopping list. That’s My Jam, a home-based bakery, located in Peoria, bakes to order bread, bagels, cookies, boule, jam, elderberry syrup, gluten-free goods, and loads of other delicious products. If you’re in charge of bringing a dish to your upcoming holiday gathering, we suggest the sourdough boule (or the gluten-free sourdough) along with a jar of Vanilla Honey Cherry Jam. You can order That’s My Jam products online, and find them at farmers markets in the Bloomington and Peoria area. [Photo credit: That’s My Jam Instagram]

5. BBQ Rub from Alexander’s Primetime Seasonings and Rubs

Alexander’s Primetime Seasonings and Rubs is a home-based Business located in Mahomet, Illinois. They offer a variety of awesome seasonings for almost any type of meat, including beef, pork, chicken, and fish. The BBQ Rub is a great gift for the grill master in your life. Whether gifted as a stocking stuffer or alongside a gift certificate for meat from your local meat vendor, the BBQ Rub (or any of the seasonings and rubs) will knock the socks off your giftee. For the veggies lovers in your life, they also seasonings for farm-fresh salads, garden-fresh vegetables. You can shop the full selection of Alexander’s Primetime Seasonings and Rubs at the Champaign-Urbana Farmers Markets and Mahomet Market. [Photo credit: Mahomet Market]

6. Ice Cream Garlic Topping by Garlic Breath Farm

Yes, you read that headline correctly. We said Ice Cream Garlic Topping. The folks at Garlic Breath Farm have done it again, creating a delectable garlic delicacy that has us craving more. At first glance you may think that sounds like an odd combination. But once you add this sweet garlic delight on top of vanilla ice cream your taste buds will really be wowed! A unique topping like this will make for an excellent family dessert during the holidays. Garlic Breath is easy to locate during the holiday season, making appearances at markets and events across northern Illinois. Keep up with Garlic Breath’s market schedule here. [Photo credit: Garlic Breath Farm website]

Can’t get enough? Locate other Cottage Food Businesses food entrepreneurs near you using the Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois Online Directory

Get Listed with Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois

Are you a farm, farmers market, farm-to-table restaurant, or grocery store that sells local products purchased directly from local farms? Get listed in Illinois’ most trusted guide to local food. Your listing is absolutely free. Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois is a local foods marketing project led by a coalition of organizations across the state working to promote local farms and food businesses like yours. Get listed and start reaching new customers today!

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