Meeks California Buckwheat Honey
Food & Drink

5 Great Last-Minute Gifts From The Grocery Store

Local delicacies hidden on the grocery store shelf

Meeks California Buckwheat Honey made in Soquel is one of several great gifts

Whether the result of a full schedule or procrastination, we’ve all felt that panic at the eleventh hour of holiday shopping when we still have multiple gifts to buy and time has run out.

Instead of relaxing with friends and family, we’re frantically scanning shops, praying we find a passable gift before the time on our parking meter runs out.

Reader, allow me to take some of that stress off of your shoulders with this lifehack: you can buy plenty of great gifts at the grocery store. There are delicious treats hiding in plain sight on the shelves that anyone in your life would love to receive, whether they’re a foodie or just someone who likes to eat, and they don’t require visiting a specialty shop or paying out the nose for overnight delivery.

Here are a few gifts from local producers available at your preferred local market. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine for yourself—you’ve earned it.

Pinot Cherries by Friend in Cheeses Jam Co.: These dried cherries soaked in Pinot Noir and spices make the perfect festive cocktail garnish for your friend who loves a great Manhattan. ($10 for 8 oz.)

Belle Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Made from five Tuscan olive varieties harvested in Santa Cruz County, this EVOO is delicate and well-balanced, with a peppery finish. ($14 for 250 ml.)

Burn Hot Sauce: The colors of this probiotic, Santa Cruz-produced hot sauce pop out of the refrigerated section. Made with single-variety heirloom peppers, grab a single sauce for a stocking stuffer or several to taste the rainbow. ($9 for 4 fl. oz.)

CaCoco Drinking Chocolate: Who doesn’t love cozying up with a cup of delicious, creamy hot chocolate? Now imagine that it’s dairy-free, low in sugar, made with fair-trade cocoa and boosted with natural ingredients like turmeric, maca and reishi mushrooms. Oh, and it comes in a package shaped like a Mayan temple. ($13 for 7 oz.)

Meeks California Buckwheat Honey: This dark, malty honey is delicious on its own, and will certainly come in handy when the inevitable seasonal cold necessitates many, many cups of tea. (Prices vary)

Contributor at |

Lily Stoicheff is a writer living in Santa Cruz, California, where she mostly spends her time exploring food culture and telling its stories. A fermentation and craft beer enthusiast, her house is overflowing with jars of things that look gross but she swears are delicious. She is the 2017 NEXTie Honoree for Best Writer and a 2017 CNPA Award Winner.

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