From Wisconsin with love: Local foods make great gifts
October is the third annual Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com. Allmonth, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delicious features, chefprofiles, unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners ofour "Best of Dining 2009."
Recently, we've heard the message "buy local" so many times it's deeply engrained in our brains.
For the most part, buying local means shopping for ourselves and our families at businesses based in Wisconsin, but it's also a commitment to keep in mind when sending a gift for a birthday, an anniversary or the holidays.
In 1999, Linda Remeschatis, a University of Wisconsin graduate, started an online business called wisconsinmade.com. Her decade-old site offers more than 2,000 Wisco products, including meat, cheese, candy, syrup, popcorn, gluten-free foods, clothing, wooden items, books and more.
"Our most popular gift item is the Cheese of the Month Club," says Remeschatis.
Wisconsinmade.com works with 250 small-to-medium-sized local manufactures and artisans. Remeschatis says her customers live all over the country, and they pick "homegrown" items because they are former Wisconsinites with fond memories of these foods or they were turned on to them while vacationing in the state.
"Wisconsin products naturally lend themselves to great gifts," says Remeschatis. "We take a lot of pride with our products."
There are lots of businesses that ship Wisconsin-made products. Here are a bunch of them, and add more via the Talkback feature:
Alterra Coffee Roasters
Alterra offers a variety of gift boxes, including a fair trade organic sampler, through the online gift shop and in the cafes. The Coffee of the Month Club Coffee provides six- or 12-month subscriptions.
Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company
Holiday gift boxes featuring Anodyne coffee will be available in November.
Cedar Creek / Wollersheim Winery
Cedarburg and Prairie du Sac
Sister wineries Cedar Creek and Wollersheim ship bottles and cases of wine or gift boxes featuring combinations of their products to eight states: Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington DC, New Mexico, California, Florida, Mississippi and Colorado. Shipments go out daily.
Kallas Honey Farm, Inc.
5500 W Douglas Ave., (414) 462-3530
Kallas offers made-to-order gift baskets based on how much the customer wants to spend. Available products include honey, mustard, syrup, horseradish sauce and more.
3311 Washington Ave., Racine (262) 633-4298
Larsen Bakery is the home of the Racine kringle. The online store offers multiple gift packages, including the popular "Kringle 3 Pack" that features a pecan, raspberry and apple kringle.
Mars' Cheese Castle
2800 120th Ave., Kenosha, (800) 655-6147
Mars' online store offers hundreds of different gift boxes featuring cheese, sausage, bakery items and more.
427 E Stewart St #5, (414) 747-4001
Rishi's online shop offers a plethora of sampler packs featuring the company's award-winning hot and cold teas.
701 W. Glendale Ave., (414) 964-7837
Sprecher ships their sodas, including their famous root beer, anywhere in the country.
Stone Creek Coffee Roasters
Stone Creek features a Coffee of the Month Club gift option for three, six or 12 months.
1030 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 276-9100
The sausage capital of the country offers a large variety of sausage and cheese baskets that start around $16. Currently, Usinger's has two Internet specials that include shipping.
An e-commerce site featuring more than 2,000 local products, ranging from food items to books and clothing.
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Good article makes me really miss Wisconsin. I'd like to add O&H Danish Bakery's Danish Layer Cake in Racine. The best cake I've ever had hands down and from what I've seen I can only find it in Wisconsin. O&H has two locations in Racine, 1841 Douglas Ave. and 4006 Durand Ave.
I'd like to add Penzy Spices. Online or stores in the area. www.penzeys.com for locations. Check out the "Ethnic Milwaukee" Spices: Old World Seasoning, Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle, Galena Street Rib Rub, Fox Point Seasoning.
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