This year I've heard many people say they're looking for ways to support small businesses. Ordering gifts from small, independent businesses instead of big retailers is a great way to offer support and get some of your holiday shopping done. Here are a few of my favorite healthy-ish food businesses to shop this holiday season. Bonus: They're all small businesses that are BPOC and/or women-owned.
Egunsi makes some of my favorite vegan soups (try the African Groundnut peanut soup!), and the founder, Yemisi, is now selling her special West African pepper chutney, called Ata Din Din, that has a delicious, slow-simmered flavor and just the right amount of heat. Serve it as dipping sauce for appetizers, or use it to liven up a rice or vegetable dish. I just ordered a 4 pack and plan to freeze a few. ($80/4 jars + free shipping).
I had my first taste of Paromi teas when my husband picked up matcha for me at Wegmans during the pandemic. I was super impressed with Paromi's Organic Matcha Vanilla. It makes a great matcha latte. This pouch of matcha is the perfect stocking stuffer for your matcha fans ($14.99 for 1.23 oz./18 servings). I've since tried several other flavors and they're all great. Some have cute names too, like the sleep with me bedtime tea, which makes it fun for gifting ($10 for 15 pouches).
Shaquanda's hot sauces add so much flavor to steamed veggies, Chinese food, tacos, chili or eggs. Any hot sauce lover will definitely enjoy the depth of flavor. The Ooomami, made with caramelized onions and black garlic with balsamic vinegar and habanero, is my favorite. The whole drag queen hot sauce branding is also fun to summarize in gifting! ($10/bottle + shipping).
The easiest way to make an appetizer is to open a jar of Spread-MMMs. Handcrafted olive tapenade on a gluten-free crackers with goat cheese is a delicious combo! It's also great on roasted potatoes or stirred into a vegetable soup. ($13/small jar + shipping).
Jessie's Nutty Cups makes delicious nut butter-filled chocolate cups. We used to make our products in the same kitchen and I definitely miss eating these fresh-made at the end of a long day of baking! Every year I order several 2-packs to give as stocking stuffers; my whole family is crazy about them and Jessie can make most flavors dairy-free. My favorite is the dark chocolate sea salt filled with almond butter. You can choose your chocolate and filling when ordering. ($5/2-pack; boxes starting at $18).
If anyone on your list is into low sugar dark chocolates then check out Maha Chocolates. Her chocolates are handmade and absolutely delicious. My favorites are the Lavender Almond Dark Chocolate Clusters. (Starting at $16.95 + shipping).
Last but not least, Stylish Spoon's gluten-free + vegan Holiday Cookie Gift Sets make great gifts for anyone with a sweet tooth. Choose from the DIY Gingerbread Kits which are paleo (and great for those who want the fun of decorating holiday cookies without a huge mess!), or the Peppermint Crunch Gift Tin (like peppermint bark cookies without any gluten, soy, dairy or dye!). ($44.95/set + $5 shipping).
On behalf of small businesses everywhere, thank you for thinking big and shopping small!
*I am a proud member of the Hot Bread Kitchen community, where I met many of these incredible entrepreneurs. Learn more about Hot Bread Kitchen's work supporting MWBE business owners here.