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5 holiday gifts from Minnesota makers for food lovers

You can support local shops and give some awesome gifts with these.

Bring Me The News is delighted to introduce our new food writer, Lindsay Guentzel. Formerly of WCCO-AM and a regular guest on FOX 9, you can find more of her recipes and food writing at

Strapped for gift ideas this holiday season? Fear not, especially if you have family and friends who love supporting local shops and are fans of anything delicious. 

I can personally vouch that these are all wonderful, as I have every item listed below, and honestly, there's about a 75 percent chance I'm wearing one of the shirts right now. Knowing that, let's dig in. 

Hot & Fresh Magic Salt

Hot & Fresh

A couple years back over brunch at Spoon & Stable, Kate O’Reilly slid a tiny jar of joy across the table to me.

“It’s my Magic Salt,” she said. “Use it on everything.”

She wasn’t joking. From a stocking stuffer to a hostess gift to a small little something for your cubicle mate, the garlic and herb-infused salts that Kate makes herself are the perfect gift for the food love in your life.

Available online or for pick up in Minneapolis. Find it here. 

Smude’s Pure Vanilla Infused Sunflower Oil


In my quest to cut the corn syrup out of my pecan pie recipe, I stumbled upon this vanilla-infused sunflower oil. It’s made locally by the Smude family in Pierz, and this vanilla version is a seasonal item they are selling on their website (the rest of their products are available at stores across Minnesota).

My Thanksgiving experiment was my first time using sunflower oil and it’s a swap I’ll be making more often. The nuttiness of the oil adds so much flavor and I love that it is high in Vitamin E and low in saturated fat. If shopping local is important to you, it’s an easy addition to your gift list.

Available online only here

icecreaMNLove Holiday Baking Crew Tee

icecreaMNLove photo

I once worked with a woman who took an entire week off of work to do her holiday baking. It was a total production and I know she is not alone. Holiday baking is an affair in itself and these sweet shirts are the perfect addition to your cookie swap this year.

icecreaMNLove owner Sarah Swanson is also an incredible supporter of many local nonprofits, including Children’s Minnesota & The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. So know you are supporting an amazing business owner who understands the importance of supporting the community she lives in.

Available online only right here

Ceramic Honey Pots from Mary Laabs

Mary Laabs

Here’s a tip: When you search for gifts on Etsy, you can set the location to Minnesota so you know you’re shopping locally. That’s how I stumbled upon these beautiful handcrafted honey pots from Detroit Lakes artist Mary Laabs.

Once a professional illustrator, Mary has worked with clay for the last 25 years and has a brick-and-mortar shop called Dunton Locks Pottery southwest of downtown Detroit Lakes. Her food-safe pots come in six colors – white, turquoise, green, orange, honey and red – and hold about a cup of honey.

Available in store and online here.

Golden Fig Fine Foods Dried Spices & Blends

Golden Fig Photo

This gift idea is straight from real life. Last year, my mom, err, I mean Santa Claus, filled our stockings with delicious spices. My family is full of people who love to cook and bake so it ended up being a really cool gift we actually use in our kitchens.

If you love food and have never been to Golden Fig Fine Foods in Saint Paul, you are in for a treat. Laurie McCann Crowell has transformed a quiet storefront on Grand Avenue into a food lover’s paradise where they blend and bottle spices on a weekly basis. 

My personal favorite? The Smoked Chardonnay Sea Salt. Try it over vanilla ice cream or whip up a batch of my Sweet & Savory Pistachios. Recipe here:

Available in store and online here.

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