OtherYour Holiday Startup Gift Guide for Foodies

OK, we live in Oregon. We came out of the womb demanding all-natural, gluten-free milk. We are foodies, and we are not ashamed. We like to know what it is we’re eating, we hope it’s good for us, we prefer that its ingredients are locally sourced, and most importantly, we require it to delight and surprise our tastebuds.

So what better way to celebrate our foodie pride than by supporting local startups as you shop for gifts this holiday season? The items featured in this gift guide not only meet our stringent foodie requirements, but your purchases will support local entrepreneurs who are fueling our economy, creating jobs, and putting Oregon on the map as a center for culinary innovation.

Let the mouth-watering commence!

For the Condiment Snob

Howling Sun Foods Hot Sauce Mama Lils Pickled Peppers

Howling Sun Foods Hot Sauce

Like spice? Like sauce? Howling Sun Foods Hot Sauces are full of naturally flavorful goodness, with ingredients you can pronounce—that is, if you know how to pronounce “piquin pepper.”

Choices: Chicken Fire, Pork Fire, and Beef Fire.

Mama Lil’s Pickled Peppers

When Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, it’s too bad Mama Lil wasn’t around. Her recipe is one-of-a-kind, which is what inspired her son to share it with the world. Visit Mama Lil’s and pick a peck, whatever that means.

Choices: Mildly Spicy, Kick Butt, Sweet Hot, Peppa Lilli Mustard Pickle Relish, Honkin Hot Peppa Lilli Mustard Pickle Relish, Bread and Butter Pickle Peppers, Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Green Beans.

Red Duck Ketchup

Red Duck Ketchup

Ketchup has a secret: it’s sick of French fries. It wants to branch out to stir fries, fish, green beans, and pizza. Luckily, Red Duck understands ketchup’s woes and is working hard to lift its spirits with smoky, curry, and spicy flavors. Of course, you can still enjoy Red Duck on all your standard ketchup fare, but now you can branch out too—and without all that icky corn syrup.

Choices: Classic, Curry, Spicy.

Blossom Vinegars

Feeling a bit wistful for long, warm days? Blossom Vinegars captures and preserves summer in a bottle so that you can feel a hint of sun even on the gloomiest of winter days. The vinegar is designed to enhance, not mask, the natural deliciousness of veggies, fruits, meats, or whatever else you feel like drizzling it on.

Choices: Apple Jalapeño, Blueberry Basil, Habanero, Ginger Pear, Lemon Dill, Raspberry, Thai Pepper Lime, Walla Walla Onion, and Wildflower Honey. 

For the Savory Grazer

Shurky Jurky Beef Jerky

Masala Pop Chai Masala Popcorn

Shurky Jurky

Until now, beef jerky has enjoyed a reputation as the snack you occasionally spring for at 7-11 when you’re not in the mood for potato chips. But Shurky Jurky is changing all that. As stated on their website, “Each bite is densely packed with more real animal protein and less crap.”

Choices: Traditional Smoked, Peppered, Spicy, Guajillo Chile, Sesame. And for the holidays, the limited-edition Chocolate Covered, Cherry Studded Jerky, which is as weirdly delicious as it sounds.

Masala Pop

Movie night just got a lot more interesting. Masala Pop offers us a way to enjoy the rich, complex flavors of Indian food on our America’s favorite corn-based snack. Plus, it’s all-natural, fiber-rich, and gluten-free.

Choices: Savory Masala, Tamarind Sesame, Chai Masala, Saffron Rose, Tikka Masala, Coconut Curry, and Saag Paneer.

Pacific Northwest Kale Chips Brazi Bites Brazilian Cheese Bread

Pacific NW Kale Chips

What happens when the satisfying crunch of potato chips meets the nutritional profile of raw greens? Pacific Northwest Kale Chips, or, as co-founder Sarah Pool puts it, the “holy grail” of snack foods.

Choices: Stumptown Original, Cheezy Crunch, Glacier Peak Greens, Cascade Ranch, Lava Rock Sriracha, Snoqualmie Macaroon. 

Brazi Bites

Here’s a grilled cheese sandwich with a twist—it’s bite-sized, gluten-free, and… Brazilian. OK, make that three twists. Brazi Bites, or “the perfect cheese bread,” comes to us from southeast Brazil and simply begs to be paired with cocktails, soups, and salads.

Choices: Original, Jalapeño, Bacon.

For the Sweet-Toothed Protein Nut

Wild Friends Nut Butter Betsy's Best Bar None Protein Bar

Wild Friends Nut Butter

Peanut butter is known for its reliable, classic taste, but it wants you to know that it can get wild and crazy too. Luckily for peanut butter, two Wild Friends are spicing things up and even getting almonds in on the fun. Wild Friends Foods is reinventing nut butter as we know it; now its relationship with jelly may never be the same.

Choices:  Chocolate Coconut, Cinnamon Raisin, Honey Pretzel, Sesame Cranberry, Chocolate Sunflower Seed (almond butter), and Vanilla Espresso (almond butter). 

Betsy’s Best Bar None

Not only will Betsy’s protein bars give you an “undeniably healthy” protein boost, but her company is committed to employing newly released prisoners and helping them rebuild their lives. Good for your body and your social conscience, Betsy’s Best offers a winning combination that’s hard to beat.

Choices: Dark Chocolate Chip, Lemon Coconut, Cinnamon Cardamon, Poppyseed, Chile Chocolate Chip, Rosemary, Peppermint Chocolate Chip. 

HomeGrown Bakery Paleo Pastries Natural Skout Trailbars

HomeGrown Bakery Paleo Pastries

Going grain-free but craving pastries? HomeGrown Bakery’s Paleo pastries are packed with a coconut and almond flour combo that’s so delicious, you’ll no longer find yourself wistfully eyeing the pastry counter at your local coffee shop.

Choices: Banana Bread, Cacao Bread, Lemon Pound Cake.

Skout Natural Foods

Skout Natural Foods creates organic trailbars that are, yes, all-natural and “embody the rugged and energetic spirit” of the Willamette Valley. A perfect stocking stuffer for adventurous boy and girl scouts of all ages.

Choices: Blueberry Almond, Apple Cinnamon, Cherry Vanilla, Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter. 

For the Sophisticated Sipper

Genki Su Drinking Vinegar Bull Run Spirits

Genki-Su Drinking Vinegar

Drinking vinegar? You mean, vinegar to drink? Before you cringe, take a minute to explore the Genki-Su website, and we bet you’ll soon find your mouth watering. All-natural drinking vinegars add flavor, vitamins, and antioxidants to your favorite beverage, whether it be sparkling water, beer, or tea.

Choices: Shiso, Yuzu Citron, Nashi (Asian Pear), Cranberry, Hawaiian Ginger-Honey. 

Bull Run Distillery

When you pick your poison, it’s nice to know that it’s not only handcrafted, but made from “arguably the purest water source in the country.” According to Bull Run founders, our state’s water “imparts a soft, rich mouthfeel that’s impossible to duplicate outside of Oregon.”

Choices: Medoyeff Vodka, Temperance Trader Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Pacific Rum, Aria Portland Dry Gin. 

Big Bottom Whiskey Salt, Fire & Time Beet Kvass

Big Bottom Whiskey

Named after the local old growth forest that one of the company’s founders successfully lobbied Congress to protect, Big Bottom makes craft Straight Bourbon Whiskey that has won its share of awards. Just sip slowly—the whiskey is 91 proof and goes down smooth!

Choices: American, Port Cask Finish, Zinfandel Cask Finish, Cabernet Cask Finish. 

Salt Fire & Time Healthy Soda Alternatives

What if soda weren’t only “not bad for you,” but actively benefited your body? It’s not a pipe dream. Local food and drink maverick Tressa Yellig of Salt Fire & Time offers flavorful, healthy options for those occasions when you’re craving something bubbly.

Choices: Beet Kvass, Green Tea Kombucha, Osmanthus Kombucha, Rose Kombucha. 

For the Intrepid Chef

Better Bean Products

Chez Marie Veggie Burgers

Better Bean Company

For years, our bean options have been limited. We either buy them in a can or simmer them for hours on a stove. Option one compromises the natural goodness of the bean; option two takes forever. Now, Better Bean is bringing us an easier and more nutritious way to enjoy nature’s ultimate power food. Cooked, not canned; rethought, not refried.

Choices: Rethought Red Beans, Cuban Black Beans, Uncanny Black Beans, Wholly Chipotle, Three Sisters Chile.

Chez Marie

Veggie burgers are nothing new, but for years they have suffered second-class status as the sad, sawdust-like alternative to hamburgers at the family barbecue. Now, thanks to Chez Marie, they are entering the coveted realm of gourmet. Hamburgers, prepare to be jealous.

Choices: Spicy Bean, Hearty Hempseed, Marie’s Homestyle, Wholesome Harvest, Wow Mushroom. 

Salt Fire & Time Turkey Bone Broth Choi's Kimchi

Salt Fire & Time Bone Broths

What does love taste like? Salt Fire & Time claims that its broth are infused with a distinctive love flavor. It takes advantage of lesser used animal parts to create deeply nourishing, mineral rich broths that can be used as a base for soups, sauces, grains, and beans.

Choices: Great Lakes Gelatin – Beef, Lamb, Chicken Bone, Turkey Bone, Pork Lard, Beef, Baby Broth.

Choi’s Kimchi

Want to get your hands on one of the world’s healthiest foods? Choi’s Kimchi is rich in vitamins, low in calories, and packed with lactic acid, making it a rising star in probiotic foods. This traditional Korean fermented dish can be a snack, side dish, or even breakfast, if you need an extra kick in the morning.

Choices: Napa Cabbage, White Napa Cabbage, Radish, White Radish.

 What would you add to this list?

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