5 Holiday Gift Ideas for a West Michigan Food Lover

December has come, and we all know what this time of year brings us in Michigan–colder and shorter days, snow-covered roads, and a sometimes strong desire to cozy up and hibernate (which isn’t always bad!). As long as we all remember that there’s still a ton going on in our beautiful, snowy state of Michigan that involves local food. Our farmers, restaurants, retailers, and specialty producers still work hard at providing us with locally sourced and produced foods, even throughout these colder months. To help keep your dollars local this holiday season, we’ve got 5 holiday gift recommendations to please your food lover friends or family members. This list focuses on West Michigan locations, but can be taken to any region and be substituted with its local farmers and purveyors. And of course, check out our official Holiday Gift Guide for gift ideas across the state of Michigan from local food businesses. 

Cooking Classes

Most food lovers enjoy expanding their cooking capabilities, right? There are more places than we think that offer cooking classes on a regular basis, and many for all ages! Here’s a list to get you started:

• Downtown Market Grand Rapids – Grand Rapids
• The Local Epicurean – Grand Rapids
• Kitchen 242 – Muskegon
• Tamara’s Cooking Classes – Grand Haven

Indoor/Outdoor Adventure

Farmers, chefs, and brewers are innovative thinkers, which is why they’re constantly creating ways for folks to get involved with their local food community. Here are just a few ideas in West Michigan:

• Louise Earl – whether it’s tickets to a “Dinner with the Butcher” or a class on all things involving meat preparation, you can’t go wrong with a gift towards something on Louise Earl’s Event Page. Check it out, we highly recommend it.
• Virtue Cider – simply visit the picturesque cider house in Fennville, MI or check out their Events Page for fun activities and workshops
• Dreamgoats – plan a hike with a herd of 5 Nubian goats in Ada, MI!

CSA share

CSA sign-ups are just around the corner for the 2020 season. Give the gift of locally grown food in the freshest way possible. A few vegetable CSA’s in the area: 

• Green Wagon Farm – Ada/Grand Rapids
• Full Hollow Farm – Belding/Grand Rapids
• Eighth Day Farm – Holland
• Plainsong Farm – Rockford/Grand Rapids

Gift Certificate to Local Food

It takes commitment and drive for restaurants to source locally. Here are some of our West Michigan favorites with their own unique mission and vision for locally served food:

• The Sovengard – Grand Rapids
• Reserve Wine & Food – Grand Rapids
• Salt of the Earth – Fennville
• Penny Royal Cafe & Provisions – Saugatuck

Locally Roasted Coffee

We don’t have locally grown coffee here in Michigan, but we do have fantastic companies that are roasting their coffee locally and providing fair-trade, organic products. Here are some of our favorites that are selling statewide, and you can even shop on their websites:

• Schuil Coffee Co.
• Sparrows Coffee 
• Madcap Coffee Co. 
• Rowster Coffee 
• Stovetop Coffee Roasters

What are you giving this year? Find other great gift ideas here.

Rebecca Henderson is the West Michigan Local Food Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference. Share your favorite West Michigan activity with her at [email protected].