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A Culinary Gift Guide Supporting Female-Owned Small Businesses

For this gift guide, we’re highlighting female-owned food & beverage businesses that we love, and are eager to support this holiday season.

Guest contributor Amy Musser is back - and being a woman of many, many gifts, she has curated this list to to round out our collection of womxn-owned small business gift guides for the 2020 holiday season. 

This year hasn’t been an easy one for small restaurants, wineries, and food companies. So many of our favorites across the U.S. have struggled to stay afloat, and while some have managed to pivot, others have sadly been forced to close. Here at The Fold, we’ve been impressed with their resilience no matter the outcome, specifically the ways in which restaurants and other culinary pioneers have continued to serve their communities, and we’re thankful for all they’ve done to nourish us during this time.

Read on for some delicious gift inspiration, and remember to shop small; a future just might depend on it.

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In Bibi’s Kitchen

This travelogue-cookbook from chef Hawa Hasen, founder of Basbaas Sauce, a line of Somali hot sauces & condiments, and food writer Julia Turshen profiles eight grandmothers (bibis) who hail from different African nations that all border the Indian Ocean: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea. Reading this book is like being invited into their kitchens, and taking a seat at the table. Beyond the recipes themselves are poignant stories about the impact of cooking and sharing food, and nurturing one another.

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Maryiza Honey

Founder Arian Yuen sources her raw, single-origin tree flora honey from the Afromontane region in Ethiopia, mostly from traditional tree hives hung up high in indigenous trees. As a “forested foods” brand, Maryiza combats deforestation, conserves biodiversity, and increases incomes for forest farmers invested in regenerative agroforestry. Each honey showcases the flora of the tree from which the honey is harvested.

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ZAFA Wine

Winemaker & vigneron Krista Scruggs is dedicated to creating real, natural wine with fastidiously farmed fruit, and her winery Zafa Wines is 100% woman-owned, and has maintained an 85% all-women staff since its inception. These beautiful, lively wines made on her biodynamic farm in Vermont are available for delivery across the U.S. For more serious sippers, Scruggs also has a wine club membership available.

Image credit: NY Eater

Image credit: NY Eater

West~Bourne Party Box

Camilla Marcus’ beloved all-day NYC café closed during the pandemic, but this did not stop chef/activist from her mission to help small restaurants all across America. She’s gone on to become a founding member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition and a co-founder of Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants in order to promote awareness about the struggles and lack of governmental support for small American restaurants during the pandemic and to help other small restaurants survive. Though West~Bourne has closed, their online shop is still open, and the Something Special gift set includes sweet and savory treats, a set of tumblers, and a bottle of Ghia, a nonalcoholic aperitif; the perfect gift for the host in your life.

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This new Seattle-based wine shop is owned by Kari Brunson in collaboration with Left Bank Wine Bar. The shop features wine from winemakers who support regenerative farming practices and are proponents of minimal-intervention winemaking. Their wine club has three tiers, making entry-level membership much less cost prohibitive than your average wine club. We’ll toast to that! Check out their list of women winemakers here.

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Leaves & Flowers Tea

This tea company was founded in 2014 by Emily Erb and Anna Morton. The duo craft artisanal teas made with hand-picked dried flowers and herbs that are native to California. The owners work exclusively with farmers dedicated to sustainability when sourcing local herbs and flowers, and teas from around the world. The result: elegant teas with nuanced aromatics that look as lovely as they taste.

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Current Cassis

Rachel Petach makes this natural distilled blackcurrant liquor in upstate New York. Similar to the Cassis that became popularized in Burgundy, France, her take is a bit more complex with less sweetness, and an array of spices including whole green cardamom, bay leaf, citrus rind, lemon verbena, and wild honey. A Current Royale (Cassis with a bit of Bubbly) sounds like the perfect holiday cocktail.

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MUSANG Gift Certificate or Blanket

Chef Melissa Musang’s Seattle-based restaurant serves the best Filipino food in the city, hands down. At the height of the pandemic last spring she turned Musang’s kitchen into a food bank, and provided free food for restaurant workers and others who needed it most. Gift someone you love a gift card, and it’s sure to be a meal they’ll remember, or a cozy blanket for winter outdoor dining.

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La Cocina Gift Box

This SF-based food incubator and nonprofit helps support low-income culinary entrepreneurs. To date, La Cocina has helped launch more than 80 culinary brands predominantly run by women from communities of color and immigrant communities. This year they are offering gift boxes filled with packaged goods that are made by hand in small batches by their entrepreneur businesses.

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Frankie & Jo’s Ice Cream

This female-owned and operated plant-based ice cream company was co-founded by Autumn Martin and Kari Brunson. The dynamic duo make the most delicious vegan, plant-based ice cream from sprouted cashew and coconut milk. And their creamy concoctions boast incredibly creative ingredient combinations and flavor pairings. In addition to shipping all of their flavors nationwide, they also have a pint club where you can receive their new and exciting flavors on a monthly basis. We’re big fans of California Cabin, a creamy coconut-cashew ice cream infused with smoked vanilla and pine, and chunks of black pepper cardamom shortbread cookie sprinkled throughout. 

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