Food & Drink Gifts From Houston Artisans That You Can Ship
As we wind down what has been a tumultuous year for everyone, especially the restaurant industry, the holidays are on the horizon. Those who live as Houstonians — or used to — know that the city has a wealth of excellent food, wine and much more. The downside: many of these culinary treasures cannot be shipped. The good news is that some can, and while many of us are celebrating the holidays socially distant, it’s possible to send a little bit of Houston to your friends and family outside of the city —and even outside of the state of Texas.
Choosing Houston artisan vendors also means giving back and sustaining them after a tumultuous year while still embracing the concept of celebrating at a distance with friends and family. Here’s a list of Houston food and drink businesses willing and able to ship out of state.
Awesome Bites Co., 2313 Edwards: Awesome Bites Co. is an allergy friendly and vegan baked goods and ice cream shop. This year, it launched nationwide shipping of its Awesome AF* cookies in six flavors and a top-eight-allergy-free fluffy pancake mix. Orders of the dozen of the gluten-free, vegan cookies can include classic flavors such as Chocolate Chunk, Funfetti Iced Sugar Cookie, a nut-free Sunflower Butter Cookie and three special flavors: London Fog, an Earl Grey tea cookie with lavender and lemon icing; Compost, a salty and sweet cookie made with gluten-free crunchy pretzels, organic potato chips, semi-sweet and white chocolate chunks and chips; and Double Chocolate, an organic cocoa cookie with semi-sweet and white chocolate chips.
Also available for shipping are other baked items like Super Muffins, Gluten-Free Beanie Brownies, Chickpea Blondies and pantry staples such as artisan granola, scratch-made vegan caramel, organic double hot cocoa mix and Suntella, a nut-free version of Nutella. Orders can be made online at awesomebitesco.com. All freshly baked goods are individually wrapped and shipped with ice every Tuesday and Wednesday.
Cacao and Cardamom Chocolatier, 5000 Westheimer: Sugar Land native Annie Rupani created this business with a reputation of creating some of the city’s (if not the country’s) most artful and intriguing chocolates. Known for its distinct and flavor combinations, Cacao & Cardamom ships its luxury chocolates to every corner of the country. Whether in classic boxes ranging in sizes from 16 to 48 pieces, to items from the snack bar such as the Ruby Raspberry Artisan Bar, this is an ideal online-ordering spot for the chocolate lovers on your holiday gift-giving list.
DR Delicacy, 4120 Directors Row: This Houston-based purveyor of some of the most luxurious ingredients known to man is well-known for fresh truffles and caviar, as well as its new Texas-based collaboration rolled out this summer: wildflower honey, dark chocolate truffles and olive oil made in conjunction with Lone Star Bee Co., Mostly Chocolate and Catering, and J. Welch Farms, respectively. In addition to these Texas-made products, gift-givers can peruse a variety of options on the company’s shop site, ranging from smaller items like little petite mini preserve jars in apricot and strawberry to larger items like the Chef David Skinner’s Lobster in a Pool meal kit. (Tip: there’s a 50% off Black Friday sale going on right now of select outstanding ingredients and heat-and-eat appetizers. Would not sleep on this one.)
Feges BBQ, 3 Greenway Plaza: This husband-and-wife team barbecue joint from Patrick Feges and Erin Smith opened its doors in 2018 to critical acclaim in the unlikely location of Greenway Plaza. They are working on a second location for 2021. With their unique approach to smoked meats and inventive sides, Feges has quickly become a favorite with Houston barbecue aficionados. It’s now offering shipping of bulk items such quarts of the South Carolina-style BBQ Hash, made with Feges’ whole smoked hog and brisket, pulled pork and chicken (sold by the pound). There are also smaller items for the budding barbeque pitmaster on your list, like the blended rubs: Poultry Rub, Pork Rub, or Beef Rub. Each are sold by the pint. Bulk orders can be placed online — and you might add on some swag, such as the Feges BBQ t-shirts and hats.
French Country Wines, 2433 Bartlett: Everyone loves a little wine for the holidays. For those looking to send some liquid cheer this season, French Country Wines, located in Rice Village, is here to help — literally. The shop staff welcomes opportunities to advise people on wine pairings and selections. It can ship wine to most states, except for Arizona, Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Washington D.C. and Utah. That means that you can ship special, small-production, well-priced French wines — often as low as $20 — to most people your list for the holidays. View the entire inventory online and call (713) 993-9500 if you have questions.
Goode Company, various locations: One of Houston’s longest running family-owned and -operated businesses, Goode Co. has a wide variety of gifts to shop for online and ships to every corner of the country. The Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie in a Wooden Box, but there are also gift-box sets such as the Pure Texas Gift Box featuring a smaller pecan pie, a miniature Texas flag and two 4-ounce bags of honey-glazed, roasted and salted pecans in a fire-branded pine box. Meat lovers can splurge on bigger items like the slow-smoked BBQ ribs or smaller items from Goode Co.’s pantry, like the brisket rub or gift box set of three sauces. View the options in the online store.
HIVE Bee Farm, 2752 Buffalo Speedway: Looking to ship something sweet and local this season? HIVE Bee Farm allows the bees to build honeycomb directly into ready-to-ship Honey Squares. It’s coined as the “hive to hand” process. HIVE’s unique boxes, which hold both the honeycomb and the honey, are then capped with wax and a lid. That enables gift-givers to send a little Texas honey to any table across the country. Order quantities range from one to over a dozen and can be ordered on the company’s website.
H-Town Restaurant Group, various locations: Keeping in mind that the holidays are different this year, the H Town Restaurant Group led by chef Hugo Ortega and restaurateur Tracy Vaught has put together gifts items from their family of restaurants (Backstreet Cafe, Caracol, Hugo’s and Xochi) to let you send a little bit of Houston to your loved ones across the country.Here are some of the items you can send to the foodies on your list.
- Backstreet Café: Award-winning pastry chef Ruben Ortega’s Brandied Fruitcake made with brandy-soaked dried fruits (apricots, raisins, cherries, figs, pineapple, cranberries, prunes), fresh apples, pecans, ginger, orange zest, lemon zest and orange juice is packaged in an eight-inch tin and costs $29 plus shipping. Ordering is available online now for shipping in December.
- Caracol: Executive Pastry Chef Ruben Ortega celebrates his love of Mexican candies with this new gift set which includes Mazapanes, Cocadas, Pepitoria and Alegria. The set is $25 plus shipping. Ordering is available now for shipping in December.
- Hugo’s: Offering a few gift options this year, the most applicable for out-of-state shipping are the Hugo’s Hot Chocolate Set-up for $89 plus shipping (with a personalized copy of Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico, a nine-ounce tablet of Chef Hugo’s housemade chocolate with which to make Hugo’s Mexican Hot Chocolate (or mole), one molinillo (a a traditional Mexican wooden whisk for hot chocolate), and an artisanal pitcher in which to serve your Hugo’s Mexican Hot Chocolate) and the Gift Box Set for $60 plus shipping (personalized copy of Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico, one 9-ounce tablet of Chef Hugo’s housemade chocolate with which to make Hugo’s Mexican Hot Chocolate (or mole), one molinillo, a traditional Mexican turned wood whisk, used to mix and froth hot beverages such as hot chocolate, and an artisanal pitcher in which to serve your Hugo’s Mexican Hot Chocolate).
- Xochi: The new Xocolatl Oaxacan-inspired Chocolates, a set of eight handmade chocolates made with cacao beans, roasted and ground in-house, then blended with sugar and cinnamon are available to ship. The flavors of the individual artisan chocolates are Poleo Mezcal, Dulce de Leche, Mango-Passion Fruit and Tamarindo Chicatana. Pricing and ordering details can be found online.
iBurn, 4227 Bellare Boulevard: This specialty shop in Houston is perfect for the spice lover on your holiday gift list. Owners (and husband and wife team) James and Amy Beck hand select and taste test each product before they hit the shelves. With products from all over the country including the “Houston Proud” section, you can take your pick from a variety of uniquely one of a kind hot sauces, salsas, BBQ products and Bloody Mary mixes. Most of iBurn’s selections are made in small batch products that you can’t find anywhere else. They ship worldwide as well as stateside all year round as well as for the holidays, so please visit their website for more information.
Kenny & Ziggy’s, 2327 Post Oak Boulevard: A Houston staple, Kenny & Ziggy’s “schleps nationwide” using online service Goldbelly to ship its deli items across the country. Whether you are looking to send someone all the items needed to recreate one of the delicatessen’s legendary mammoth sandwiches with the Classic Ruben Sandwich Kit or warm them up with quarts of Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls (in two and four-quart sizes), there is room at any table for a little deli nosh.
Recipe for Success Foundation, 4400 Yupon: Launched in 2005 by Gracie & Bob Cavnar to lead the way in combating childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food — and by helping the community provide healthier diets for them with over 70 locally renowned chefs in their roster. This year, the Foundation is offering food-inspired gifts for just about anyone on your holiday gift list. Out-of-state options to bring a little bit of Houston to friends across the country include private Zoom cooking classes in one- to two-hour sessions, an online gardening class, a subscription for child- and family-oriented virtual food adventures and assorted handcrafted items from the Hope Farms Boutique.