When it comes to hostess gifts, candles are great, but not everyone’s a fan. Books are fabulous, but preference is highly personal and they require some time to enjoy. For immediate and absolute satisfaction, bring a hostess gift that can be consumed. No matter if the host has a sweet tooth, savory tooth or a love of imbibing, today’s post has you covered with many local Nashville products, all guaranteed to satisfy, and all for $15 or less!
Heirloom Amish popcorn from the Nolensville Feed Mill
Say no to microwave popcorn, as it really is super simple to pop some on the stovetop. With these varieties, the joy is in the old-school process, as well as the new-found flavors that go well beyond “kettle,” “movie theater” and “butter lovers.” At just $3.99 per two-pound bag, you can make quite a gift statement with three bags and a total bill of $11. 97!
Available at the Nolensville Feed Mill.
Once upon a time, a lovely lady left me a glass jar of gourmet salt as a hostess gift, and it completely changed the way I thought about salt thereafter. These make great gifts, as when shopping for ourselves, we probably won’t splurge on salt, but we sure are appreciative when that lovely soul leaves some behind. Prices vary based on selection.
Find salts in many gift shops around town, gourmet grocery stores and The Savory Spice Shop.
Sunday Morning Pancake Mix
Your host has entertained you and is likely waking up to dirty dishes or some kind of cleanup. Why not make breakfast easier with this delectable pancake mix that will brighten up any morning? $16 online, which includes shipping, but it’s just $12 in stores. Need gluten-free? They have that, too!
Available at these stores: Produce Place, Marché Artisan Foods, Hey Rooster General Store, Batch, Green Door Gourmet, Kore + Nashville, Rustique, Serendipity, Haulin’ Oats, Brown Dog Market, Oak Nashville, Carnton Plantation Gift Shop and online.
Hot sauces at The Southern
The holidays can be savory and sweet, but they usually aren’t spicy. Add some heat to the mix with one of these hot sauces made locally and available at The Southern. A great hostess gift, they are sure to be opened and added to everything from pasta to soup as the winter chill takes hold. $8 each
Paleo friends: Sweet Meat Jerky
We all have that friend who decides, right as the holidays roll around, to drastically change their diet. Instead of rolling your eyes, embrace and support their determination with something that won’t undermine their resolve. This Sweet Meat Jerky is sure to satisfy and keep the protein lovers in their paleo lane. $8.99
Walker Creek Caramels
What’s the deal with how delicious everything with caramel is today? I think modern caramel has gotten better, or perhaps I just didn’t have tastebuds that worked as a kid. If you need convincing, try these Walker Creek Caramels — but open them with plenty of people around or you may end up with an empty bag and no one to blame but yourself. That said, these make an excellent hostess gift! Flavors include: bourbon, sea salt, espresso and honey orange. $12 per five-ounce bag
Olive & Sinclair Musket Balls
Here’s an SB insider tip: you will find some chocolates at the Olive & Sinclair location that you will not find online or at any other retail store. They are store-exclusive. So if you really want to one-up everyone else at the party, actually go to the Olive & Sinclair store and purchase these Musket Balls. Flavors include a whiskey caramel and a tart cherry cordial. They’re the perfect blend of sweet filling paired with a bittersweet dark chocolate shell, all of which creates a flavor sensation that will have you scoffing at inferior chocolates thereafter. $3 each, or six for $15
Available at: Olive & Sinclair
Bang Candy Syrups
Here’s a fun note: Bang Candy owner Sarah Souther first served her candy syrups at a prosecco bar set up at an art show at … my house! We’ve been fans of hers forever, and watching her business expand has been such fun. These syrups elevate any cocktail to couture and may make you drink one too many … so make sure to have the numbers for a cab, Uber or Lyft handy!
Really, who doesn’t overindulge in toffee each holiday season? It’s addictive! Feed the addiction that so many of us have and leave some Nashville Toffee behind as a hostess gift. There is no way that it won’t be eaten within 24 hours.
Available at: Whole Foods, Fresh Market, many Kroger and Publix stores (not all), Coco Loco kiosk at Cool Springs Mall, Produce Place, Katy’s Hallmark, Puckett’s Grocery, The Registry, Loveless Café Gift Shop, Antiques At the Factory and the Nashville Toffee Co. kiosk at The Mall of Green Hills, as well as many other local stores.
One-half dozen large cookies from Sweets Ndulgence
Sweets Ndulgence owner Nancy Schulz makes cookies with unusual flavor combinations, making hers stand out among a house packed with options. Order online or pick up in Nolensville, and choose from flavors including: Orange Blossom, White Chocolate Cherry, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Blast, White Chocolate Peppermint Blast and more. $14 for a half-dozen
Order online at: sweetsndulgence.com.
DRINKS AND LIBATIONS
Downton Abbey Tea
The fans of Downton Abbey are fiercely loyal. If you have a friend who can’t stop counting down the days to the season five premiere (it’s on January 4, 2015, in case you didn’t know!), then consider some tea to tide her (or him!) over until the show can start consuming their Sunday evenings once again. There are six flavors available, but Christmas Tea and Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea are quite festive. $12
Chai concentrate: Firepot Chai
Chai tea was once so exotic that it was only found at Indian restaurants. This is no longer the case, as the chai tea latté is sold everywhere from Starbucks to local coffeehouses. If you have a chai tea latté lover friend (we bet that this is about 99 percent of all people on the planet), then pick up a bottle of this delicious chai concentrate — you just warm some milk, add the concentrate and drink! Firepot Chai is a local company known for an excellent product. $14
Coffee from a local coffeehouse
Similar to the pancake mix, this gift ensures that the party host has the necessary morning elixir needed to power through “the day after.” How many times have you hosted a party and in the mad rush to finish off the party details, left your coffee tin empty when you need it most? Assume others do this as well, so a bag of coffee, picked up locally, will be welcomed with a glad heart. Usually $15 or less
Conti Riccati Prosecco
Wine, prosecco and Champagne are always safe hostess gifts, but finding a good under-$15 bottle can be tricky. We asked our friends at RED Spirits and Wine to make a recommendation, and they came back with this Conti Riccati Prosecco, which is described as “dry amazing bubbles at half the price, $14.99.” And, if you buy it by the case, most wine stores, including RED, will give you a discount of 10 percent.
Local craft beer
Have a friend who you know doesn’t drink wine, but is a beer connoisseur instead? Well, Nashville has plenty of options to scratch that itch. For the holidays, we love the idea of showing up with a growler of beer or a six-pack of a local varietal. Just stick it in the fridge at your host’s house, and the surprise will be waiting there the next day or during post-party cleanup.
Available: A 64-ounce growler purchased at Craft Brewed is $15 ($5 for growler and $10 for beer fill). At Boone & Sons, a growler is also $5, and they offer three different beers on tap to fill it, ranging in price from $6 to $11. There are many other craft beer options in Nashville, as well, and this is a great list.
Whether you opt for one of these gift ideas or want to branch out on your own, check out the SB Guide to find the best in local retail.