The hubs and I have always had different business ideas floating around in our heads. Around 15 years ago, one that made it as far as “manilla folder of ideas” status was Arkansas-product gift baskets. There were others in town, but none we felt were truly all-Arkansas.
Alas, our basket business never really got started. But Argenta Market in North Little Rock, already known for all things local, started doing this very thing for the 2012 holidays, and they’re doing it right. They’d make a super-awesome gift for your Valentine.
I attended a recent blogger event at Argenta Market at which these baskets were announced, which are available in $50 and $100 combinations. (Disclaimer: Attendees received a basket for their attendance, but no promise of a positive review was given.)
The contents of my $50 basket have proven delicious, and each item (and more) is available individually if you wish to put together an Arkansas foodie gift for your lovey. These can include:
- Honey from K-Bee Honey in Sherwood. It’s our favorite; we buy it by the quart! Baskets include a standard-size honey bear. I’ve been to their hives, and they’re legit!
- Robbi’s Salsa. Light, smooth (restaurant style), simple, delicious. No crazy ingredients, just fresh veggies in the right proportions.
- Flours and mixes from War Eagle Mill in Northeast Arkansas. Fresh, locally-ground.
- Mixes by The Resident Chef. We sampled a few at the open house, and this anti-mix foodie has been converted. No nasty preservatives.
- Soaps by Southern Girl Soapery. Fellow blogger Stephanie Hamling makes these beauties, and they are truly works of art. My “Hey, Joe” bar uses locally-roasted coffee that scrubs away cooking smells such as garlic.
- Strawberry-Jalapeño Jelly by Stutzman’s Pantry. You’ve probably had pepper jelly before, but this tangy, unusual combination shows some ingenuity on the part of this local family. My family really enjoyed this on New Year’s Day over cream cheese.
- Snack sticks from Ratchford Farms. Cleaner, leaner and much more tasty than the classic Slim Jims they resemble. These local meat producers offer elk, buffalo, venison, beef and wild boar products.
Over the next few days, I’ll have some suggestions for fantastic foodie valentines you can procure from local businesses. Show some love to your local small businesses and to your honey at the same time!