Dear Aggie: Where can I find a good locally made Valentine’s Day gift?
Finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift to show your loved one you care can be tough, but finding local products is easy. You can’t go wrong with a romantic dinner and a bottle of wine. Fortunately, Jefferson County is home to the magnificent Seaway Wine Route.
This trail includes eight different wineries such as The Cape Winery, Busted Grapes, The Thousand Islands Winery and many more that all offer a fine selection of locally grown and produced wines. You can take them for a tasting in one of their tasting rooms or buy a bottle of their favorite type of wine to take home. Celebrate early by starting the morning with a surprise breakfast in bed of farm-fresh eggs, local bacon, and New York maple syrup pancakes.
If you’re not a morning person, you can always beat the restaurant crowds and show off your own culinary skills by cooking up a candlelit dinner with meat and vegetables raised in Jefferson County. These products can be found at an array of farm stands and stores across the region.
Using the Jefferson County Local Food Guide or www.meatsuite.com, you can see which stalls are closest to you and what they offer. You can also find everything you need to make a delicious meal at stores like The Chaumont Country Store or Hunner’s Market. These neighborhood grocery stores sell everything from locally made pastas, cheeses and even desserts; but they also sell products like candles and small gifts to make it a one-stop-shop for Valentine’s Day.
If you’re looking for something bigger to unbox on this special day, stop by 315 Artisan Market, located in the Salmon Run Mall. This store is full of products made by local vendors. With everything from decor, snacks and jewelry, you’re sure to find something your partner will love. The 315 Market even has homemade bath and body products that would be perfect for making a home spa kit to pamper them.
Trying to stay out of stores? You can also find local products online. Go to www.etsy.com and filter by location to find artists and sellers in your area who deliver right to your door. Many of these products can be personalized with names, dates, or whatever you want, making them the perfect way to show someone you care.
Another great way to incorporate local shopping into your Valentine’s Day celebrations is to purchase tickets to nearby events. You can enroll in free classes at Cornell Cooperative Extension to learn a new skill together. Or look for other local events like paint and sips, quiz nights, or shows to spend some quality time together.
Many breweries and wineries host similar events or live music that you can enjoy on the weekends while sampling locally prepared food and drinks to make the perfect Valentine’s date.
Written by Amanda Bickford, Cornell Cooperative Extension AG Marketing Educator.