Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Dec 7, 2012 06:27 AM

Ideas for food-related Holiday Gifts that support local businesses?

I'm always looking for ways to support local stores, restaurants etc and hope to find some new ideas by starting this thread.

Do you have recommendations for:

Ontario food shops that sell online or deliver?
Kitchen shops?
Winery memberships/wine delivery?
Organic delivery?
Cooking classes?
Wine tasting classes?

Some places I'd recommend:

THE WINE ESTABLISHMENT (Toronto): for wine accessories, stemware etc. You can order online. Here's there weblink but it doesn't seem to be working properly at the moment for some reason:

A TASTE OF CHEESE: for online ordering of amazing cheese, baskets, tasting samplers etc,

ASHTON GREEN: A terrific online resource for kitchen items, cooking tools etc. They're based out of London Ontario

LEE VALLEY: for amazing kitchen tools and gardening supplies

LCBO SUMMERHILL (Tornoto): For their terrific cooking classes. The knife skills classes make a great gift and the attendee gets a set of W├╝sthof-Trident kidding!!

I'm sure more will come to me but I'd love to hear your suggestions!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Pusateri's also does custom baskets. There's info on their website.

    Mary McLeod's shortbread helps a local business.

    Spice Trader has spice sets that make nice gifts.

    I buy a lot of Xmas gifts at Junors and Soma.

    1. Have you (or anyone else) done any of the LCBO's cooking classes?

      2 Replies
      1. re: gembellina

        I have gembellina and I'd highly recommend them. I've done both knife courses at Summerhill which were excellent. I've also gone to at least a dozen cooking classes and tend to select those because a certain chef is presenting (frequently they'll get a local restaurant chef for example) or, a particular subject that I'm interested in. A hands on baking class was a real standout though that was a few years back now. I really enjoyed a Tapas class I did there and an hors d'oeuvre class. Classes aren't so big that anyone gets neglected and the set up is good w a mirror so you can see the instruction. Often they have "helpers" as well that walk the room to assist folks w hands on activities. I always find that I learn something, even if it's just a new recipe. In my experience, many folks who attend are real food lovers so the conversation is always good. I've attended w friends, alone and w mr bc. I've been to other cooking schools in the city including Dish, Bonnie Stern, Calphalon and Upstairs at Loblaws and I'd count the LCBO classes at Summerhill among the best.

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          oh wow, a glowing recommendation! I'll have to check it out. A local chef certainly sounds interesting and valuable. Thanks!

      2. Culinarium on Mount Pleasant.
        Chocolate Tales on Eglinton for chocolate making workshops.

        4 Replies
        1. re: magic

          +1 for Culinarium

          Everything they sell is produced in Ontario

          They have a nice selection of gift baskets you can order online

          1. re: bytepusher

            Thanks so much for that link bytepusher, I'll definitely order a basket or two...wonderful!!

            1. re: bytepusher


              All Ontario. Great store.

            2. re: magic

              And if you go to Culinarium, make sure you stop a couple of doors over at The Flaky Tart and pick up some delicious baked goods. They always have packages of lovely cookies ready to go, or go for a box of tarts and brownies and mini cakes. All delicious.

              At Culinarium, make sure you pick up some jars of Diablo's Fuego hot sauce. Locally made and very addictive -- a jar would make a great hostess gift.

            3. I thought of another couple of places:

              The Good Egg in Kensington Market. I wish they had online shopping

              The AGO Store - & they do have online shopping!!

              The Gardner Museum Shop - again, pity there's no online shopping though

              1 Reply
              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                You beat me too it.. was just about to log on and enthusiastically recommend Good Egg.. fabulous store, and I have never left it empty handed!

              2. I've heard a rumour that the Wine Establishment has closed, fairly recently, but I have not confirmed this myself.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bytepusher

                  If that's the case, I hope it's just a relocation. I did find their location to be a little off the beaten path. Such a great "one stop shop" for wine lovers though.