7 Jersey-Made Gift Ideas for Foodies

The gift guide for all your Jersey food-loving friends and family, full of items that ship directly to doorsteps.

Photo courtesy of Vesta Chocolate in Montclair

Happy Holidays, Table Hopping readers!

This year, holiday celebrations will be on the smaller size, and you might not be able to physically give gifts to all your friends and loved ones. Luckily, Jersey is home to a wealth of small food businesses and restaurants that have to ability to ship directly to doorsteps. In lieu of physical gift giving, let the abundance of amazing food companies save you from a last minute, soul-sucking trip to the mall. Here’s our list of gifts for foodies we’d happily give (and receive).

Vesta Chocolate’s Gift Sets

In late-January, chocolatier Roger Rodriguez and his wife and business partner, pastry chef and food stylist Julia Choi Rodriguez, opened Vesta Chocolate in Upper Montclair. This holiday season, they’re offering an array of gift boxes, ranging in price from $65–$185, featuring bean-to-bar chocolates and bonbons, cookies and brownies, single origin cocoa nibs, hot chocolate mix and more. Order online.

Gilda’s Biscotti

Gilda Doganeiro started Gilda’s Biscotti 25 years ago by trading her biscuits for La Colombe coffee. She’s still hand-crafting them in small batches from her bakery in Salem, and the bags of perfectly crisp biscotti make wonderful gifts. Available flavors include chocolate hazelnut, almond anise, cherry pistachio, lemon fig, chocolate espresso and more. Order online.

Soul Sweet Boutique

The Newark-based Soul Sweet Boutique ships its cakes in a jar, cheesecakes in a jar and cookies in a jar, along with Brazilian specialties, such as brigadeiros and truffles, honey cakes, cocadas and meringues. Their gift boxes ($90 for small, $135 for medium, $180 for large) feature a little bit of everything, and ship nationwide. Order online.

The line of Floyd Cardoz Masalas from Burlap & Barrel. Photo courtesy of Burlap & Barrel

Floyd Cardoz Masala Spices

Famed chef and Verona resident Floyd Cardoz died from Covid-19 in March. Only months later, his wife and business partner Barkha Cardoz and spice shop Burlap & Barrel launched the Floyd Cardoz Masala line. The three blends—Goan Masala, Kashmiri Masala and Garam Masala—are all mixed by hand, and feature sustainable, single origin spices. Order online.

Sweet. Savory. Social Cookbook

Last month, chef Risa Magid Boyer shuttered the doors to her Montclair restaurant, Vanillamore, a casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic. But many of the beloved restaurant’s recipes live on in her new cookbook, Sweet. Savory. Social. Order online.

Valley Shepherd Creamery Cheese Club

For $220, you can sign a loved one up for a four-month cheese club subscription from Long Valley’s Valley Shepherd Creamery. Every month, the recipient will receive a box containing three cave cheeses cut into generous half-pound chunks. The cheeses will be accompanied by detailed cheesemaker and cave master notes, paired with a 1.5-ounce jar of a matching condiment. Order online.

Houshmand’s Hazardous Hot Sauce

Rowan University president Ali Houshmand’s homemade hot sauce has generated more than $130,000 in revenue for the school’s emergency scholarship fund. Made with a variety of Long Hot, Beaver Dam, Jalapeño, Thai and Serrano peppers, the sauces range in spice levels. Order online.

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