There's been talk in the news lately about the ridiculousness of Black Friday. Many stores have let Black Friday cast a shadow of Thanksgiving. When did a day of thanks turn in to a day where we trample each other for new TVs and smart phones? It's a sad situation, but I see a glimmer of hope as my Facebook and Twitter news feeds fill with mentions of Small Business Saturday, the day when shoppers descend on local shops to buy Christmas gifts. If you're not sure where to go, I've listed a few of my favorite Wisconsin small businesses for food gifts and the place online where you can find it all in one spot.
National Mustard Museum- You may have heard of this quirky museum in downtown Middleton, Wisconsin that features 5,400 jars of mustard and other kitschy mustard memorabilia, but did you know they have a fabulous gift shop where you can purchase mustards from all over the USA and beyond? The knowledgeable staff will even let you taste any mustard you want.
Cheesecake Heaven- When I was first introduced to Cheesecake Heaven I thought they chose quite the a lofty name, but I took one bite and realized yes, their cheesecakes indeed transports you to a sweet and creamy heaven-like state of cheesecake bliss. Visit their store in the Wisconsin Dells for cheesecake, shortbread cookies, and other delightful treats.
Clock Shadow Creamery- When you think of cheese plants you usually think of cows on the country side, but Clock Shadow Creamy is in downtown Milwaukee. They specialize in cheese curds and quark- a spreadable cheese that resembles cream cheese.
Embossed Edibles- The artists at Embossed Edibles use cookie molds that they have collected over the years to create exquisite handpainted cookies. If you can't bare to eat them, you can let them dry and attach a ribbon and use the cookies as decorations. The cookies come in several Christmas designs including snow flakes and nativity scenes.
Knight's Gourmet Popcorn- I like Knight's Gourmet Popcorn for two reasons, first, there's something fun about eating popcorn out of a giant tin, and second, they have a fun story about how they got started. Ted Knight had a popcorn machine in his living room, and neighbors would knock on his window and he would serve them some popcorn. Now Knight's Gourmet has their own store in Milwaukee where they sell gourmet popcorn filled tins.
If you can't make it to Wisconsin to shop with these small businesses, shop online at Wisconsinmade.com in the comfort of your jammies. All of the gifts mentioned above and hundreds more ship nationwide from Wisconsinmade.com. The Wisconsinmade.com website might seem big, but it's a nine woman operation, so it's the perfect place for Small Business Saturday! See you then!