A recent discussion on the Vienna Foodies Facebook group focused on a portable, Virginia-produced hostess gift for someone who was traveling for Thanksgiving. This query struck a chord with me, as for years I looked for made-in-Virginia items to send out-of-state family members. Herewith is the list of Virginia gift ideas the Vienna Foodies supplied, edited for local accessibility, along with the results of my own research. It is meant to include easily transportable gift-type items produced in Virginia and available within the immediate Tysons-Vienna-Oakton area. It is by no means exhaustive; there are dozens of small craft and food businesses in the area.
Virginia Wine says that more than 4000 acres of grapes are grown in Virginia, which has 10 distinct wine regions. Vienna Vintner, Vienna Wine Outlet, and Norm’s Beer & Wine can help find just the right one, as can any of the local groceries.
Virginia is home to a number of distilleries, shipping may not be available, however. Check with the local ABC stores for their suggestions.
We love our coffee here. Caffe Amouri, BlackNerd Coffee, Simply Social Coffee, Coffee Llamas (Oakton Farmers Market), and Cameron’s Coffee and Chocolates are all good local sources of liquid caffeine.
The Pie Gourmet on West Maple offers a large assortment of sweet and savory pies, as well as quiches and scones. Great Harvest Bread on Church Street has an eclectic variety of gift-worthy yeast such as Apple Scrapple and Sunflower Crunch breads. Savagely Good(Oakton Farmers Market) whips up small and large quiches, fruit pies, and cinnamon rolls year-round. For the holidays they offer a half-dozen kinds of fudge. Yas Bakery on Church Street makes a wide range of hard-to-find Middle Eastern pastries, cookies, rolls, and bread. (I am not including the many home cupcake bakers in the area here because of the limited portability of these beautifully decorated delicacies. They produce gorgeous and tasty tidbits though.)
Thinking of a Virginia products basket? In addition to peanuts, the local groceries carry Route 11 potato chips in various flavors and Duke mayonnaise and mustard. Virginia Gentleman barbecue sauce and hot sauce has been available in Wegman’s. Honey from Vienna beekeeper Steven Youssef, is a great option. OmMade peanut butter is available at Whole Foods. Caffe Amouri sells Dano’s Granola. Rubs, spices, soup mixes, and dips are made in small batches by Vienna-based Gypsy Hill Foods. The Fermented Pig is well-known for locally produced bacon, sausage, and charcuterie.
The day I visited Depaul’s Urban Farm on the west side of Vienna they had Blue Ridge Kettle Corn from Charlottesville, Hall’s Honey from Centreville, and apple cider doughnuts and small pies from the Cowbell Kitchen in Leesburg.
The Freeman Store on Church Street carries greeting cards from local artists, Parsonage handmade soap from Lovettsville; Bay Pottery from Broadway, Virginia; Shawnee jelly, jam, and apple butter from Cross Junction and Winchester; and Graves Mountain jelly and preserves from Syria, Virginia.
The Commonwealth Dry Goods store advertises different kinds of hot sauce, as well as Virginia-made chocolate from Cardinal Chocolates and toffee peanuts from Williamsburg.
If food is not on the gift list, consider mugs and other pottery items from Mud Tree Designs; heart merchandise from Rustic Love; hand-crafted soap, bath bombs, and sugar scrubs from Simply Sara; beeswax candles in an array of sizes and shapes from Steven Youssef; exquisitely decorated oversized mugs, platters, vases, and soup bowls from Ware Clay; or delicate fused glass jewelry, ornaments, and dishware from Mary Ellen Larkins.