When it comes to gifts, there’s nothing more special than those one-of-a-kind pieces. We rounded up 20 gift ideas that are uniquely Baton Rouge. All of these items have ties to local makers, and several are items that you’ll only find in the Capital Region. That makes them just the thing for anyone who holds a special place in their heart for the Red Stick.
Hover over each image to learn more about the gift.
FOR THE FOODIE
The production of handmade local foods and culinary goods is at an all-time high in south Louisiana, making it easy to surround the tree with thoughtful, tasty gifts. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Mike Bonin’s roux spoons
Retired New Iberia educator Mike Bonin crafts beautiful and functional items out of found wood, such as these roux spoons. They’re available in either left-hand or right-hand orientation, making roux stirring an equal opportunity event. $20, available at Red Stick Spice Company
2. Grinning Jupiter’s Cranberry Pecan Pepper Jelly
The local jammery makes a wide range of fresh fruit jams, jellies and preserves, but the Cranberry Pecan Pepper Jelly is a festive choice. Go old school and serve it on top of cream cheese, or blend it with an equal amount of rice wine vinegar and chili paste for an incredible seafood dipping sauce. $7, find GrinningJupiter on Facebook
3. Southern Wild Spicy Pepper Sauce
South Louisiana has no shortage of original hot sauces, including a growing number of small-batch formulas. Southern Wild Hot Sauce, made in Baton Rouge, bills itself a “Southern Sriracha,” a punchy blend of fresh peppers, vegetables, olive oil and salt that is vinegar-free. Try it on all manner of foods. $7, southernwildfoods.co
4. The Fonville Winans Cookbook
Fonville Winans was an acclaimed Baton Rouge-based photographer. Among his friends and family, though, he was also a passionate home cook, routinely preparing original dishes with local ingredients that he spent years tweaking. The Fonville Winans Cookbook is a nostalgic ride through Winan’s signature recipes, personal notes and iconic photographs. $40, lsupress.org
5. Cuccio Handmade rolling pins
LSU senior and local maker Matthew Cuccio produces elegant handmade rolling pins you’ll want to use and pass down to the next generation. Crafted from a variety of different woods, Cuccio’s rolling pins are shaped on a lathe and treated with food-safe mineral oil. $40-$65, cucciohandmade.com
6. Cooking classes (not pictured)
The Louisiana Culinary Institute trains would-be chefs in the professional culinary arts, but it also offers a wide variety of year-round leisure classes for folks who want to perfect their kitchen chops. Two different three-hour classes are offered each month, taking place in LCI’s spacious, professional setting. A sample of upcoming topics: Mardi Gras pastries, French pastries, comfort food and knife skills. lci.edu
STUFF THAT STOCKING
Christmas morning: leaving your pajamas on, chugging hot cocoa and the satisfaction of dumping your stocking out all over the living room floor. Everybody loves a good stocking stuffer for the holidays—something small, sweet and relatively inexpensive. And whether it’s one of Pink Elephant’s nostalgia-inspiring heirlooms or gear from the Red Stick’s own outdoor outfitter, keeping it local makes your stocking extra personal.
1. Vintage K&B playing cards, $22, from The Pink Elephant Antiques. Find The Pink Elephant on Facebook
2. Diatom Design die-cut notebook, $12, diatomdesign.com
3. Damien Mitchell Designs No.06 card holder, $40, damienmitchell.us
4. “You glow girl!” enamel pins by Cynthea Corfah*, $8, cynthea-corfah.squarespace.com
5. Agenda Trading Company Carabiner Camp mug, $14, agendatradingcompany.com
6. Mimosa Handcrafted “Bee Happy” necklace, $45, mimosahandcrafted.com
The best gifts are ones the recipient will use or see everyday. That’s why home decor and tools are always winners in our book. Each of these artists will be at either Ogden Park Prowl (Dec. 2) or Mid City Makers Market (Dec. 9 and 16) this month. Find vendor lists at ogdenparkprowl.org and midcitymakers.market.com.
1. “Minimalist Triangle” by Nicholas Miner
A piece of salvaged Louisiana adds local flavor to a gallery wall. Baton Rouge artist Nicholas Miner made this 2-by-1-foot piece with reclaimed wood from a home in New Orleans’ Mid City. $60, nicholasminer.com
2. “Energy” Natural Hand Soap by Boeccure
Fancy hand soap is the perfect everyday “treat yoself” luxury. This local bottle is made with olive, sweet almond, coconut and peppermint essential oils. $11,
3. Pottery by Osa ceramic canister
Osa Atoe’s planters and kitchen containers are instantly recognizable by her trademark geometric shapes and turquoise, white and terracotta-orange color schemes.
4. Ceramic dish by Ghada Henagan
This little bowl is the right-size catchall for trinkets, matches or keys. Henaghan also makes Louisiana-inspired ceramic tree ornaments. $25, ghadahenaganceramics.com
5. Bowl by Wascome Woodworks
Josh Wascome’s bowls, cutting boards, trays and cooking utensils are carved out of salvaged Louisiana wood. This bowl would elevate a holiday salad or baked bread. $140, Find Wascome Woodworks on Facebook
6. Baton Rouge kitchen towel by Magnolia Creative
This maker sells Louisiana-inspired prints, pillows, wrapping paper, ceramics and more. Our soft spot is for this Capital City design, complete with sketches including Tiger Stadium, Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Varsity Theatre and the Wearin’ of the Green parade. $18, magnoliacreativeco.com
7. Spalted Pecan napkin rings and Cherry cheese board by Beneath the Bark
Popular jewelry maker Molly Taylor launches her home line this month. The new pieces accentuate the unique details found in natural wood in much the same way her cuffs and earrings always have. Napkin rings, $40 for four; cheese board, $45; napkins not included. beneaththebarkjewelry.com
8. Woven wall hanging by Heart Over Harvest
Macrame offers texture and richness to a room, and this 36-by-22-inch wall hanging is a showstopper. Artist Victoria Petersen crafted this piece from cotton cord and Mississippi River driftwood. $60, heartoverharvest.com
This article was originally published in the December 2017 issue of 225 magazine.