Rural Business Development Manager
It’s that time of year again, when the front office mailbox is bombarded with catalogs from the mail-order steak company, the pear company, and “personalized” corporate gift companies.
In today’s global marketplace, there are countless ways you say “thank you” to your employees and clients. But, finding just the right gift selections can be overwhelming and settling for a generic gift is all too common. As a Loudoun business, this year, skip the pears and popcorn and look to your neighbors for a Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown gift.
With more than 1,200 farms and hundreds of more small businesses in Loudoun County, you’re sure to find products and experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the Washington, D.C., region. Plus, by supporting your local businesses, you’ll be helping to support your own community. When you shop locally, 68 cents of every dollar spent here in Loudoun stays in Loudoun. Shopping the big box stores only returns 43 cents of every dollar to your local community. And those catalogs? That number could be closer to zero.
Purchasing directly from the farms and businesses in your own backyard is a terrific way to support local growers and ensure their continued success.
To make it easy for you, we’ve put together a shortlist of representative options for your locally sourced holiday party supplies and corporate gifts.
Food: Build your holiday platters with gourmet local cheeses and meats from Long Stone Farm, Georges Mill Farm, Locksley Farmstead Cheese, Lothar’s Butchery or . Local organic produce, meats, handmade gifts, trees and wreaths are featured at Day Spring Farm along with pony rides and hot cider on select weekends. For the full catering spread, reach out to your neighbors at The Dinner Belles Kitchen Cupboard, Roots 657, or Grandale Vintner’s Table.
Craft Beverages: Loudoun is home to over 75 award-winning wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries. Show your guests that you know your craft beverages and visit the tasting rooms. They’ll be able to give you pairing and serving recommendations to help you get exactly what you need for your gathering.
Desserts and Coffee: No dessert table is complete without a selection of chocolates. Look to Yummyworks for artisan chocolates that are almost too pretty to eat, or get the complete chocolate spread from The Chocolate Palette’s catered deserts. Mom’s Apple Pie cookies and pies are a Loudoun favorite and Little Austria’s authentic Austrian strudel is made from locally-sourced ingredients that are an extra-special way to cap off the evening. Warm your guests up with small-batch locally roasted coffees from Catoctin Coffee Company and Java Jen’s.
Pre-Selected Item Gift Baskets: Thoughtfully selected items from Loudoun farms and local producers are being featured in creative new baskets this year. Long Stone Farm and George’s Mill Farm are partnering to bring you a wide variety of gift baskets and gift boxes. Everything from goat’s milk soaps to goat’s milk caramel and pastured sausage samplers are available at prices ranging from $20 to $95. For a unique selection of all things local, Paige’s Pit Stop has baskets with preserves, salsas, kettle corn and local honey.
Build your own Gift Baskets around Loudoun Wines: This year’s Loudoun Wine Awards winners list is a great place to start when searching for wines for your baskets. For white wines, check out top-scoring Doukenie Winery’s Chardonnay, 50 West Vineyards’ Albarino, and the Chairman’s Award-winning Viognier from October One Vineyard. For your red wine selections, the Bordeaux Blend “Ascent” from Bluemont Vineyards, Tannat from Fabbioli Cellars, and the Altezza from 868 Estate Vineyards are all rated best of class.
Subscriptions and Clubs: Give the gift that keeps on giving with a membership to a wine club. Most of the Loudoun Wine Awards winners have wine clubs that provide a wide array of membership options with loads of extra perks like complimentary tastings and discounts off tickets and events. For a truly special “executive-level” gift, gold medalist Greenhill Winery & Vineyards’ “La Cave” club provides members access to an exclusive wine cellar outfitted with a lounge, bar, private tasting room and patio…and your very own personalized wine storage cubby with lock and key. A gift subscription to a Loudoun Farm CSA is a wonderful way to show your appreciation long after the holiday season has passed and the very freshest farm products are harvested. Many farms have convenient pickup locations and delivery options.
Artisan Gifts: Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts at a wide array of crafters based right here in Loudoun County. Blooming Hill Lavender Farm and Gift Shop has aromatic lavender-infused spa and culinary products made from their homegrown lavender. Sip your coffee from a Loudoun made mug from Woodshop Pottery or find both functional pottery and ceramic sculptures ranging in price from $15 to $1500 from David Norton Pottery, voted best local artist by readers of the Loudoun Times-Mirror. The new Purcellville Art Gallery has a wide variety of art curated exclusively from western Loudoun artists.
No matter what type of gift or gathering you have in mind, remember to support Loudoun farms, shop local, and take Loudoun home for the holidays.