Compiled by AMANDA KIMBLE
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a two-part series about shopping for the holidays locally. Be sure and SHOP LOCAL this holiday season.
ERATH COUNTY (November 23, 2016) – We searched high and low to find some truly Texan, totally local gifts you can give this holiday season. From tasty treats to home décor and more, these gifts are useful and unique – but mostly delicious.
Similar products may be found in stores beyond the county line, but we promise these gifts are made here, and we remind you that buying local provides a shot in the arm to the local economy whether you’re purchasing gifts from a store or home-based business.
Give big by shopping local this holiday season.
1 – Delicious Dinner
Erath County is home to all sorts of unique eateries and what’s better than giving someone the gift of prepared meals and done dishes? Gift cards and gift certificates for dining out are something we bet won’t be re-gifted.
For meat lovers, try Hard Eight BBQ. There’s nothing better than picking your main dish straight off the grill with free pinto beans and side dishes with a southern flare. And let’s be honest, people fly into Clark Field Municipal Airport just to get a taste of this Stephenville staple, so why wouldn’t your friends and neighbors like to get their fill as well?
For people on your list who live outside of the Cowboy Capital, check out the Hard Eight Marketplace, where you can order smoked meats, fresh filet or ribeye gift boxes, seasonings, sauces, gourmet products and more and have them sent straight to their doors.
Do you know someone who prefers dinner with drinks? The Agave Bar & Grill and Cabo have a menu item for just about everyone. From lighter lunchtime entrees and standard pub fare to saucy, cheesy Tex-Mex and grilled meats and veggies, everyone can find something they love under the City Limits Texas roof.
The best part: the good boys and girls on your Christmas list can enjoy an adult libation while they’re there. Plus, families can cash in their gift cards on Friday night, when kids eat free and fun and games will keep them entertained.
If you know someone who prefers Texas Music over local cuisine, consider purchasing tickets to any of the upcoming shows at City Limit Texas – we hear The Great Divide is playing New Year’s Eve.
Of course, these are just two, also consider: R&R BBQ, Ruby’s Texas Bistro, Greer’s Ranch Café, Reynaldo’s Mexican Restaurant, Jake & Dorothy’s Café, Peacock’s Restaurant, Montana’s, Don Nico’s, Granny Clarks….
2 – Bottled Refreshment
The “keepers of the sweet” offer a taste that distinctly Erath County. Whether you’re looking for a sweet gift for your friends across the street or family across the country, Dublin Bottle Works and Old Doc’s Soda Shop have a flavor for everyone.
You can pick up glass or plastic bottles in the soda shop or order online and have cases of Dublin Original, Vanilla Cream, Cherry Limeade Vintage Cola, Retro Grape, Texas Root Beer and others delivered. There’s even a selection of diet flavors and fountain refills.
Dublin Bottling Works even offers kitchenware, collectibles and apparel for purchase. You can also get gift cards and let your loved ones enjoy a visit to the historic bottling plant and soda shop.
If your thirsty friends and family members prefer adult beverages, check out the selection of wines available at Bluff Dale Vineyards.
3 – Say Cheese
Veldhuizen Cheese is a local flavor that’s naturally delicious. The family farmstead offers a variety of perfectly aged cheeses – mild, medium and sharp – that can be purchased at the farm store on off of U.S. Highway 377 between Stephenville and Dublin.
You can also purchase raw milk, raw milk yogurts, free-range eggs, local grass-fed beef and array of other products. Veldhuizen products are organic and free of pesticides and chemicals.
The Veldhuizen family also offers online shopping with colorful pictures and descriptions of their flavorful cheese to make gift giving a breeze.
4 – Locally Roasted Coffee
A startup business just getting rolling in Erath County, Ciclismo Coffee Roasters offers two blends for true lovers of the brew. It’s a small roasting business run by Seth and Ashley Newsome who pride themselves on having the best roasted coffee in Stephenville.
The Biking Bear Blend is a medium-light roast for everyday coffee drinkers. The Black Bear Dark Roast blend is medium-dark that the roasters say can be consumed as drip or pour over and served as a latte or espresso. It’s also perfect for sugar and cream addicts.
Free local pickup is available most Saturday mornings at Barefoot Market in Stephenville or by special arrangement.
Speaking of Barefoot Market, they also have local honey and Bertie’s essential oil blends that are mixed up right here in the local area.
Meanwhile, if the coffee lovers in your life prefer it prepared and ready to go, head over to Rodeo Grounds or Beans and Franks, where you will find a selections of hot and iced varieties whipped up at Stephenville’s own mom and pop coffee shops.
5 – Hats
It’s no secret anyone searching for a custom cowboy hat should look no further than Capital Hatters. But, not everybody knows the distinctly Stephenville hat shop and skilled milliner James Andrae offer an array of hat shapes and styles that also includes open roads and fedoras.
You chose the shape, color, quality of the material and finish and Andrae does the rest.
Gift givers can pop into the shop to get a view of all the options, but orders can also be placed on the Capital Hatters website.
Andrae encourages all shoppers to take time to chat about their order and also said gift cards are available to give locally or send to loved ones who live out of town.
6 – Running Roan
Anyone not associated with the equine industry might have missed the craftsmanship in store at Running Roan Tack. But the shop is not just about reins, halters and straps, it has wide range of products handmade in the Cowboy Capital.
Rich, quality leather and even repurposed boots and belt straps are used to craft dog collars, handbags, diaper bags, jewelry, wallets and more.
You’ll be hard pressed to find something that isn’t handmade by shop owner Heather Zielinski. But, if you’re wanting to give gifts that include her attention to detail and one-of-kind design, you’ll have to wait until after the National Finals Rodeo. Running Roan sets up shop at the event each year and is expected to return to Stephenville around December 15, when Zielinski will catch up on online orders and service local customers from her South Loop storefront.
Custom orders are available throughout the year, but it’s not likely you’ll get something special before Christmas Day. But, we promise if you’re buying Running Roan, it will be worth the wait. Or keep it simple and purchase a gift card and allow your loved ones to pick their own gifts.
7 – Going Nuts
Cinnamon pecans and almonds, chocolate covered nuts, New York macaroons, chocolate baskets with homemade fudge and handmade truffles, cheese and summer sausage… Goin’ Nuts in downtown Stephenville can craft a custom gift basket with snacks and treats to please every palate.
You can stop by the store and the friendly staff at Goin’ Nuts will send you home with a packaged gift or you can have treats shipped to everyone on your shopping list. Online shopping and shipping are also available.
Shoppers with long lists to fill are encouraged to get their orders in early, but the store will prepare orders for last minute shoppers through Christmas Eve.
If picking the right flavor seems to be an impossible feat, grab a gift certificate for Goin’ Nuts, which is inside of Soup & More. Oh, and the breakfast and lunch eatery has gift certificates, too.
8 – Backyard Gypsy Designs
Katie Lisso is a crafty mama and mimi who spends her spare time refinishing old furniture, repurposing old junk and getting downright crafty. She does all the work in her own backyard, hence the fun and funky business’ fitting name.
Backyard Gypsy Designs blends shabby chic with fun farmhouse designs to create truly unique home decor for the right price. The Texas-infused designs offer a funky flare that would look good in any home or office.
Lisso has something new just about every week, so make sure to check in on her Facebook page regularly.
9 – Sugar Mamas Couture Confections
Delicious and beautiful confection buffets, giant sugar cookies, intricately designed customized sugar cookies, cake truffles, cookies, brownies, candy cakes… if you seek sweet treats for the sugar plum in your life, make sure to check out Sugar Mamas Couture Confections.
Jennifer and Susan, the sugar mamas, a have a knack for taking ordinary treats and turning them into works of art that are perfect for gatherings or gift giving.
They can even whip up special batches for people with certain dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance.
10 – Curb Appeal
Whether you want to help you favorite local families spruce up their porch or jazz up their home’s interior, you should consider gifting the services of Polly’s Porches & Designs.
Polly Hamilton has an eye for design and is a pro at decorating houses, offices and other commercial spaces. Starting the New Year with a new look is a gift anyone would love to receive.