Jeremy Malanka is ready to give the gift of grub
I AM notorious for giving Christmas gifts late. I always wait ’til the last minute or after the holiday to shop, and my friends and loved ones either don’t receive a gift or get one that’s a bit belated. I am sure in the past it hasn’t been a big deal, because I was in college or was generally considered quite poor.
However, this year I’m pretty excited to say that I have already started and am very excited with my gifts. Why? West Chester. West Chester offers an array of shops and stores that offer great gifts. I have honed in on some specific places that offer delectable treats. This year I am giving West Chester gift baskets from fantastic little shops right here in our community.
A Taste of Olive on High Street is a good stop on a shopping outing. They offer a seemingly infinite amount of oil and vinegar combinations. My favorites are the Tuscan herb olive oil and the jalapeño olive oil. These are memorable gifts to those on your list that love to cook and enjoy flavor and pizzazz. They also offer vinegars in various varieties, including my favorite, a pear, cinnamon balsamic. Reduced in a pan, this balsamic makes any side or main dish seem like it was prepared by a chef.
Continuing right down the street is Éclat, a world-renowned chocolate shop owned and operated by Master Chocolatier Christopher Curtin. There’s something magical about a store dedicated to chocolate, as if, were you to peek beyond the kitchen door, you’d find Oompa Loompas working around the clock making amazing chocolates. Who doesn’t like chocolate? My favorite gift to give is a box full of truffles – specifically Molly Dooker Shiraz-filled truffles. The experience of eating just one of those chocolates is unlike any food experience I’ve ever had. They also offer sticks of chocolate to make hot chocolate. For an adventurous uncle, try a cinnamon and chili hot chocolate stick. He’ll be talking about it for weeks following the big day.
Also on High Street is The Head Nut. Offering more than 25 coffee bean selections and teas, this is the ultimate build-a-gift spot. I found a bunch of jars and filled them with various coffee beans and teas, then filled a basket for the caffeine fiends I call friends. The Head Nut has chocolate-covered espresso beans, local maple syrups and fruit preserves, spices, dried fruit and much more. They offer everything in bulk, so the prices are all ridiculously inexpensive.
Of course, gift cards to any of the great restaurants here would be an easy and fun gift, and remember, West Chester offers gift cards that are redeemable anywhere downtown and can be purchased at Fox Chase Bank or online at wcbid.com.
You see, it’s the town that’s made me into a motivated gift giver. I’m no better as a person; I’m just taking the chance to brag about my town to friends and family not fortunate enough to live here.