There’s something about storefronts stocked with goods supplied by nearby farms, or local stores that sell a combination of locally sourced and ethically sourced products from around the world, that we, my husband and I, gravitate toward. They’re little foodie havens full of exciting things staffed by knowledgeable people who care about the food and the people they serve. In October, we had the good fortune of traveling to two small towns with delightful stores selling delicious products. We’re excited to share four great finds for the foodies on your holiday list.
In mid-October, we took a day trip from Austin to Fredericksburg, Texas. It’s a charming town known for its German roots. I ate a brat and kraut, drank German wine, and had one heckuva good time with my husband, Chris (the Chri half of ChriMel) at Auslander. We climbed Enchanted Rock, which happens to be the largest pink granite mountain in the world, and we perused various shops.
If shopping small, local shops as you travel is something you love, when in Texas, Fredericksburg is your town. According to the Visit Fredericksburg Texas site, franchises and chain stores aren’t allowed to set up shop in the National Historic District. To see what a gorgeous climb Enchanted Rock is and a charming city Fredericksburg is, click here.
- Shop early on in the day, because most shops in the area close around 5:00 P.M.
- Fredericksburg is a wine destination. Consider staying overnight to safely sample Texas Hill Country wines.
One store we explored was F&W on Main. It’s part of the Fischer & Wieser family of businesses. What started as a roadside peach stand in Fredericksburg back in 1969 has grown into a specialty food company and quite a bit more. While at the store, we picked up The Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce ($8.95). While staying in the Las Cruces house we finished chicken and chicken wings on the grill with it and then used it as a dipping sauce, because well, we couldn’t get enough of its smokey, sweet, and spicy goodness – so delicious!
Note: More on the Las Cruces house and its gorgeous kitchen to come in a later post. I’ll update with links as soon as I have them available 🙂
Seriously so delicious! We’ve even dipped our peppers into the sauce just because we couldn’t get enough of its goodness!
While in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Old Mesilla was a 20-minute drive from the house we called home for a few days. A wonderful woman who styled my hair in Austin, Texas, told me about the shops and restaurants in Old Mesilla. Thanks to her, we made the short drive over while we were in Las Cruces to check out a few of the stores. First on my must-visit list was Legacy Pecans. I love pecans, especially around this time of year. The pecans sold at Legacy Pecans are grown on a nearby family farm.
When I saw the words buttery and soft in the description of Legacy Pecans Pecan Brittle ($14.99), I snatched up a container of it to try. I love the flavors of most brittles, but the sticky hardness of some makes me worry about an extra visit to the dentist. It absolutely melts in your mouth and is beyond delish! I only was able to get a couple of pieces, as Chris became completely hooked and finished them off before I had a chance to get a second serving. Don’t worry. It was totally fair, because I polished off number three on the list before he was able to have more than a couple of handfuls.
From Legacy Pecans we walked over to Old Barrel Tea and Spice Company. It’s a New Mexican, female run, family business. The store is charming and full of gift ideas for tea lovers and for those with an interest in health. They work with as many New Mexico providers as they can, including local craftspeople.
At Old Barrel Tea and Spice Company, we were invited to try some teas. I fell in love with the refreshing taste of the Peppermint & Lemongrass blend ($22.00). Its only ingredients are dried peppermint leaves and dried lemongrass, so it is naturally caffeine free. In addition to tasting indulgent and refreshing, the Peppermint & Lemongrass tea has plenty of health benefits: soothing aches and pains, calming the mind, boosting mood and immunity, and naturally freshening breath. The staff was super helpful and answered all of my tea brewing questions.
Want Unique Travel Experiences? #ShopSmall
As we travel, supporting local businesses and the local food scene is a big priority. While we believe chains have their place and great things to offer at times (I love knowing my calorie counts), travel would be a whole lot less worthwhile if everything served was the same. We love shopping farmers markets, shopping small, and dining at local establishments; and, we love it when local flavors are offered at grocery stores. Next up, we’ll be looking for great foodie finds in Phoenix, San Diego, and Pismo Beach. If you know of places we should stop in those cities, please let us know! You can connect with us on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Want to get a feel for Fredericksburg, Texas? Check out our Climbing the Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, Texas video:
Note: The beautiful caramel apples in the picture were purchased at The Chocolate Lady in Old Mesilla. She only makes them for Halloween. We didn’t try anything else in the shop, but the service was outstanding and the caramel apples were the perfect indulgence.