It’s all about the lakes and beaches…and the cherries…and the wine…and the restaurants… Whatever the reason that brings one to visit northern Michigan, they’re sure to discover another reason to return. Now that June is almost officially here and we ARE officially planning our summers, I thought it might be helpful to lay out a schedule of events for this next stretch of weeks. Maybe something new will catch your eye, maybe this will just serve as a reminder to mark your calendar.
TRAVERSE COLANTHA WALKER DAIRY FESTIVAL – June 8, 9am-3pm: A family-friendly celebration of Colantha Walker and her volumes of contributions to the Traverse City State Hospital. Join the fun on The Piazza at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.
THE M-22 CHALLENGE – June 14, 8am: Registration is full for 2014, but spectating can be an experience in itself! Be there for the start, just north of the Dune Climb on M-109.
THE LELAND WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL - June 14, 12-6pm: Positioned near Fishtown, tastings, music and views all come together for a terrific afternoon.
TRAVERSE CITY WINE AND ART FESTIVAL - June 21, 3-10pm: This year’s event features headliner, Mayer Hawthorne!
3RD ANNUAL GLEN ARBOR SOLSTICE HALF MARATHON & 5K – June 21, 7am: Start and finish in downtown Glen Arbor.
GLEN ARBOR BBQ AND BREW FEST - June 21, 2-8pm: Really, is there any better follow up to a run than beer, BBQ and music!
HARBOR SPRINGS WATERFRONT WINE FESTIVAL – June 28, 4-7pm: A perfect way to spend the afternoon in downtown Harbor Springs!
CEDAR POLKA FEST – July 3-6, evenings: Meet under the big tent and dance the night away!
THE NATIONAL CHERRY FESTIVAL – July 5-12: Parades, concerts, races, midways and air shows, all in honor of our most famous fruit, the cherry. Remember, this is a Blue Angels year!
MANITOU MUSIC FESTIVAL’S DUNE CLIMB CONCERT – July 13, 7-9pm: A guaranteed good time, pack a picnic dinner and get comfortable at the base of the Dune Climb. This year we can look forward to The Moxie Strings, and like always, it’s free!
GREEN CUISINE – July 16, 5-8pm: Hosted by our friends at Food For Thought, Green Cuisine is unique in it’s celebration of local food and drink and promotion of sustainable living. This is a free, tasting event, but registration is required.
Hope this sampling of happenings helps kickstart your planning. Have a terrific weekend!
I was out and about on a run recently (Did you know Traverse Gourmet runs? One of us runs fast and the other slow, but we both call it running!) and felt the need to stop a step outside of an area forrest. Why stop? I had to pause and take in the wild leeks. The forest floor was covered with beautiful green leaves of young ramps and thanks to the shining sun, I could smell them too. Yet another sure sign of spring!
What are wild leeks? Ramps, (Allium tricoccum or Allium tricoccum var. burdickii, Alliaceae) also known as wild leeks, are native to the Appalachian mountain region in eastern North America (Fig. 1). Ramps can be found growing in patches in rich, moist, deciduous forests as far north as Canada, west to Missouri and Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee. As one of the first plants to emerge in the spring, ramps were traditionally consumed as the seasons first “greens.” They were considered a tonic because they provided necessary vitamins and minerals following long winter months without access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Ramps are pleasant to eat and taste like spring onions with a strong garlic-like aroma. They are often prepared by frying in butter or animal fat with sliced potatoes or scrambled eggs. They are also used as an ingredient in other dishes such as soup, pancakes, and hamburgers. They can also be pickled or dried for use later in the year.- per Cultivating Ramps: Wild Leeks of Appalachia by Jeanine M. Davis and Jacqulyn Greenfield
We’re pretty lucky in our corner of Michigan; wild leeks grow well and are plentiful. We’ve been know to do a bit of harvesting, but not within the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, that would be illegal. Harvesting can be quite simple but should be done with sustainability on your mind. We don’t want to strip all of the ramps from the forest floor, rather, choose a few from a bunch and leave the rest to re-seed. Check out Timothy Young, President of Food For Thought, as he walks us through the harvesting process.
Of course once you have your handful of ramps, what are you going to do with them? Start as simple as including the leaves in your salad, tossing a diced handful in your next stir-fry…one step beyond simple, and my favorite, use them in pesto. Our friend at The Intentional Minimalist walks you through how to create a Wild Ramp Oil and how to make pesto; take a look.
I can think of two, even simpler ways to enjoy wild leeks. Both options come in jars! First up, Organic Wild Leek Relish. Harvested from the forest on Food For Thought’s organic farm, this fragrant relish is the ultimate accompaniment for brats, fish, or any wild game dish.
And second, Organic Wild Leek Marinara Sauce, simply heat and serve with your favorite seasonal veggies, pasta, or breads; as pizza sauce; or however you’re inspired.
So maybe for you, wild leeks are old news; but it’s spring, time to celebrate their return! If you haven’t given them a try, perhaps this should be the year!
In honor of last week’s Earth Day, I thought now would be an apropos time to shine a light on the steps we take at Traverse Gourmet, to contribute as little waste as possible. It’s pretty terrific how our artisan partners are passionate about not only the quality of their creations but also about where they source their ingredients and how they package their finished product. It takes a village to make an impact on our Earth so of course we work to be mindful of our packaging choices. From gift wrapping to packing fill, our options seemed endless at the start. Packing and shipping is not necessarily synonymous with zero waste.
So let’s begin with the gifts. We started with two gift options, a gift box and a gift bag. Our gift boxes are made made from 100% recycled fibers. Approximately 80% of this is composed of post-consumer recovered fiber. These boxes are 100% recyclable. Our gift bags are produced with recycled cotton and can be used again, and again, and again… On a rare occasion, we use tissue paper; like our boxes, it’s made with 100% recycled fibers.
Let’s shift gears to the materials we use to pack your gifts for safe travel. Items in our gift boxes and bags are packed in a recycled paper shred. Gifts are then packed in a shipping box filled with biodegradable corn starch packing peanuts. How do we know they’re biodegradable? We tested them!
This breakdown process took 30 minutes.
We will continue to revisit our processes and products used, to ensure we’re doing everything we can to minimize waste but not sacrifice the quality of our service.
Have you seen those alarming headlines regarding the upward cost of chocolate while its availability lessens? As frightening as both prospects seem, there is a bit of validity to these claims. It boils down to an increase in demand and a potential inability to create enough product. There’s one point in particular that needs recognizing; it’s mentioned in this WSJ article and I heard it directly when in Honduras. One challenge for keeping up with chocolate demand is that the farmers who once grew cacao have since abandoned the crop for more lucrative plants, like Palm Oil, Rubber and Coca. Cacao is not a quick crop to cash in on, meaning you can’t just plant more with a quick harvest. These trees require a specific environment and need 3-4 years to bear fruit and 10 years to fully mature.
Enter Fair Trade chocolate. Fair trade simply means trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries. This makes sense right? Too often, the price paid to a cacao farmer is just a fraction of the price we pay for the finished product. Like coffee, cacao cooperatives exist, working to create a community between farmers and buyers and ensuring farmers receive a living wage. It’s true, fair trade chocolate often costs a bit more, but it translates directly into a farmer’s survival and continued product availability. The good news is that fair trade chocolate can easily be found in area grocery stores, to satisfy your sudden cravings.
What is pretty wonderful, is here, in our lovely corner of the world, there are two chocolate brands who have made fair trade practices part of their mission. Both Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate and Just Good Chocolate work hard to know where their cacao and chocolate come from, seeking out sources who pay their farmers that living wage they deserve. Setting fairness aside, just for a moment, we’re talking delicious stuff here! Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate creates amazing bars and truffles with carefully sourced, bulk, dark and milk chocolates. Just Good Chocolate incorporates organic, fair trade cacao nibs (the raw form of chocolate) into their fruit and nut mixes. They also use organic, fair trade cocoa for their Better World Brownie Mix and Mug O’ Love Hot Cocoa mix.
So, with Easter on the horizon, feel good when you shop chocolate on Traverse Gourmet. We too, value where your food comes from and are proud to work with artisans who think fair trade is worth the cost.
One of the biggest messages in recent years to large and small businesses is the importance of “Going Green.” Should this become a consideration when you’re purchasing corporate food gift baskets?
Consumers are becoming far more aware of how well companies adhere to Green – or ecofriendly – practices. Businesses are being placed under scrutiny for creating excessive waste and unnecessary pollution. Fortune 500 to mom and pop, customers and clients are watching to see who talks big and who acts when it comes to truly adopting sustainability and making ecologically smart decisions.
Really, it isn’t surprising. The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle message of the Go Green movement is progressive and wise. The truth behind the message is no doubt why the pressure to Go Green is a huge trend in business across America.
So, when you send out corporate food gift baskets, what message do you want to send to the recipients?
If you, like countless businesses across the United States, invest time and significant funds into cultivating brand image even what sort of corporate food gift baskets you select should be a consideration. For those considering starting to Go Green as a business, there is no time like the present.
How many times do we hear that actions speak louder than words? Saying you are a green company and professing that the environment is important is not the same as actually taking actions that show you really do make even the smallest of decisions count.
When you consider sending a present to your employees or clients, take the opportunity to make a statement on the environment by sending green corporate food gift baskets. There is no better way to protect the environment and underscore the integrity of your business commitment to Going Green.
Instead of heading to a discount store for heavily processed foods, enveloped in so much plastic wrapping it requires a machete to unveil them put quality first and buy American-made artisan products from a wide selection of naturally produced, organic and fair trade items that are created using sustainable practices.
Aside from really making a difference in our world for future generations, your public image will get noticed by the growing number of consumers who actively seek to deal with green businesses and impress those who are only just awakening to the idea of corporate responsibility.
Wondering where to find a fantastic selection of green corporate food gift baskets? Shop at Traverse Gourmet online for a full range of organic, fair trade, and all natural products that have been carefully selected from the best artisans and small businesses in Northern Michigan.
We are proud to offer an exceptional selection of pre-made gift baskets as well as build-your-own baskets from our extensive inventory of high quality American-made food items. Whenever possible we, and our vendors use earth-friendly packaging.
Co-founder of Traverse Gourmet – Michigan Organic & Corporate Gift Baskets
There’s something about homemade organic brownies that speaks to the heart. Make it easy to enjoy scrumptious brownies and other tasty organic goodies with gourmet organic gift baskets.
At Traverse Gourmet, we’re always on the lookout for new and exciting certified organic products from locally sourced artisans and fair trade businesses. It is our mission to know where our food comes from, build relationships with our partners, and leave a gentle footprint on our planet.
We are as passionate about finding delicious gourmet foods as we are about the environment. Organic, as food aficionados know, does not have to mean bland and boring. When it comes to gift-giving, organic and whole foods really say you treasure the recipient and want what is best for them.
Which brings us to our ambassador of love and goodwill in a package, the undeniably delectable Just Good Chocolate’s Better World Brownie Mix. Not only does this easy mix produce decadent dark chocolate brownies that are guilt-free because it is organic and fair trade, these moist morsels will melt hearts.
Giving the gift of fine chocolate has been a gesture of love for generations, but carefully selecting a scrumptious chocolate mix that supports sustainable communities around the globe really sets the bar a little higher.
Knowing that the coffee and teas in the gourmet organic gift baskets are fair trade organic make the recipients feel special, cared for – worthy of only the best. Fine quality organic preserves, nut butters, olive oils, sauces, and other items all carry a message of goodwill that really warms the soul.
Each and every item we include in our inventory was selected because it is exceptional. We look for products that are distinctive and delightfully unusual. Consider popular choices such as our Naturally Nutty Organic Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter, Organic Persian Peach White Tea, or Organic Wild Leek Marinara Sauce.
Whenever possible we and our business partners use earth-friendly packaging, like our signature Traverse Gourmet recycled cotton totes to hold the items in our pre-made gourmet organic gift baskets.
Inspired to send a message of love with gourmet organic gift? Shop at Traverse Gourmet online for pre-made gifts or create your own. Our website lets you shop by gift basket, category, and price and we’re always happy to include a handwritten note with your gift on request.
Co-founder of Traverse Gourmet – Michigan Organic & Corporate Gift Baskets
Finding just the right gourmet corporate food gift baskets that strike the perfect balance between thoughtful and useful might be easier than you think for New Year’s.
News agencies reported last year that easily one-third of Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year. This ritual has withstood the test of time and is bantered about for weeks leading up to the ushering in of the new year.
Most people talk about it at work or among friends, and countless Americans write out their resolutions. As we all know, writing things down and putting them on the fridge or sharing them on Facebook with friends and family helps to keep us accountable.
According to pollsters, nearly half of Americans who make resolutions resolve to lose weight and more than a quarter want to become more physically fit. Good intentions aren’t enough to keep resolutions however: Just days after the ball drops in Times Square many people admit they have cheated on their resolutions or given up.
This is where gourmet corporate food gift baskets can support New Year’s resolutions. If you know a valued employee or important client really wants to make changes to improve health for 2014, consider sending a gift that will reinforce their resolve rather than shake it.
It can be very hard to stick to a diet or eat healthier. Just as soon as you make such a commitment it is practically inevitable you’ll be invited to a party with rich foods and high-calorie desserts – or someone brings donuts to the office.
Quitting smoking is another habit many people vouch to break. The problem is often they end up snacking on junk food to cut their craving for nicotine – which can be discouraging enough to send them out for a new pack of smokes.
Imagine the impression you’ll make sending gourmet food corporate gift baskets after the holiday rush that are thoughtfully packed full of delicious and healthy foods from carefully curated American culinary artisans. It’s a great way to say you care enough to send not only delicious but also nourishing healthful treats. Your gift will be well received and remembered. The only problem is they may be hoping for another one next year.
Eating well does not have to be dull! Traverse Gourmet carries a wide variety of healthy options that we promise do not taste like cardboard. Browse the easily navigated categories on our website to find a huge selection of fine gourmet treats and staples.
We have everything from fresh-baked multigrain loaves, nut butters, and just like homemade preserves to spicy organic salsas, mouth-watering spices and rubs, and wild fruit and nut cacao snacks. All of our organics, all natural foods, low-sugar sweets, fair trade coffees, and simply unforgettable teas have been carefully chosen from among Michigan’s finest companies.
Ready to send a message of support with gourmet corporate food gift baskets? Shop at Traverse Gourmet online to let your clients and staff know you appreciate them – and make a lasting impression.
Co-founder of Traverse Gourmet – Michigan Organic & Corporate Gift Baskets
Winter is coming, which makes corporate food gift baskets filled with tea and coffee a great gift choice.
There is nothing like a hot, perfectly brewed beverage on a cold blustery day to warm the heart. What better gift could there be for lasting appreciation and gratitude? Even daily coffee and tea drinkers will take months to use the carefully selected teas and coffees in a well-stocked corporate food gift basket.
Best of all, each time they indulge in a hot cup of steeped tea or steaming mug of gourmet coffee they will think of you. As the saying goes, you cannot buy happiness but you can buy tea and coffee and that is kind of the same thing.
You rarely encounter allergy issues with tea and coffees and they can easily be shared among coworkers and with friends and family.
Each selection of tea and coffee is an experience, with every blend offering a different taste and personality unique to where and how it was produced.
Serious tea drinkers can be daunting to buy for, but our selection will impress and delight the most discerning palates. Imagine the joy of sampling fine green, white, and black teas (even if the idea there are different teas is new!). We offer Freshwater Pearls Green tea, Northern Estates Assam tea, and Organic Manitou Masala Chai, plus the much-loved Windy City Irish Breakfast tea blend, Green Rooibos Sunsplash tea and more.
More than the average cup of Joe, our corporate food gift baskets are filled with fair trade coffees that will tempt the tastebuds. Consider from several options including Organic Funky Mamacita Blend coffee, with its creamy and sweet combo of South American and African beans; Dark Roast Peruvian Pangoa, a hit with its rich and sweet aroma and mellow finish; and Medium Roast Bolivian, which is outstanding for its smooth, rich and nutty taste. Naturally in addition to light, medium, and dark roast coffees we also offer decaf selections.
When you give a gift of fine quality tea and coffee, you can rest assured it will not gather dust somewhere, forgotten. These corporate food gift baskets are ideal for sharing.
Want to make the coffee & tea corporate food gift basket a bit more decadent? Simply add in gourmet snacks, sumptuous chocolates, and the finest fruit preserves.
Send the best quality tea and coffee and inspire warm thoughts and good feelings. Shop at Traverse Gourmet online for an exceptional selection of high quality teas and coffees, as well as a wealth of other Michigan gourmet food items. You may order pre-made gift baskets or create your own corporate food gift baskets online or by calling (877) 456-1387.
Co-founder of Traverse Gourmet – Michigan Organic & Corporate Gift Baskets
Give your loyal employees and valued clients something they will truly appreciate. While the standard corporate branded polo shirts or sweaters are nice, they don’t feel personal. Similarly, other logo embossed items like paperweights, coffee mugs, calendars, and pens are certainly gift ideas that would probably get used but they don’t send the same caring thoughtful message as a gourmet artisan corporate food gift basket.
Corporate food gift baskets are the best one-size-fits all, no fail gift option for staff and clients. Over the holidays most businesses send their preferred clients gift items. How do you stand out from the crowd? Choosing just the right gift will ensure that your token of appreciation is memorable and well received.
The best gifts are thoughtful and take a bit of foresight. Take the time to notice details that will help you select just the right items to include in a corporate food gift basket. Knowing which items will be perfect is how to take your gift from ordinary to exceptional.
Does a certain staff member keep a stash of dark chocolate, or adore fine milk chocolate? Consider the indulgence of receiving a gift of the finest Michigan honey caramels, herb and fruit truffles, and a package of Mug O’Love hot cocoa.
Have a client who is vegetarian? Create a gift basket packed full of gourmet fruit preservers, artisan crafted nut butters, organic coffee, multigrain bread, and a vegan chocolate collection.
For that out of state corporate contact you’re courting to do business in Michigan, give a taste of the best our state has to offer with one of our special Michigan gift baskets.
The possibilities for unique, tailor-made gift giving are endless when you choose to send a custom corporate food gift basket. You can choose from our gift basket selections or make your own to suit. We have a wide variety of items to suit every taste and budget. Each treat carefully chosen from the best local artisans and naturally produced foods available.
Whether you choose to send a basket filled with decadent indulgences, healthy gourmet selections, or a little of everything, a corporate food gift basket is a holiday present that is easily shared in the office or enjoyed at home with family and friends.
When you’re looking for that perfect present with “wow” factor that really shows thoughtful consideration, come to Michigan’s premier gift basket company for great selection of made in America items and competitive pricing.
Visit Traverse Gourmet online for the highest quality corporate gift baskets. Conveniently search by gift, category, or artisan or call (877) 456-1387 for personal assistance selecting creating gift baskets for your business.
Celebrations are made more memorable when carefully selected gifts are presented in honor of the occasion. High quality gifts like Michigan artisan organic gift baskets are greatly appreciated by all and considered a generous and caring gesture. Make someone’s special moment, even better with an organic gift basket by Traverse Gourmet.
Organic food = quality
Due to the increasing popularity of organic foods most people are now aware that organic foods are often made from the highest quality sustainable ingredients. People that do not maintain an organic diet often view organic foods as a delicacy and appreciate their rich fresh flavors, while those that do keep a strictly organic diet deem the food a necessity. Organic foods are not only known for being delicious and good for the body but also for their softer impact on the environment, making them an ideal gift for the environmentally conscientious.
Spread the joy with green giving
When you give Traverse Gourmet organic gift baskets you promote low impact products by using natural, recyclable and reusable packaging and giving certified organic sustainable foods. Purchasing organic gift baskets full of the very best, certified organic, Michigan artisan foods underscores the special sentiment you feel toward the recipient. Choosing the healthiest and finest foods, spices and sauces from small artisans is a deliberate demonstration of caring and goodwill. Delicious treats and gourmet sauces are always thoughtful and useful presents.
Not surprisingly, organic gift baskets are becoming the gift basket of choice for all occasions of celebration – particularly as an expression of gratitude, congratulations, or encouragement.
An organic gift basket is a heartwarming way to express thanks for a much-appreciated favor from a neighbor or friend and the ideal gift for a generous host. When someone has worked hard to make a work or charity event a success or achieved a personal goal like running a marathon, or making a theatre debut, an organic gift basket is a way to acknowledge the accomplishment and contribute to the festiveness of the occasion. Even better, each time the food is shared with others the recipient is able to share their success story enabling them to relive and celebrate it again. Organic gift baskets are also an ideal way to welcome new neighbors, recognize birthdays and anniversaries and take care of new parents while they take care of their new arrival.
If you are searching for a personal gift for someone special browse the organic gift baskets available from Traverse Gourmet for truly unique, quality organic gift giving. All organic gift baskets are packaged in your choice of a recycled cotton tote or 100% recycled Kraft Gift Box. You can select a prepared organic gift basket or browse our selection to create a custom gift. Whatever you choose you can rest assured that it will be the highest quality Michigan artisan creations and they will be delivered in a timely manner. Visit the Traverse Gourmet organic gift baskets to order today.