Holiday shopping is upon us, and if you’re looking for the perfect gift for your foodie friend, unique OTP boutiques abound with gourmet treats, treasures and tools. Hand-stuffed olives from Spain? Locally made truffles from Dahlonega? Wine from a family-owned vineyard? There’s something for every gourmand. Ditch the boring big-box stores and hit up one of these local shops for an epicurean holiday shopping adventure.
VSOP Olive Oil & Taproom
Located in historic Norcross, VSOP Olive Oil & Taproom specializes in fine extra-virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and specialty oils and vinegars from around the globe. They offer products that contain only natural ingredients (so no added sugars, artificial colors or flavors). In addition to EVOO and vinegars, you’ll also find a good variety of wines (including Georgia wines), kitchenware, candles, gift sets and stocking stuffers, such as shea butter and olive oil soaps. Gourmet food offerings include a selection of locally made goodies, from nuts and preserves to raw honey and pies. A new offering to check out this holiday season is olive leaf tea, rich in potent, natural olive antioxidants ($11.50 each). Tip: On Saturdays, pick up fresh French pastries while you shop.
81 S. Peachtree St., Norcross. 678-795-2002, vsoptaproom.com.
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Taste of Britain
Also located in historic Norcross, Taste of Britain offers up a selection of chocolates, teas, sweets, biscuits, giftware and items such as steak and kidney pies, English-style bangers, Cornish pasties, sausage rolls and more. The shop’s British owner frequently travels to the U.K. to source new items for the store — from Celtic tea sets to Union Jack-embroidered dog sweaters to an extensive selection of British treats and candies. The charming British accent at checkout is available at no charge.
73 S. Peachtree St., Norcross. 770-242-8585, tasteofbritain.com.
Gift your chocoholic loved ones something from the Chocolaterie in historic downtown Duluth. As the name suggests, you’ll find the stuff chocolate dreams are made of: fresh fudge, caramel turtles, covered nuts and clusters, chocolate-covered strawberries, triple-chocolate bacon, and more than 100 hand-painted chocolate truffles that are almost too pretty to eat.
3099 Main St., Duluth. 678-585-3338, thechocolaterie.com.
Nancy’s Candy & Spice
In downtown Lawrenceville, Nancy’s Candy & Spice is a warm, inviting specialty shop with exposed brick walls and an enchanting aroma of spices that welcomes visitors upon entering. This neighborhood gem has a selection of candy, candy-coated and flavored nuts, dried fruit, gift baskets and a great variety of fresh herbs and spices. Pick up some eggnog or candy cane almonds or pumpkin pie tea, then get to scooping some spices from the vast assortment on display. The best part? Sampling is encouraged.
186 W. Crogan St., Lawrenceville. 770-910-7927, nancyscandynspice.com.
Alon’s Bakery & Market
With the feel of a European market, Alon’s Bakery & Market (locations in Morningside and Dunwoody) offers a made-from-scratch selection of baked breads, European-style cakes, handmade pastries, gourmet sandwiches, freshly prepared foods, fine cheeses, chocolates and more. Locally made goods are available as well, including seasonal flavors from Georgia Jams, Jittery Joe’s coffee and Savannah Bee Co. The market, in business for more than 25 years, carries a wide range of gifts and specialty selections brought from regions all over the world, including extra-virgin olive oil, mustards and candies. Combine multiple items with the help of Alon’s gift basket center to create a custom gift from the market’s gourmet pantry.
4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road NE, Atlanta. 678-397-1781, alons.com.
1394 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-872-6000, alons.com.
Church Street Market
Located on Marietta Square, this quaint shop stocks Georgia artisan crafted goods, gifts (think cute tote bags, festive mugs and kitchenware) and decorative crafts. A host of Georgia-made foods are available, such as jellies, jams, chutneys, preserves, salsas and honey.
65 Church St. NE, Marietta. 770-499-9393, Facebook: Church Street Market.
Belux Coffee Roasters
On the border of Alpharetta and Johns Creek, Belux Coffee Roasters is a high-end coffee roaster where caffeine connoisseurs can shop for numerous in-house roasted coffee beans, including everyday blends and exotic varietals. Premium-quality specialty coffee beans (micro-batch roasted using fine green beans) and manual brewing equipment (carafes and pour-over accessories for home brewing) are on offer. Grab a Coffee Sampler Gift Set ($20) with four single-origin coffees or snag one of their current best-selling coffee blends, like the Panama Esmeralda Special (an Auctioned Grade Geisha, aka a top-tier coffee) or the Jamaica Blue Mountain (a Grade 1, another high level offering little or no defects).
5430 McGinnis Ferry Road, Alpharetta. 770-710-0588, beluxcoffee.com.
The recently opened Alpharetta wine boutique focuses on family-owned vineyards from around the world. Offering stellar bottles of wine at every price point, the wine store is open Tuesdays-Saturdays and conducts tastings from 6-8 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday (in a classroom-style tasting that starts every 30 minutes; $10 and four wines to taste), and from 5-7 p.m. Saturdays (a social tasting with groups of six starting every 15 minutes; $25 and includes meat and cheese board along with six wines to taste). Grab a bottle of vino as a gift for the oenophile in your life.
50 Canton St., Alpharetta. 470-361-2091, fermentedatl.com.
Roswell Provisions is an adorable shop full of European flair and old-school charm. The market area is stocked with more than 100 wines (varying from $12.95 to $120 a bottle), more than 125 domestic and international cheeses, a variety of smoked and cured meats, and French and Italian delicacies like pate and prosciutto. An olive oil and condiment bar offers specialty concoctions imported from Italy, Greece and France. You can also shop for French cookbooks, locally made truffles (from Paul Thomas in Dahlonega), custom gift baskets, and custom charcuterie and cheese platters. Before or after you shop, nosh on some French pastries and sip coffee from the espresso bar.
955 Canton St., Roswell. 678-682-8669, roswellprovisions.com.