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Washington Gourmet Gifts: Regional gift baskets

Nov 30th, 2012 | Category: Community, Food

by Brent Cole

As the holiday season kicks into gear, so does the local gift giving. With an emphasis on regional products, the Whatcom County-based Washington Gourmet Gifts (WGG) offers a number of gift baskets featuring foods, including hazelnuts, chocolates and more.

One example of the various baskets offered is the Northwest Indulgences basket, including chocolate, coffee, jam and lots more.

Though WGG first opened in 1989, new owner Amy Taylor purchased it this past April. Born and raised in Whatcom County, she and her husband Scott had both worked in executive management in casinos when they realized they needed to make a lifestyle change. The two saved every penny they could and spent a year travelling, visiting 27 countries along the way. “This time last year we were in either China or Japan,” she said with a laugh. After returning back to Whatcom County (she was born and raised here), they focused on trying to find a business to purchase and work for themselves. WGG was for sale, the price was right, so they bought it. “It had some really good established accounts already,” she added,

Approximately 90 percent of the products in the WGG baskets are from Washington State with a large portion from Whatcom County. Amy offers products from Chocolate Necessities, “that’s always a big one,” as well as products from Bellewood Acres, Tony’s Coffee, Holmquist Hazelnuts, Rainy Days Kitchen biscotti, Aldrich Farms, and Trilby’s BBQ sauce on a regular basis. She also works with Breadfarm and Samish Bay Cheese for special order products.

Being part of the local community was one of the biggest draws to WGG for Amy and Scott. “I enjoy working with local businesses. One of the reasons why I went with this business in particular is the community aspect of it.” She added with a laugh, “I love food and being able to be involved more in the community. It just really fit.”

While it’s early in the holiday season, Amy is happy with how sales have gone so far – 50 percent of her business occurs this time of year. WGG has a large business customer base, so many of the baskets purchased are given to clients as a thank you or to employees. For the other 11 months, her customers often consist of real estate agents buying baskets for new home owners or businesses who buy a “thank you” or “congratulations” basket.

Owner Amy Taylor and her husband Scott.

WGG offers pre-compiled baskets or special orders, which is what the bulk of the customers want.  “A lot of times when people call to order or send an email, they simply state that it’s so wonderful that you’re so focused on Washington state and local products,” she said with pride.

Other regional products include Portlock Smoked Salmon and Uncle Woody’s Caramel Corn.

For more information, visit www.wagifts.com, call (360) 647-0128 or email sales@wagifts.com.

Published in the December 2012 issue of Grow Northwest

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