SLP Gift Guide: Home Is Where the Heart Is

These local gifts hit close to home, helping St. Louis Park residents and their friends prepare for the coziest, classiest holidays yet.
(gingerbread bundt photo courtesy of Nordicware)

During the holidays home is truly where the heart is, and few things are sweeter than sipping cider and cocoa by the fire during a Minnesota snowfall. Whether your house is filled with guests or you are filling another’s home with love and laughter this season, these local gifts will help make home a warmer, cheerier place. From a wine carafe imported from Sweden to a pillow reminiscent of a childhood book, these gifts can be purchased at businesses in St. Louis Park and packaged for friends or put to use in your own abode.

Minnesota Coasters

It’s eggnog and cocoa season, which means your favorite coffee table needs protection. Impress out-of-town guests with coasters made by local artist Debbie Cooper of Kaye & Co. Designs. “They are a great gift item for the holidays, and out-of-town customers love that they are locally made,” says Apricot Lane owner Kristine Haas. Apricot Lane.

Pillowooly Pillow

Long days of sledding and skiing warrant a few extra hours of rest. Settle down for a good night’s sleep with Moss Envy’s bestselling Pillowooly Pillow, with wool nubs to shift and shape to your comfort. Long-lasting, with pure wool filling, Moss Envy says this pillow will not shift or lose its shape, so you will have sweet dreams all night long. $88.30. Moss Envy.

Reclaimed Barnwood Minnesota Wall Plaque

There’s nothing that says “home” like a Minnesota-shaped wall hanging. This charming reclaimed barnwood wall plaque adds a rustic accent to any wall, whether at the cabin or at home in St. Louis Park. Each placard is cut and arranged using different sections of barnwood, making each one charming in its own way. $60. Moss Envy.

Zip Code Notepads

Show your support for the place your friends call home by ordering personalized zip code notepads with friends’ zip codes printed across the top of their notes. One of Bean + Ro’s bestselling items, these notepads feature local zip codes and can be custom-ordered. $34.95, plus shipping. Bean + Ro.

Nybro Boat Bowl

Fashioned after a working boat in Scandinavia, these glass bowls come in three sizes. “They are wonderful for serving shrimp and herring,” Iverson’s owner Paula Iverson exclaims. Frequently purchased as wedding gifts, the shape of the boat demonstrates strength, while the glass design ensures the bowl will be a dependable vessel for serving and entertaining your most distinguished guests. $46-$98. Iverson’s Scandinavian Imports.

Sagaform Oval Oak Wine Carafe

Carefully crafted in Sweden, this carafe is fit to hold your finest wines this season. Mouth-blown and with a stopper made of pure oak, the timeless design will help it remain a classic for years. Iverson’s also carries other items from the Oval Oak collection including oil and vinegar bottles, water jars, and salt and pepper shakers, all with unique oak stoppers. Chic and elegant, these containers are a great gift for the host or hostess in your life. $43.95. Iverson’s Scandinavian Imports.

Gingerbread House Pans

’Tis the season for gingerbread houses, and the Nordic Ware Factory store makes constructing these tasty abodes simple with their Gingerbread House Pans. “They’re all made from cast aluminum, the preferred baking material for even heating and golden-brown results, right here in our St. Louis Park factory,” says Jennifer Dalquist, a third-generation member of the family that started and still owns Nordic Ware. These cast baking pans come in three varieties: Gingerbread Cottage, Gingerbread Duet, and the Cozy Village. $28 each. Nordic Ware Factory Store.

Baguette Board

Rustica Bakery’s Baguette Board is one of the many items in their Marketplace that pairs perfectly with their baked goods. This board is long and narrow, making baguette slicing a cleaner process. Made by August Fischer Makers in Crystal Bay, these black walnut boards are as trendy as they are functional (the boards are available in a variety of local woods). “We curate from local makers, and everything we sell has some function that pairs with our bread,” says Greg Hoyt, owner. $49.95. Rustica Bakery.

Serious Jams

Created in small batches in St. Paul, Serious Jams are not to be taken lightly. Jam out with distinctive flavors such as blackcurrant smoked vanilla, and Meyer lemon Earl Grey marmalade; these unique spreads will elevate any breakfast or mid-afternoon snack. “We sell these more than anything else in our Marketplace, and we use them on our bread plate,” says Greg Hoyt, Rustica owner. $12 each. Rustica Bakery.

Animal Salt and Pepper Shakers

These whimsical salt and pepper shakers turn seasoning food into mealtime entertainment. Made of glass with cork stoppers, Ciel sells Dachshund, pig and chicken shakers. These animals may not be your usual dinner guests, but they are sure to be a hit for both adults and children. $29‒$32 per pair. Ciel Loft & Home.

Pithy Dish Towels

Funny and functional, Ciel’s Pithy Dish Towels serve as entertaining conversation starters, as well as stylish dishtowels. With fresh phrases like “Let the beet drop” and “’Merica,” these towels, from ellembee, are simple and trendy. A great hostess gift, they add personality to any kitchen. $22 each. Ciel Loft & Home.

Honey & Rye Coffee Mug

Cold hands and a caffeine craving? This Honey & Rye Coffee Mug will hold your favorite morning brew, and is a great shape for warming your hands. Handmade in Minneapolis by Grey Fox Pottery, this ceramic mug can be paired with a bag of high-quality coffee beans for a great gift this season. Made of stoneware, these mugs are sturdy and stylish, and are great for serving any hot beverage. $15. Honey & Rye Bakehouse.

Baking Classes

Honey & Rye is offering a variety of baking classes to help fill kitchens with warmth and sweetness this season. “From sweet to savory, choose from a variety of classes and join one of our bakers in the Honey & Rye kitchen,” says Kate Sharp, Honey & Rye shop manager. “Classes are intimate and hands-on, and attendees take home the results of their work as well as recipes.” Class prices range from $75-$95, and class selection changes seasonally. Honey & Rye Bakehouse.

“Love You Forever” Pillow

The book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is a timeless classic. Kittsona, at West End, is selling a pillow with the famous phrase, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” (They also carry a pillow featuring a famous line from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, shown above). With neutral colors, or pink or blue stripes, that blend well in a nursery or a living room, this pillow is sure to be a delightful surprise for loved ones. $22. Kittsona.

Milkbarn Big Lovey Blanket

A puppy may not be a feasible gift for the little ones this year, but these imaginative animal blankets from Kittsona are a great alternative. Choose from giraffe, fox, and other animal patterns, with a different design on the front and back of the blanket. Made with two layers of bamboo cotton and rayon, the Big Lovey is sturdy to endure being handled by little fingers, and soft enough to snuggle with by the fire. $50. Kittsona.

Special thanks to Andrew and Janelle Vick of Andrew Vick Photography and Living Room Studios for the use of their lovely home during this photo shoot.