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The gift of cheese. Always a good idea.

From Wisconsin with love: Local foods make great gifts

October is the third annual Dining Month on Allmonth, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delicious features, chefprofiles, unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners ofour "Best of Dining 2009."

Recently, we've heard the message "buy local" so many times it's deeply engrained in our brains.

For the most part, buying local means shopping for ourselves and our families at businesses based in Wisconsin, but it's also a commitment to keep in mind when sending a gift for a birthday, an anniversary or the holidays.

In 1999, Linda Remeschatis, a University of Wisconsin graduate, started an online business called Her decade-old site offers more than 2,000 Wisco products, including meat, cheese, candy, syrup, popcorn, gluten-free foods, clothing, wooden items, books and more.

"Our most popular gift item is the Cheese of the Month Club," says Remeschatis. works with 250 small-to-medium-sized local manufactures and artisans. Remeschatis says her customers live all over the country, and they pick "homegrown" items because they are former Wisconsinites with fond memories of these foods or they were turned on to them while vacationing in the state.

"Wisconsin products naturally lend themselves to great gifts," says Remeschatis. "We take a lot of pride with our products."

There are lots of businesses that ship Wisconsin-made products. Here are a bunch of them, and add more via the Talkback feature:

Alterra Coffee Roasters
Multiple locations

Alterra offers a variety of gift boxes, including a fair trade organic sampler, through the online gift shop and in the cafes. The Coffee of the Month Club Coffee provides six- or 12-month subscriptions.

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company
Multiple locations

Holiday gift boxes featuring Anodyne coffee will be available in November.

Cedar Creek / Wollersheim Winery
Cedarburg and Prairie du Sac

Sister wineries Cedar Creek and Wollersheim ship bottles and cases of wine or gift boxes featuring combinations of their products to eight states: Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington DC, New Mexico, California, Florida, Mississippi and Colorado. Shipments go out daily.

Kallas Honey Farm, Inc.
5500 W Douglas Ave., (414) 462-3530

Kallas offers made-to-order gift baskets based on how much the customer wants to spend. Available products include honey, mustard, syrup, horseradish sauce and more.

Larsen Bakery
3311 Washington Ave., Racine (262) 633-4298

Larsen Bakery is the home of the Racine kringle. The online store offers multiple gift packages, including the popular "Kringle 3 Pack" that features a pecan, raspberry and apple kringle.

Mars' Cheese Castle
2800 120th Ave., Kenosha, (800) 655-6147

Mars' online store offers hundreds of different gift boxes featuring cheese, sausage, bakery items and more.

Rishi Tea
427 E Stewart St #5, (414) 747-4001

Rishi's online shop offers a plethora of sampler packs featuring the company's award-winning hot and cold teas.

Sprecher Brewery
701 W. Glendale Ave., (414) 964-7837

Sprecher ships their sodas, including their famous root beer, anywhere in the country.

Stone Creek Coffee Roasters
Multiple locations

Stone Creek features a Coffee of the Month Club gift option for three, six or 12 months.

1030 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 276-9100

The sausage capital of the country offers a large variety of sausage and cheese baskets that start around $16. Currently, Usinger's has two Internet specials that include shipping.
An e-commerce site featuring more than 2,000 local products, ranging from food items to books and clothing.


RedAger | Oct. 15, 2009 at 11:48 p.m. (report)

Good article makes me really miss Wisconsin. I'd like to add O&H Danish Bakery's Danish Layer Cake in Racine. The best cake I've ever had hands down and from what I've seen I can only find it in Wisconsin. O&H has two locations in Racine, 1841 Douglas Ave. and 4006 Durand Ave.

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lks | Oct. 15, 2009 at 11:23 a.m. (report)

I'd like to add Penzy Spices. Online or stores in the area. for locations. Check out the "Ethnic Milwaukee" Spices: Old World Seasoning, Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle, Galena Street Rib Rub, Fox Point Seasoning.

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