Valentine’s Day is coming up, and this year instead of buying a cliché gift like red roses or a cheesy teddy bear, why don’t you get your love a really special gift from one of Kansas City’s finest? I put together a list of gifts that should satisfy everyone: girls, guys, romantics, non-romantics, anyone who drinks coffee or owns a smart phone, etc.
Okay, so a heart shaped box of chocolates is definitely a Valentine’s Day cliché but this gift box is really special. Christopher Elbow is Kansas City’s own chocolate master and his candies are sooo good. The truffles are literally almost too pretty to eat and they come in interesting flavors like Macadamia Praline, PB&J, Tequila Lime, Spiced Orange Caramel, Red Wine Caramel, and French Lavender. The Valentine’s Day 20 Piece Heart Box costs $40; if that’s a little more than you want to spend they also have a box of 9 assorted chocolates for $20.
Speaking of Christopher Elbow…
If you live in Kansas City and don’t live under a rock, you’ve definitely heard about this Chocolate Ale. It’s a special collaboration between Boulevard Brewery and Christopher Elbow released just in time for Valentine’s Day and it is crazy popular around KC. Like lines of people waiting outside stores or stalking delivery trucks just to find a bottle crazy. The Chocolate Ale was first released in in 2011 and then again in 2012, but they took last year off so they could perfect the recipe and prepare to make double the beer to help satisfy demand. About half of the Chocolate Ale will be shipped outside of the KC area so if you don’t live here don’t worry, you can likely find some Chocolate Ale near you; use the beer finder tool to help track some down. This is a really unique and excellent beer perfect for Valentine’s Day, I high recommend it!
And for the coffee lover, try this:
The Christopher Elbow Chocolate Blend coffee from The Roasterie. The Roasterie is another local favorite and they make exceptional coffee, so when you blend amazing coffee with the perfect chocolate you get, well, an amazing coffee blend. You can buy it online here. I suggest mixing in some Bailey’s or Godiva Liquor and adding some whipped cream on top for the ultimate cup of coffee.
Okay, now for the non-edible gifts.
I absolutely love this print by Ampersand Design Studio. Ampersand is run by two Kansas City girls who both worked for Hallmark for almost a decade before launching their own design studio, so you know they really know what they’re doing. The C’est Tout (It’s Everything) Love Screen Print is only $25 and it also comes in a mint/navy blue/gold colorway.
These phone cases from Red Dirt “Goods for Good” are really special. Each case is a limited edition design by an artist and a portion of the sales goes to Water.org to provide clean water to those who don’t have access to it. They have a ton of beautiful designs but I’m partial to these four by Dolan Geiman (whose work I have hanging in my hallway), Chet Flynn, Dan Padavic, and Callie England.
I’m normally not a big fan of bath and body gifts but I would be thrilled to receive a gift basket of goodies from Mixture. Another fabulous Kansas City company, Mixture hand makes all their products locally and they strive to make their goods as environmentally friendly as possible by using natural ingredients and recycled packaging materials. All of their bath and body products, candles, and home sprays come in lovely scents like lavender lemongrass, white ginger, blood orange, flower market, and sandalwood vanilla. I personally recommend the orange vanilla scent: I have two of these candles and they smell incredible! You can buy everything online here.