What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Our favorite local gifts: Durham edition

Posted December 11, 2012
Updated December 3, 2013

A miniature replica, complete in every detail, of downtown Durham’s iconic Major the Bull statue, is available at Morgan Imports. (Photo by Chris Reid)

For the Die-Hard Durhamite:

Durham Inspired Apparel

Runaway Hoodie
Runaway is a local Durham-centric apparel company founded by Gabe Eng-Goetz who grew up in Durham and calls the Bull City home. Runaway is creating fresh designs that are becoming ubiquitous around town. You've probably noticed those DURM caps, but I'm a big fan of their Durham neighborhood design that looks like a butcher’s map. Find Runaway gear on their site, at Dolly's and Ox and Rabbit.

sustain a bull

Sustain-a-Bull Tee
Sustain-a-Bull is a non-profit independent business alliance. Translation? It’s a collection of Durham-based, small businesses that have banded together to promote keeping your retail dollars local. According to their site for every $100 you spend at a national chain, $13 stays in our community, when you shop an online merchant $0 stays local but when you spend the same amount with an independent local business, $45 stays local. They get bonus points for a really clever name. Their tees are a great gift for those who truly love sustaining the Bull. Available at the Regulator, Parker & Otis, The Scrap Exchange, vert & vogue, Wine Authorities, One World Market, & on their site.

major the bull

The Brass Bull at Morgan Imports
A miniature replica, complete in every detail, of downtown Durham’s iconic Major the Bull statue. What Durham-enthusiast wouldn’t want one of these on their desk at work?

For the Chef/Baker/Kitchen Novice:

Dolly's Vintage Christmas Wares
Dolly's is a favorite spot for unique gift giving. During the holidays they've stocked the shelves with lots of vintage and handmade wares. Our picks for our favorite master bakers or perennial hostess are the wide collection of vintage aprons and table clothes.

stone brothers

Stone Brothers
Stone Brothers is a lawn and garden store that has been in Durham since 1914. In addition to plants, straw, fertilizer, these guys dish out invaluable gardening advice. They can tell you whether mushroom compost is better for your tomato plants and which plants you're likely not to kill. Stone Brothers is also a great spot for Christmas gifts. They carry a variety of jams, jellies and honeys and a variety of handmade craft objects like this hand-forged oyster knife. Made from a salvaged railroad spike, it would make an excellent gift for the oyster enthusiast on your list. I’m also a big fan of giving folks a Duke brand pecan cracker – a really unusual gift most folks don’t realize they need.

Morgan Imports
Not exactly a hidden gem when it comes to gift giving, Morgan Imports really steps up their game for the holidays. I’m a big fan of their apron selection particularly this North Carolina design.

Favorite Hostess Gifts:

seven pepper jam

Foster's Seven Pepper Jam
This is my favorite holiday hostess gift. It's somewhat life-changing when slathered on a simple cracker along with a dab of cream cheese. It's locally-made and less than $10. In addition to Foster’s Market, the jam is available at Parker & Otis.

Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Butter
Locally-made artisinal peanut butter makes a great gift. At upwards of $9 a jar, it's an indulgence folks might not buy for themselves but will surely relish as a gift. Find Big Spoon at Wine Authorities, Foster’s, Loaf and Parker & Otis.

big spoon

A Stollen from Guglupf
Somewhat legendary, Guglupf’s stollen has received both local and national praise. A traditional German treat, Guglupf’s stollen is a dense bread studded with raisins, almonds and citrus.

For those who have everything:

A gift certificate to a favorite restaurant is always a welcome gift. I suggest one of Durham’s new favorite restaurants – Pizzeria Toro or Mateo.

And for those who like to deliver homemade gifts to neighbors and friends – the Brame (aka Not Just Paper) on Main St. is the place for holiday pie boxes, cute tins, holiday bags and tags.

Chris Rhyne Reid is a North Carolina native with a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A copywriter by day, she pursues her love of all things edible in her spare time. She writes for Durham-based food blog Carpe Durham.


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