Local Luxuries: Park City-Made Treats
I’m always searching for well-crafted, delightful products for any number of occasions, from birthday presents for friends to unique “little somethings” for client gift baskets. And with Valentine’s Day looming, I’m also searching for modest indulgences to give to the people I love. Luckily for me, the maxim “Shop Local” is easy to abide here in Park City. There are so many talented makers of everything from spirits and chocolate to beef jerky. Here’s a round-up of edible and/or drinkable Park City-made products that I love to treat myself and others to when gift o’clock strikes.
Owned by native Robbie Stout and his partner Annie Davies, Ritual Chocolate is aptly named. Once you buy a bar and take a bite, I dare you to resist buying another within a day or two. This award-winning chocolate leans on selective sourcing that goes above and beyond Fair Trade, as well as nuanced flavors like dark cherry chile. They also produce drinking chocolate that will have you re-evaluating whether coffee is indeed your hot beverage of choice. Find bars at their café in the Iron Mountain district, at their hub inside Whole Foods, or online. A bar of Ritual is, of course, a Valentine’s Day no-brainer.
Mountain Town Olive Oil
A fabulous olive oil can make all the difference between a mediocre dish and one that shines. Plus, everyone loves receiving a bottle of good oil or vinegar. Unlike chocolate or booze, which might not be for everyone, the variety of olive oils and vinegars Mountain Town produces can be put to use by just about anyone. Conveniently, you can buy ready-made gift baskets at Mountain Town Olive Oil Col. on Main Street–while sampling diligently, of course—or pull together your own unique mix of product. Caprese salad, anyone?
Old Town Cellars Wine
In case you hadn’t heard the good news, Old Town Cellars (OTC) wines recently obtained a license to sell its bottles on SUNDAY. So, if you’re reading this on Sunday, and forgot to buy a bottle of wine for the dinner you’re going to tonight, fret not. Head to OTC on Main Street and consider the Mountain Town Red or Townie Rosè. Self-dubbed the official wine of après, OTC makes locally tailored, affordable bottles that I love to gift to fellow locals and newcomers alike, particularly to congratulate them on an exciting close.
Park City Brewery Ales
I’ve sung the praises of Park City Brewery many times before on the blog, but I’ll namedrop them again here. Got a beer lover in the mix? Bestow them with a fine six-pack of the good stuff: Imperial Pilsner or the Hooker Blonde Ale. These beers scream Park City, from flavor profiles pure as snow and colorful can design reminiscent of the local outdoor brands we sport, to the name itself. You can find the brewery off Rasmussen Road in between Park City and Jeremy Ranch, or pick up a six-pack at just about any beer store in town.
Samak Smoke House Jerky
This one’s a little off the beaten path, but is open daily and year-round. Drive through Kamas and head toward the Uintas on Mirror Lake Highway. Just a few miles out of town on your left, you’ll see an adorable little log cabin: behold, the Samak Smoke House. The building itself was originally a cantina for miners. After our local mining operations drew to a close, the building was relocated from the Deer Valley area to the town of Samak. Today, it operates as an adorable general store selling specialty food items (including those smoked in house) and souvenirs. Don’t leave without some cherrywood-smoked jerky for you and yours. Samak Smoke House has been been making jerky for a quarter of a century from hand-cut beef, turkey, and even trout, and it shows. Don’t feel like making the trip? You can also buy online or at The Market at Park City.
High West Whiskey, Candles, and Barware
Few who live in Park City or have even been here once are unfamiliar with the name High West. Setting the record straight on the relationship between Utah and booze since 2006, Park City’s favorite distillery is just as good for dinner as it is for at-home sipping. What you may not know is that both the High West Saloon off Main Street and the distillery in Wanship have gift shops stocked with not only bottles of its whiskey and vodka, but also bourbon-scented candles, and beautiful hand-blown glass barware. You can rest assured that if you gift anything with the High West name on it, your recipient will be immensely grateful.
Windy Ridge Granola
I should start by saying that when I need food for an open house, my absolute first pick is Windy Ridge Bakery. Sister concept to Windy Ridge Café and part of Bill White’s locally loved restaurant group, this bakery churns out quiches that I swear sell houses, as well as pies that make memories and cookies that satisfy cravings. But one of my favorite things available at Windy Ridge Bakery is its bags of granola. Enjoy it with Greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast, or make dessert out of it with a little dark chocolate and a few spoonfuls of coconut Noosa. This makes a great gift to pair with coffee or local fruit from the farmers’ market come summer for a breakfast-themed basket.
Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters
Park City is lucky to be blessed with many fine coffee roasters and purveyors. Yet one of my favorites is Pink Elephant, which like many good things, is a little hard to find. The roastery is located on Main Street upstairs from Billy’s Barbershop. Step inside with confidence, head up the stairs, and the strong coffee aromas will let you know you’re in the right place. In your cup (or bag) will be single-origin coffee beans of the utmost quality, lovingly roasted in small batches. I assure you, you and your recipient will taste the difference. And it’s what they are serving up at my favorite caffeine-fix drive-through, Silver King Coffee.
Deer Valley Turkey Chili and Cookie Mix
One of the underdogs of the local restaurant scene? Deer Valley Grocery Café. Nope, it’s not on Main Street, and it ain’t ski-in/ski-out either. But it’s soooo worth it. One taste of their turkey chili (also famous at Deer Valley Resort ski lodges) on a chilly day and I’m sure you’ll agree. In the meantime, if you’ve got a friend who likes to cook and bake—but only sort of, then I’ve got the perfect gift for them. You know, the pal who’s dipped their toes in one of those meal prep delivery services, and likes to assemble, but not to go through the hassle of from-scratch cooking. Enter the Turkey Chili mix, a bag of beans and seasoning with a recipe, that makes preparing a big batch of the good stuff at home a cinch. Oh, and if you’re a fan of the café’s jumbo cookies, the cookie mix produces similar results from the comfort of home.
Oil & Vinegar Junction Salt
I know, I know—we already talked about olive oil and balsamic vinegar that makes tomatoes next-level. But there’s another outpost of oil and vinegar in town, and they offer something you and all the foodies in your life need: salt. A good salt is worth its weight in gold and Oil & Vinegar Junction, located right by Smith’s in Kimball Junction offers several different varieties. From lemon sea salt to Himalayan lava salt—as well as pepper—all of O&V’s goods make great gifts. Use as a finishing salt on roasted meats or veggies, or sprinkle some on chocolate chip cookies before baking for the win.
postscript: a shout out to locally-owned grocer, The Market at Park City, where they carry an abundance of the products mentioned above plus many more.