Bay Mine! 2021 Local Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Nothing spells l-o-v-e more than shopping local and homemade Thunder Bay goodies! Pull out all the stops this Valentine’s Day with these Cupid-approved ideas for your fav person, hubby, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, Galentine or hey…it’s a great time treat yourself!  We could all use some extra love right now, including the small businesses, crafters and makers in Thunder Bay. With classic gifts like fresh blooms and sweet treats that will win most hearts over, there’s also some other items off the beaten path that will make them swooooon.

***These gifts can all be safely purchased with home delivery options for some and curb-side & contactless pickup. Please support local. 

Hot Cocoa Bombs & Cookie Cake- Country Cupcakes

These hot cocoa bombs will blow your mind!  Created just for Valentine’s Day in the shape of a heart and gorgeous (and fun) colours, they are  available in dark, milk, white Belgium chocolate, peppermint and salted caramel. Each bomb is a hollow chocolate heart that’s filled with mini marshmallows and cocoa mix. Put the chocolate heart into an empty mug and pour hot milk on top … and voila! When the chocolate shell begins to melt into the milk, the marshmallows appear. Valentine’s Day magic! Give it a quick stir, and you’ve got yourself the perfect sweet treat. Did I mention how pretty they are?!

The cookie cake is also picture perfect and almost looks too good to eat!  Sugar art, Belgium chocolate, edible lace, meringues, fondant creations, and handmade sequins – it’s the ultimate in creative expression and a true sensory experience. Two giant heart cookies filled with signature Country Cupcakes buttercream, it’s a beautiful tasty treat to share with your sweetie.

Both items are created with love by Keely Cambly of Country Cupcakes using quality, local ingredients. All of her creations are made in small batches in her country kitchen. Valentine’s Day packages are also available.

Him Box- kraft.

Not sure what to get him for Vday? Kraft offers the perfect collection of goods just for the beau in your life. The him box is a carefully curated collection of local products, featuring a little of everything.

  • BBQ sauce from The Foundry
  • BEEF Jerky from Bay meats
  • Man-dle from Waxxed candle co.
  • North Shore Soap from Lovely Body

The Yae Box and Naked Box are other fun options from Kraft.

The Man-dle is available on its own at Waxxed Candle Co. If your guy kinda wants to join the candle club but he’s totally in the dark, this is a good place to start. We all know men secretly like candles! With scents of amaretto, rum, balsam, blended with light and dark musk— the Man-dle is pretty darn handsome. It’s just what he wants to get rid of that stench in his man cave, and smells as sleek as it looks. And of course Waxxed Candle Co has created other scents for Love day- Chocolate and Strawberry Shortcake.  Yum!

Valentine’s Day Charcuterie

Charkuu 102 Charcuterie

If you’ve been out to CharKuu 102, you are going to LOVE this. The homestead is bringing their farm to table concept to the new NOMAD on Bay Street, creating intricately crafted house-made charcuterie boards that will make for a fancy date night.

Just in time for Valentine’s day, a limited number of boards with mindfully placed meats and creamy yet contrasting cheeses will be created that include:

  • Charcuterie variety pack (pre-sliced) Speck, Orange and fennel Lonza, and Beet and Dill salami
  • An old world style sheep cheese or Manchego from Walkabout Farms
  • Local applewood charcuterie board from PA Woodcraft
  • Crostini’s from the The Sapling Bakery

CharKuu 102 prides itself in being the Farmer, the Butcher and now the Charcutier. Their heritage breed pigs root up on rotating pastures and have the freedom to forage within the Boreal Forest.  The flavour of the artisanal charcuterie reflects the old-world lifestyle on the homestead. For full details on the boards and when they will be available make sure to follow CharKuu 102 Charcuterie.

Carte Blanche Charcuterie Love Boxes

Opening in Thunder Bay this past December, Carte Blanche offers charcuterie…in a box! These “very intentionally and thoughtfully crafted” delicious gorgeous boxes, contain the perfect mix of meats, cheeses, breads, crackers, veggies, fruit, and a scattering of sweet treats (including chocolate covered pretzles), and are filled to the brim. It’s the perfect way to spend time together while enjoying some bites and uncovering more deliciousness with every bite.

Since opening, the boxes have soared in popularity — a foodie heaven all brought together and beautifully styled in ways our eyes (and our hands) can’t resist. Carte Blanche wants to be known for the the experience of its boxes – “slowing down, enjoying the little things, having a good conversation and connecting.”

Check out Carte Blanche’s Valentine’s Day package that is sure to bring love and deliciousness into your home this February! The box is paired with a locally crafted candle and a tulip bouquet from Thuja Floral Design.

Friday, I’m in Love

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Heron House Handmade, Pulp + Paper Co and The Urban Farmchick are coming together to offer a staggered virtual shopping night experience. Starting at 7:00 pm on Friday, February 5th, the makers will each be updating their online shops, providing unique products that are perfect for Galentine’s gifting or a little treat for yourself.

Experience Heron House Handmade like you’ve never seen it before.. pretty in pink! Perfect for your next dinner table centrepiece or the living room, these beautiful creations not only light up your space but make very stylish decor .

A Canadian classic made famous by Bruce Cockburn, or The Barenaked Ladies – either way Lovers in a Dangerous Time has never been more relevant. Designed by Pulp + Paper and Letterpressed by Everlovin Press, 100% of proceeds from this limited edition run will be donated to the Black Opportunity Fund in Ontario.

TBay Neighbourhood maps will also make a return for the shopping date. New size, and new paper!! You can also continue to show some love with the heart print that made your heart skip a beat last year. “This time has been a lot of things, but it was also the time that we all came together, helped each other out, supported local, and loved our community. This print doesn’t actually say all those things, but it’s a heart and sometimes thats all you need.”

Known for her beautiful and romantic blooms and amazing soaps, the Urban Farmchick will have dried bouquets available, along with other surprises we just can’t wait to see.

Scorpion Hot Sauce- Heartbeat Hot Co.

Spice things up with Heartbeat Hot Sauce’s latest creation—Scorpion Hot Sauce. They say it’s their hottest sauce yet, and Harry Potter says it has “just the right amount of firey-ness”. (The sauce was featured on Seaon 13 of Hot Ones in which Daniel Radcliffe identified the creation as one of his favs!)

The new recipe features Trinidad Scorpion Peppers that is guaranteed  to get your blood pumping with just a couple drops. Scorpion will make just about any food better including tacos, fries, lettuce wraps, eggs… absolutely epic on macaroni…the possibilities are endless. It’s definitely become my new go to! Listen to the wizard and turn up the heat this Valentine’s day!

Love Spell Bath Cupcakes & North Shore Shaving Cream- Lovely Body

Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, so why not celebrate loving yourself? Feeling a little anxious lately? ME TOO! It sounds like you could use a nice, long bath, because really, what can’t a bubble bath fix?

These Love Spell Bath Cupcakes by Lovely Body look soo sweet (and good enough to eat)! The base is a bath bomb with a big scoop of frosting on top that is is a bubble bar! The 2-in-1 treats were made for the perfect bath. They can be used either together or separately.  Scented in Love Spell, it has notes of ripe fruits of apple, peach, grapefruit, and sweet florals of cherry blossom and hydrangea. There’s a touch of vanilla and soft powder to bring sweetness to the blend.

The bath cupcakes infuse water with oodles of skin-loving cocoa butter. Enjoy mounds of bubbles in your tub while you moisturize! SLS-free, these gentle bubble bars are a great sensitive-skin solution for a fun and luxurious bath. Also comes in Rose Quartz.

A popular item for him, North Shore shaving cream is a rugged scent, which manages to be crisp and clean, contrasted by warm and faintly smoky, and packed full of the things sensitive skin loves and needs.  The Sweet Almond Oil ingredient moisturizes and helps to prevent razor irritation, while natural Bentonite Clay supports the razor to slip over skin gently, without the usual dragging sensation that can cause razor burn. Also works fabulously as a gentle facial or body cleanser.

Chatty Heart Earrings- Sleepy Daisy

How cute are these!!!!!!!

This playful set of Chatty Earrings by Sleepy Daisy mimic candy conversation hearts, with each pair boasting a sweet, but sassy sentiment in a pastel shade. Handmade with polymer clay, creator Camryn says she gets a lot of inspiration from retro styles and colour palettes, especially fashion and home decor trends from the 60’s and 70s. Watch for a restock of her shop coming soon.

Breakfast in Bed

Start the day off right by serving up a romantic Valentine’s Day breakfast, then enjoy it together while lounging in bed. Don’t forget the mimosas!!

Finnish Pancake Mix- Kangas Sauna

There is no greater pleasure than waking up to a stack of Finnish pancakes, and anyone who tells you differently is lying. Pick up this traditional pancake mix from Kangas Sauna, and the rest is easy. You will create insanely tasty pancakes and can even grab homemade strawberry or blueberry sauce to top it off. Make sure to check out Kangas Sauna’s to-go fridge and freezer packed with a bunch of homemade goodies including soups (the borscht is my fav), sweet treats, and Piirakkat. These Finnish rice-filled pastries are very popular among the locals in Helsinki!

Fox on the Run!  Brunch Takeout

Sweet!  Featuring stuffed french toast with berries, cream cheese and yogurt topped with Fox on the Run’s creamy vanilla syrup and berry coulis. Some light cooking is required for this one to get things toasty! Also includes Quiche with crimini mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, feta and fresh basil, Cinnamon bun from Donato’s Bakery Fruit Salad & Juice.

Savoury! Bagel Delight featuring build your own morning bagels with smoked ham, baked salmon, Thunder Oak Gouda, dilled cream cheese, with Spring Mix Salad with House-made honey dill dressing and goat cheese, Devilled eggs, White chocolate and cherry scones, Yogurt and berry Mueslix & Juice. Order in advance from Fox on the Run.

Do All Things with Love Pack- Ungalli Clothing Co.

Show Mother Earth some love this Valentine’s Day! This Ungalli Clothing Co unisex sweatshirt is made from 12 recycled plastic bottles! The Ungalli gals explain that “all too often, we get so caught up in the daily grind that we fail to see the beauty that surrounds us”. This newly designed  sweatshirt is a reminder to be present, live in the moment, and do all things with love.

It’s made from innovative recycled fleece, 50% organic cotton and 50% recycled polyester from plastic bottles, and ethically manufactured in Canada. It’s paired with a pack of mini scrunchies from Juniper Brand Goods. You can also select the option for a zip-up hoodie in Gold or Rosy pink. Check out all the Valentine’s Day options.

It’s Brew Love! – Sleeping Giant Brewing Co.

This makes me sooo hoppy! Sleeping Giant Brewing Co’s annual Valentine’s Day beer & chocolate tasting event, has evolved into a home delivery package so we don’t have to miss it this year. 4PLAY includes four tasty SGBC beers expertly paired with delectable chocolate treats from The Foundry, Baked In The Bay, Chocolate Cow, and The Sweet North Bakery plus one bottle of this year’s  Love & Happiness Imperial Stout. Pairing notes will be included as well as home delivery.

Send them a Beer Gram!  The Be(er) My Valentine Beer Gram gift basket that includes four SGBC beers, a stemmed 16oz SGBC glass, a SGBC Waxxed candle, Chocolate Cow chocolate, and Binocular Bakery custom cookie. It can be delivered right to your sweetheart’s door with a  a personalized message.

George’s Market

Typically known for their stunning flowers (which still make for the most classic Valentine’s Day prezzie) and holiday gift baskets, George’s Market is  now serving up a different kind of  bouquet…

If your loved one is not fan of the traditional candy or flowers, the local grocer is offering an alternative gift this Valentine’s Day – a meat bouquet. This meaty gift is actually a pretty awesome idea. Made from a variety of meats, cheeses and bread, it’s created to express basically the same thing as flowers, your devoted love… (and hunger). But the best part- after admiring the bouquet’s beauty, you and your loved one can eat the entire thing too. Bonus!

George’s Market is also offering a pretty impressive customizable Staycation Dinner Package for Valentine’s Day. Create a romantic dinner right at home— complete with heart shaped steak, lobster, homemade fruit cobbler, Sap Sucker, flowers and even a candle. You absolutely can’t fail with this one! Don’t fret, cooking instructions will be provided. Check out the full list of choices online to create the ultimate date night in.

Sweet Heart Hat- Knits by Nat

Hats you will LOVE for all ages!  This adorable heart print hat paired with a fluffy white faux fur pom is a serious mood-lifter during even the stormiest of forecasts. It’s super soft, ultra warm and comes in four colours: Denim, Fig,Claret and Mustard. Sizes available for mom and the entire gang! Handmade with tender loving care and high quality yarn (80% Acrylic, 20% Wool Blend) by the fastest knitter I know, Natalie of Knits by Nat.

Dinner Options & Cocktails

Valentine’s Day is about love, but it’s also equally about food! But if you don’t like the idea of spending all day in the kitchen whipping up something for your Valentine, then check out local restaurants with Love Day specials.

If you want to celebrate early, Bight is offering a super fun, authentic Chinese New Year dinner option for February 12th. The dinner box for two has five courses including dumplings and spring rolls. Add a 4-pack of Tsingtao beer and recognize the year of the Ox.

My fav dinner option, Nook!  Margarita pizza, gnocchi and a Burrata board…Now that’s amore! And some classic Italian comfort food. Known for its abundance of taste and simple yet always-wholesome ingredients, these dishes can be perfectly paired with your favourite person, and, of course, an empty stomach! And if you are going to get a bottle of vino to go, I recommend the Schola Sarmenti Primitivo- trust me, you won’t regret it. Make sure to ask for the chilli pepper oil as well.

Wanting something more on the romantic side, check out Valentine dinner options from Bistro One, Tomlin, Daytona’s and Giorg.

Cocktails

Barkeep Cocktails is now serving up your favourite bevys to go, and even delivering to your door! I’m in love. They’ve once again turned the little bar located on St.Paul street into a quaint shop. You’ll find Mixed Cocktail Kits (the Guanoabana Tiger Tea looks interesting), an array of brand new and intriguing cocktails like the Winter Sangria, Cold Killer and this beautiful Berry Blossom Negroni, along with syrups, local and Imported Beer, some interesting wines and snacks (definitely get the onion chip dip). Visit them online to get the full menu and details on how to order.

Heart Door Mat- Bloomers and the Brownhouse

Nothing says welcome more than a cute doormat!  It’s the first thing you see when entering your home, and when we’re finally able to have guests over, it’s also chance to make a statement or, at the very least, set an inviting tone for your place. In the meantime we can impress the mailman. Make sure to check out all of the other door mat options and awesome gift items available on the cute little shop’s Instagram. They post daily with curb side pickup. The heart mats are also available at Hygge Loft.

Wool Socks- East Oliver Apparel

Warm their feet and their heart. These East Oliver Lake socks are like hugs for your toes! Made of wool and available with the traditional red or event black stripe, they are super durable and cozy. They are perfect for an adventure, snuggling indoors, or even a hike or a skate on the lake.

 

The socks come in adult sizes small or large. $1 from every East Oliver Apparel clothing item sold is donated to the Northern Reach Rescue Network.

Heart Necklace- Red Door Metalworks

The stamped heart necklace is an everyday piece they won’t want to take off, and is a constant reminder of how much you adore them!! It can be layered with other necklaces and goes with every outfit with it’s simplicity and charm.

It’s dainty, minimalist look is the perfect addition to any jewelry box! The 9 mm sterling disc hangs on an 18” sterling silver chain. Get in touch with Red Door Metalworks if you’re interested.

Tbay my Valentine! xo

#BayAwesome

About the author

Amanda Bay

Amanda is a PR Gal from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. She is a news enthusiast and communications specialist, navigating the media world for over 17 years. Being very passionate about her community, she strives to create a positive reaction through giving back and her work. It's about finding the awesome in all of life's experiences.

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