Small Business Saturday is a special day to celebrate and support small businesses - I prefer to shop small all year! In the 2.5 years since I’ve started Sweet’s Syrup I have met several amazing small business owners that are incredible artisans, creators and makers - you can feel the love and pride in their products! Here are some of my favorites that are all made in North Carolina - please please check them out!!
I met the lovely Pat, owner of Fannie Bragg pound cakes at the Cotswold Farmers Market - her cakes are DIVINE. The little black dress of desserts - love it! Simple pure ingredients, made with a lot of love and care. Pat ships her amazing cakes and they make a very thoughtful gift for any occasion - her packaging and details are classic. You can buy at Reid’s Fine Foods or on her website at www.fanniebragg.com
I minimize dairy in my diet and when I indulge I make it count. I LOVE Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese, like I would marry it. Once a year, okay maybe twice or three times I get a container of the Queen and hoard it - my family never knows because its hidden. So so good. I love the chunks. Last year I won one of their “Private Stock” and am crossing my fingers that they have another giveaway! PLEASE JOHN!!! When we made Sweet’s Syrup at Carolina Commercial Kitchen John and his team were making at the same time - what an awesome guy! He’s growing like crazy and is now in all the Charlotte Harris Teeters as well as several other local retailers including Providence Produce. For real, go get some!
I’m a self proclaimed lip product expert and have been addicted/obsessed as long as I can remember. This is a big statement - River Organics Lip Balm is THE BEST I have found. I met Corinne last year at SHIFT Charlotte and have been using ever since. The ingredients: Candelilla Wax, Virgin Coconut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, Vitamin E. PERFECT texture, vegan and plant based moisture. I am OBSESSED with their tinted balms - OBSESSED. Just the right amount of color with all the moisture. Bare and Rose Gold are my favorites. River Organics is based out of Wilmington and I always order from their website at www.riverorganics.org
Jake makes a MEAN cocktail mixer - all you have to do is add the liquor! Made with fresh ingredients and seasonal flavors, so so good! Their grapefruit margarita can’t be beat. Same with their bloody mary mix! Try them all! You can find Gilded Beverage at Reid’s Fine Foods, Belmont Specialty Foods and many pop-up events around town. Follow them
You haven’t had BBQ sauce until you’ve tried Still There Shine Sauce. Made by professional chefs Dave and Chris (best around IMO), their sauces start with onions, garlic and yes… the good stuff, moonshine - best legal stuff around! They don’t strain their sauces with makes them unique and the little bits give an infusion of major flavor. My favorite is the Perky Peach. Follow them to get lots of amazing recipe ideas @stillthereshinesauce! Lots of retailers listed at www. stillthereshinesauce.com
How cute are these?! I met Carrie at the Girl Tribe Pop Up and LOVE LOVE LOVE my air plant that hangs in my kitchen window - they just make you happy! I gave them as gifts last year and were a total hit. Beautiful wood grains with air plants - which are so hard to kill, very easy to care for!! All I do is dunk mine in a cup of water whenever I think of it, which is like maybe twice a month. Carrie has lots of different designs - follow her @wildlyurban!
It’s no secret I think Herb’s Honey is TOPS!! My “honey guy”, John Caudle has hives all over the state and harvests four times a year to maximize the medicinal benefits of his honey. For our Sweet’s Syrup we change his honey with the seasons to fight what is currently blooming in the area. And the taste and flavor can’t be beat - once you start with Herbs, you’ll never switch to alternatives! He recently came out with whipped honeys that are INCREDIBLE - each one is amazing. Do yourself a favor and go to the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market and you can sample each and every one if you want - my family loves the “Cinnamon Bun” and I put a bit in our mashed sweet potatoes. Herb’s Honey is available in several retailers including Provisions Waxhaw, Berrybrook Farms and Earth Fare!
The search for an effective natural deodorant ain’t fun - trust me, I tried probably 15 different brands until I finally found Pink Hippo. I recently switched over to her sensitive baking soda free version and am finally happy with a natural deodorant! Deodorant is a critical change to make when switching to cleaner, non-toxic living - links to breast cancer and aluminum exposure. Made by two chemists they finally got it right! They also have a great natural sunscreen! Can be bought on Amazon or many area retailers including a few of my favorites - Toccare Day Spa, Harmony Farms in Raleigh, Pure Barre, Lincoln’s Haberdashery, Thrive Carolinas and Girl Tribe Shop! follow them at @pinkhipposkincare
So this isn’t a North Carolina product, but from our South Carolina neighbor and I just couldn’t not mention Penny!! I met Penny at Rosewood Market in Columbia and adore her - she is so passionate about natural health and has the kindest disposition. Penny’s Naturals are infused with her positive vibes, loving intentions and are amazing!! I am a huge fan of her calendula oil, which is now our go-to for any skin issue. Got dry skin or an itch? Put a little calendula on it. Weird rash? Put a little calendula oil on it. Made with organic botanicals and extra virgin olive oil from their friend’s groves in Greece, they infuse it in outside in the sun and moonshine for at least a month until it is just right. I’m wanting to try her lotion sticks next! Penny is at the Soda City Market in Columbia, Rosewood Market and you can order direct at www.pennysnaturals.com
Runner? Forget Nike, Adidas, Saucony, the big brands and be sure to check out Anthony and Karen Famigletti’s Reckless Running. Super cool designs made by some serious running experts - “Fam” is a 2-time Olympian, 6-time US Champion, Boss of the Steeplechase, fastest 5000m American on US soil at an insane 13:11.93 and one of the coolest friends I have - I could brag on and on about him and Karen! Karen and I have been good friends since college and she has always had an incredible sense of style - she went to the prestigious Parsons School of Design and was a designer for Rebecca Taylor, The Limited and NASCAR - she’s also a serious runner and ran at Appalachian State. Superb quality and design, please support this awesome local couple! They also have a training facility in downtown Mooresville - run there now! @recklessrunning
I don’t even know where to begin with Iva Jean’s Fudge - scroll thru her Facebook and Instagram feed and you’ll understand….SO GOOD!! Every time I make a delivery to Provisions Waxhaw I cross my fingers she has a sample out - its one of those treats that a couple bites is all you need! I’ve met Debbie (Iva Jean’s daughter) at a few different events and she has to shoo me away from the samples - I LOVE FUDGE!!! I’d be in so much trouble if I had a booth next to her :) Provisions Waxhaw, which if you have never been is a MUST GO for supporting local (she has over 90 local businesses she works with, Sweet’s Syrup included). Impossible to have a favorite flavor, they’re all so good!
Best Jam Ever
It for real is the best jam EVER - I am forever grateful to Cathy at Wise Acres for introducing me! What is so cool and special about this jam is that all the fruit (with the exception of pineapple, of course and some apples) are grown on their Summer Star Farm in Union, NC. I love all things strawberry and they have a STRAWBERRY CHAMPAGNE that I don’t share with my children, it’s all mine!! Every single jam is divine and they change with the seasons - they are always at the Matthew’s Community Farmers Market!
There is no question that apple cider vinegar is LOADED with benefits - a shot a day of this probiotic filled has been shown to help pretty much everything to cancer to heart health. I had used Bragg’s ACV for years and was thrilled to discover Locally Good Farm at the Mother Earth News Fair last year. Look at all these different flavors made with love! They carefully select the apples and fruit to ensure the best and smoothest flavor - no harsh bite! Exponentially better taste than alternative ACV - I no longer dread taking it! I have been enjoying the blueberry and am excited to try their other flavors. Owner Stephanie also makes an elderberry syrup and we thought it was really cool that there are two elderberry syrup “mom-bosses ” out there named Stephanie :) Order on their website at www.locallygoodfarm.com!
Shady Creek Naturals
I met Marnita at Cotton Ginning Days in Dallas, NC a couple years ago and traded a bottle of syrup for some of her artisanal soaps - I’ve been hooked ever since! They use all natural ingredients, never any chemicals, all handcrafted. Whatever type skin you have, Marnita has a soap for you! She not only uses essential oils but beneficial clays as well. I keep coming back for her Activated Charcoal, Cambrian Blue and Bentonite/Honey, which not only clean but help detox as well. We have Shady Creek Naturals for our guests at our mountain rental and we’ve gotten so many compliments (click here to check it out!)!