My mom, Cami, makes some seriously killer sweet and spicy pecans. Better than those “artisan nuts” that you can buy at specialty home and food stores, that are mass produced and good for the first handful or two but only OK after that. So good that when she makes them over the holidays, she's only left with a fraction of what she intended because my dad, siblings and I pick them off the tray while they're still hot. So good that I have been on a mission to get her to start selling them for the past year or so.
Each year, my mom spends one chilly evening making tray after tray of these delectable nuts to package up and gift to her co-workers and neighbors. It started off as a small thing – a few little bags for her closest friends. But once they got a whiff of those bad boys, the word got out and they were begging and drooling for more.
“OMG CAMI, what ARE these? Seriously, what is this flavor in my mouth?”
“Yoooooooooooo, can I get a bigger bag?”
“THESE ARE THE BEST NUTS I'VE EVER HAD.”
Now, that the demand is there, she is making them in larger batches and getting creative with her packaging. Her friends anticipate the annual holiday distribution and lament when they run out and have to wait an entire year to get another batch. Last year, my fiance and I were sent back to Cayman with our own little bags and ate them so slowly; seriously, like one nut here, one nut there… in order to make them last. He finished his bag first and let's just say that it wasn't a good day when I caught him dipping into mine.
This is why she needs to make it a business! I NEED to be able to have these little nuggets of flavor year-round!
Handmade gifts are the best gifts, especially when they can be consumed, in my foodie opinion. There is something super satisfying about making something that people genuinely love and look forward to; something that you spent time perfecting late in the evening; something that you poured a whole lot of TLC into. You didn't just go out and buy a gift that you think someone would enjoy – you created a recipe, you shopped for the ingredients and supplies, you prepared them, you packaged them and you handed them out to people who truly appreciate them. There is also something so sweet about being gifted something that someone spent time making for you.
It doesn't hurt that it makes coming up with gift-giving ideas super easy! If you know the demand is there, why stray?
That said, giving handmade gifts also makes it easier to stay on a budget. Sure, ingredients and supplies can climb rather quickly, but if you shop smart and in bulk (think Costco), save leftover supplies from previous years (ribbons, bows & packaging) and make a point to hand-make for the majority of those you are giving too, it'll be easier on your wallet in the long run.
Truly though, HOW CUTE ARE THESE??
Stay tuned, we WILL have a business plan in place sooner or later ;)