Local Beeter You Gotta Go to Ms. Mint’s Holiday Gift Bazaar

December 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Of all the holiday markets going on this month, nothing seems to say” Local Beeter get thee there” then Kate Gross’ aka Ms. Mint’s Local and Fair Trade Gift Bazaar Friday 12/16 3-8pm and Saturday 12/17 11-6pm at Grossinger City Autoplex 1530 N. Dayton(right near the North Avenue/Clybourn Red Line Stop).

Kate has been working on this event for the past 6 months and has curated 50 incredible regional food artisans, fair trade businesses, designers, authors, community organizations and more, a list of all the vendors is here . Each of the vendors Kate knows personally and she is trying to connect the people behind the products with the public, for example, meeting Mike Bancroft, the person behind Co-op Hot Sauce, which besides the story(the kids behind the sauce) which he will tell you, among the many sauces they make includes barrel aged hot sauce, all sourced from local ingredients, I love this stuff!!! Each of the vendors Kate has brought to this event has a great story and a cool product. There will be baskets and wrapping paper available for you to create your own gift basket, you will be even to ship directly from there via UPS, so you can individualize your gifting and send to friends and family who are not in Chicago, which I think is a great idea!

A quick list of the vendors, A La Card, Bigfats Hot Sauce, BOT Bakery, Brunkow Cheese, Burton’s Maple Syrup(its getting to be that pancake time of year), Century Sun Oil, Claranette, Co-op Hot Sauce, COPPERPEACE, Curry’s Signature Spices, Croquisknits, Das Foods, Dessert Deck, Drink Deck, Earth First Farms, Ethically Engineered, Familyfarmed.org, Fair Earth, forward rewind design, Franks N’ Dawgs(love their Dawgs!), GoodEats Restaurant Group-Burger Bar & Sono, Gracias!, Green Envee Organics, Green Sugar Press/Tim Magner, GREENOLA, Grinderman Coffee, Hand Knotted Pearls, Hats by Angela Morano, Indego Africa, Jo Snow Syrups(her syrups really are tasty, versatile and great gifts!!)Katherine Anne Confections(yummy), Koru Street, Majestic Farm & Nursery, Marwen, Mayaworks, McClure’s Pickles, nomadic ant, Paper Moon Bakery, Puffs of Doom, Purrfectplay.com, Rich Chocolates & Candies(decadently good), River Valley Kitchens(their 5 cheese garlic spread is gone in a second to anyone you gift it to),Ruth & Phils’s Gourmet Ice Cream, The Scrumptious Pantry(olive/habanero pressed oil, you won’t find this anywhere else), Kishr Tea, Salted Caramel(sweet/savory, you have to at least try a taste), SenTEAmental Moods, Squishy Press, Sweet Girl Desserts, Sweet Spot Macarons, Tomato Mountain, Valentine Vodka, Wild Blossom Winery & Meadery(rare opportunity to check out what meade is all about), Wild Child Granola and I might have missed some.

Some of the vendors you may recognize from the Green City Market or Logan Square Farmer’s Market and others are newer names to Chicago. Part of Kate’s objective is to create meaningful connections for all who attend with the event and for it to be fun! I asked Kate where did the name MS. Mint come from and she said, that “mint has a lot of meanings and connotations, freshness, to invent/produce/create, an abundant amount”. So by curating the market, Kate is trying to create a shopping and tasting experience that brings really credible LOCAL and regional vendors, Missouri pecans, Michigan dried cherries, and organizations, Marwen, Familyfarmed, together. It sounds like everyone particpating is really excited to be a part of it, and the event seems to say “Local Beet community” get there!!!” It is a harried time of year but this event is definitely one to make time for, you may be able to get a few more gifts or many more gifts checked off the list, and maybe get a gift for yourself, self gifting is always a good thing, and at the very least have some fun, and a brief respite from the stress of the holidays!!! You gotta go!!!

P.S. For those with cars, there are 3 public lots surrounding the venue and street parking is available. An added bonus by using Grossinger’s, if you plan to bring your car in for service, parking is free.