Blog post

Tucson Gift Guide

December 14, 2020

We can all agree that now is as important as ever to support our local businesses! I believe change begins in our community, so I asked my Instagram friends (you!) what their favorite businesses are and compiled a Tucson gift guide for the holidays. Mixed in with this list are some of my personal favorites.

To help you sort through the content, I broke the businesses up into various categories. The categories range from desserts to experiences. Keep reading to see what’s included!

Desserts and Sweets

This section will please anyone with a sweet tooth! The list includes candy, chocolate, home bakeries and more.

  • Tucson Toffee Co.
    Jonna Critchley launched Tucson Toffee Co. a year ago to deliver handcrafted, small-batch toffee to Tucson. The original three flavors gained wild popularity among Tucsonans: Classic, Churro, and Dark & Salty. Since then, Jonna has added a S’mores flavor. What makes her toffee unique is that there are no artificial flavors or preservatives. Each flavor is carefully perfected before it is released to the market. Jonna’s next delivery date is Dec. 23, but she is filling up fast! You can DM her on Facebook or Instagram. You can also find her products at: AJ’s Fine Foods, 5 Points Market and Restaurant, and Filthy Pirate Coffee Company.
    What You Can Expect:
    Small-batch toffee that you will get addicted to
  • AZ Baking Company
    AZ Baking Company offers premium baking mixes made with heritage ingredients in the Sonoran Desert and Baja Arizona region. Alan Thomas Kohler, the owner and founder, is committed to using local heritage grains, including Sonoran White Wheat and Mesquite Flour. 100% of their Mesquite flour is sourced from San Xavier Cooperative Farm. AZ Baking Company is offering free delivery and ships nationwide, use code HappilyPink15 to get 15% off your order!
    What You Can Expect:
    Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • Houlden’s Rise Above
    From Houlden’s Rise Above, you will find Hannah Houlden’s exceptionally-crafted vegan pastries. It is impossible to not fall in love with everything that she bakes: sweet or savory scones, specialty cakes, bear claws (extremely popular!), poptarts, brownies, tarts, cookies and more. She is full on December custom-orders, but you can purchase gift cards from her website. If you’d like to pick something this month, Hannah does weekly drop-offs to Presta, Coffee Times, Woops! Bakeshop and The Korean Rose. View this page for locations and drop-off days.
    What You Can Expect:
    Vegan pastries
  • Woops! Bakeshop
    Woops! is a boutique BakeShop specializing in French macarons and other freshly-baked international pastries, sandwiches, hot and cold drinks. You can order online here, and in person. You can’t go wrong with a box a macarons or an assortment of their treats: crembellos, cookies, canele, scones, brownies, alfajor and more.
    What You Can Expect:
    International-inspired treats
  • Agave Pantry
    Agave Pantry is a made-to-order artisan bakery dedicated to using organic, non-gmo and pure ingredients. Shazieh Gorji, the owner, has honed her craft for more than 15 years. She takes pride in ethically sourcing out organic herbs and spices. Her creations are meant to “evoke the desire to slow down.”
    What You Can Expect:
    Baked goods, pottery, infused salts, spice blends
  • Momo’s Sweets
    Momo’s Sweets is a new baking business in Tucson that serves a variety of made-to-order sweets: baked breads (banana, pumpkin), cake bites, cookies and more. You can send an Instagram or Facebook DM to place your order.
    What You Can Expect:
    Made-to-order baked goods
  • Sweet Vivi’s
    Sweet Vivi’s is a made-to-order home bakery that offers baked goods: cakes, cupcakes, treat boxes, cakesicles, cake pops and custom orders. From the treat boxes, you can expect a charcuterie-board style of desserts, which includes a mini bottle of rosé or mixed shooters.
    What You Can Expect:
    Made-to-order desserts and baked goods
  • Monsoon Chocolate
    Monsoon Chocolate is an award-winning chocolate maker and confectioner that draws inspiration from local ingredients to transform transparently-sourced cacao from all over the world. You can shop their chocolate bars here, however, their highly-coveted bon bons updates are shared on social media.
    What You Can Expect:
    Handcrafted chocolate
  • Butter and Whisk
    Butter + Whisk is an Air Force family-owned and operated home bakery that specializes in macarons. Until sold out– you can purchase from the Christmas pre-order or pick-up directly their pop-ups.
    What You Can Expect:
    Assorted macarons
  • Donut Bar Tucson
    Donut Bar freshly-bakes 30 different donuts each day. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a classic like the old-fashioned, or something extravagant like the grilled cheese donut. You can place a pre-order here and purchase gift cards here.
    What You Can Expect:
    Donuts, coffee, wine, growlers
  • Ni Hao Tea
    Ni Hao Tea is an expert when it comes to creating the perfect boba. Their boba is carefully cooked in small batches to guarantee the softest and most chewy boba. As far as other details go– they only use ceremonial-grade matcha and steam fresh taro for their taro drinks. Purchase a gift card to indulge someone with an authentic milk tea experience.
    What You Can Expect:
    Crafted milk teas

Foodies Only

As a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, we have several unique and outstanding food choices that are perfect for gifts. Below are a few subscriptions, gift card ideas and gift boxes.

  • Tamale of the Month
    Earlier this year, the Flores family made their tamales accessible to tamales fanatics near and far with their launch of Tamale of the Month. Chef Carlotta Flores implemented the tamale-making skills she learned from her great aunt to create more than two dozen signature recipes. Each tamale order includes sauce and can be purchased in 12 or 24 packs. Subscriptions vary: one-time, quarterly and monthly.
    What You Can Expect:
    Tamale subscription, vegan options available
  • [POPPED] Artisan Popcorn
    You have probably had caramel or cheese popcorn at some point in your life. Now imagine something more gourmet, like Bourbon Espresso Caramel or Mesquite Smoked Cheddar. [POPPED], a small-batch artisan popcorn company based in Tucson, is committed to sourcing high-quality ingredients and never using artificial flavors. They are full for online orders, but Popcorn of the Month Club subscriptions are still available with a choice of December or January shipment. Alternatively, you can purchase a bag from one of their retail partners.
    What You Can Expect:
    Artisan Popcorn
  • Ares Collective Group
    Just in time for the holidays, Ares Collective Group launched a subscription service for their brands: August Rhodes Market, Prep & Pastry, and Commoner & Co. The subscriptions cater something for every type of foodie. As an example from August Rhodes Market, the subscription includes baked goods and spreads ($22-32). Prep & Pastry is offering pastry subscriptions and Commoner & Co is offering wine subscriptions.
    What You Can Expect:
    Subscription services for bread, wine, pastries
  • Five Points Market & Restaurant
    If you’re hoping to support multiple local businesses at once, then I recommend purchasing one the curated gift boxes from Five Points Market & Restaurant! Their Hometown Proud Gift Box ($87) includes products from: San Xavier Cooperative Farm, Northern Jaguar Project, Desert Provisions, AZ Baking Co., Tucson Toffee Co., Desert Forager and Sonoran Desert Honey.
    What You Can Expect:
    All things local in one box
  • Desert Provisions
    Desert Provisions offers chile powders, salt blends and Sonoran Sea Salt. As purveyors in spices and salts, their products make the perfect gift for foodie chefs. Everything is sourced from the southwestern desert regions. In addition to their spices and salts, they are selling curated gift sets on their website.
    What You Can Expect:
    Artisan spices and salts
  • Graze and Provision
    Graze and Provisions offers artisan charcuterie and grazing boards that are perfect for any occasion: girls’ night in, picnic in the park, brunch or just because!
    What You Can Expect:
    Artisan charcuterie boards
  • Yellow Bird Farm
    Yellow Bird Farm is a small, family garden in Tucson that grows organic citrus, native cactus and succulents. This holiday season, they’re also selling cookie gift boxes and decorative potted plants.
    What You Can Expect:
    Cookie boxes, citrus, plants
  • Martha’s City Farm
    Martha’s City Farm is a Micro Urban Farm located in a dietitian’s garden. What they do is inspired by being able to grow fresh, nutritious and local food. Buy your local goods and pick them up at our micro urban farm.
    What You Can Expect:
    Chicken eggs, produce, herbs, plants, and more
  • Restaurant Gift Cards
    Help a restaurant stay in business by purchasing a gift card to someone’s favorite restaurant or coffee shop! There are several outstanding restaurants in town, but please feel free to send me a DM if you need ideas on where to go.

Experiences Galore

With many people not traveling outside of the state, they are looking for experiences within Tucson. All four of these businesses offer something something unique for an experience seeker. All of these experiences can be done remotely or through social-distancing practices.

  • AR Workshop Tucson
    AR Workshop, a boutique DIY workshop, specializes in handmade and hands-on crafting experiences. Projects are fool-proof to make DIY easy and fun for everyone, whether you’re making a chunky knit blanket or wood project. Some of the wood projects include: lazy Susans, porch signs, decorative trays, cake stands, frames and more. In the wood workshops– you select your stencil design, then choose a stain texture you want for your base. The stencil is completely customizable with the large assortment of paints. View the class schedule here, and use code HappilyPink15 to get 15% off your order.
    What You Can Expect:
    An assortment of DIY wood and knit projects
  • El Jefe Cat Lounge
    El Jefe Cat Lounge is Tucson’s premier cat lounge where visitors can play with adoptable felines. This concept originally targeted young, city dwellers in Asia because most apartments prohibited pets. Now, cafes like El Jefe are perfect for someone who is looking to unwind and have companionship with a furry friend, without the responsibility of caring for a pet. El Jefe’s resident felines come from Finally My Forever Home Rescue, a Tucson nonprofit. In addition to making friends with the kitties, you can enjoy movie nights and other events with El Jefe.
    What You Can Expect:
    Social time with 30+ cats
  • Tipsy Picassos
    Jennifer Johnson, the founder behind Tipsy Picassos, adapted her business in 2020 to virtual events so that anyone could embrace art-making. Through a guided step-by-step process, connect with your loved ones that live near and far. Her classes create a fun, laid-back atmosphere where almost everyone is a beginner. Each painting kit includes everything you will need for the class: paints, brushes, paper towels, a mixing plate and a pre-sketched canvas! Purchase your gift card here.
    What You Can Expect:
    Canvases, wine glasses, ornaments
  • The Urban Grove
    The Urban Grove, located on a 1920s historical citrus grove, is an intimate citrus grove, date palm oasis and home to other varieties of fruit trees and gardens. For a unique and delicious experience, give the gift of a cooking class that is taught by rotating chefs!
    What You Can Expect:
    Cooking classes

Home Decor and Goods

This section is perfect for someone who is moving into a new space, or looking to redecorate their current living space. With most people spending more time at home, it’s likely they will want to make their home more welcoming. This section has everything from furniture to art.

  • Bloom Maven
    Bloom Maven sells floral arrangements and a Yearly Bouquet Subscription. The subscription includes one-monthly bouquet of seasonal, premium flowers that are wrapped in wax paper with a short inspirational note. \For a hassle-free experience, the bouquet is delivered straight to the recipient’s home.
    What You Can Expect:
    Floral arrangements and miscellaneous goods
  • Selah & Bloom
    Kelsi Somers, the artist behind Selah & Bloom, operates a mixed-medium and custom art shop on Etsy. Her work reflects bold colors, nature and the beauty of our Sonoran desert.
    What You Can Expect:
    Large prints, vinyl stickers, Christmas ornaments
  • Sonoran Witch Boy
    Trevor Mock, of Sonoran Witch Boy, finds his inspiration from the Sonoran desert. He is particularly intrigued by how desert plants and their strange, but beautiful shapes. His current original work is painted on recycled, framed glass.
    What You Can Expect:
    Original acrylic art, prints, greeting cards, enamel pins, apparel, patches
  • Sapphire Celestial
    Sapphire Celestial takes prides in producing high-quality handmade chakra-inspired soaps, cosmetics and candles. Gift sets are also available, like the Rose Petal Bliss bundle that is 100% organic: rose quartz soy candle, rose quartz bath salt, rose sage, and smudging feather.
    What You Can Expect:
    Candles, bath bombs, soaps, sage wands and more
  • Marcy Ellis
    Through delicate lines of ink and watercolor, Marcy Ellis draws inspiration from flora, the natural world and the female form. Her work explores the connection of landscape, spirit, space and the transformative representation of fragile beauty within the female body. From her Etsy store you can purchase prints and from her website you will discover watercolor art.
    What You Can Expect:
    Watercolor art, prints
  • Gina Danza
    Gina Danza is a fine art photographer and outdoor influencer, known as @wildginaa. After climbing the corporate ladder for 10 years in the television industry, Gina pivoted her life to pursue a career as a full-time outdoor and adventure photographer. Based in Arizona, her photography inspires people to connect with nature.
    What You Can Expect:
    Nature prints
  • Hand-Painted Bibles
    An Arizona-based artist customizes bibles with beautiful art work and scriptures. The price includes the art and bible. Journaling and standard bibles are available.
    What You Can Expect:
    Painted bibles
  • Gather: A Vintage Market
    Gather is a collection of antique and vintage finds that are ever changing with monthly themes. Their market dates are available here. What You Can Expect:
    Unique home and garden treasures

Fitness-Inspired

A healthy lifestyle includes taking care of the mind and body. These businesses include outdoor personal training and meal prep assistance.

  • Kinetic Kombat
    Kinetic Kombat is a personal training company dedicated to creating a stronger, more confident you through fitness and self-defense training. This is ideal for anyone, whether they’re looking to stay fit, kick start their fitness lifestyle, learn self-defense training or train for competitive martial arts. Some of the personal training sessions include: boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts, Jiu Jitsu, sports development, conditioning and more. Purchase your sessions here, and use code HappilyPink to get 20% off!
    What You Can Expect:
    Martial arts, personal training, sports conditioning, self-defense
  • Personal Training by Alison Smith
    Personal Training by Alison Smith provides one-on-one personal training based on your unique skills, availability and goals. Aliison provides a safe, clean and comfortable training place in her private fitness studio. An initial fitness consultation is offered at no cost for up to 30 minutes, with no obligation to purchase services.
    What You Can Expect:
    Personal training, nutritional coaching, health consultations
  • Rocks and Ropes
    Indoor rock climbing combines balance, flexibility, strength and problem solving to provide a challenging workout for climbers of all abilities. This gift is ideal for beginners and experienced climbers who wish to hone their skills. To keep everyone safe, Rocks and Ropes is currently an appointment-only facility and at limited capacity. Buy a gift card here.
    What You Can Expect:
    Climbing, bouldering, yoga, fitness, climbing team, kids activities
  • AZ Fit Kitchen
    AZ Fit Kitchen’s meals are designed to help busy people avoid poor food choices like junk food or fast food during their hectic week. Rob Walker, the owner and founder, educates and empowers people through his fresh and fit-minded meals. AZ Fit Kitchen offers gift cards, Week of Meals and Juice Cleanse packages for someone who values fitness and wants to save time.
    What You Can Expect:
    Juice cleanses, ready-to-eat meals, gluten-free options, delivery options
  • Warfuel Kitchen
    Warfuel Kitchen is dedicated to changing the way that people see food. They offer nutrient-dense food to help your fitness journey. Their meals are prepped daily and in small batches. You can purchase their gift cards here. This gift is ideal for someone who needs help with meal prepping and tracking their macros.
    What You Can Expect:
    Ready-to-eat meals and snacks

Beauty and Wellness

Beauty and wellness play an important part of our health. We feel good when we take care of ourselves. These gifts expand from cosmetic dental care to holistic skincare products.

  • Gladden Farms Family Dental
    This family-operated and owned practice is offering teeth whitening to-go kits for $59! This includes the whitening treatment and tray. They are also offering a bundle with a Sonicare toothbrush and whitening kit for $119.
    What You Can Expect:
    High-quality tooth-brushes, cosmetic dental care
  • Sonoran Rosie
    Sonoran Rosie uses ethically, hand-foraged herbs from the Sonoran Desert to create a connection between plants, people and place. Rosie Crocker started Sonoran Rosie in 2017 when Rosie noticed a lack of desert aromatherapy products. From there, the business was created with unisex and inclusive, vegan, cruelty-free and organic products.
    What You Can Expect:
    Hair and skincare products, plant-based perfumes, home goods
  • Spring + Vine
    Ashley Ambrosio crafts small-batch, handmade soaps and pottery treasures that are inspired by the nature and landscape of the Sonoran Desert. Her soap products are never tested on animals and are made by using the melt-and-pour method. With every bar of soap purchased, $1 and one mini soap heart is donated to youth in need in our community (Youth On Their Own, The Casa Alitas Program and I Am You 360)
    What You Can Expect:
    Artisan soap bars, functional pottery– including soap trays

Jewelry and Apparel

Tucson is home to several jewelry makers and artisans. However from each artist, you will find a different style: glamorous, vibrant, minimalist, whimsical or eccentric.

  • Cayla Couture
    Aileen Fitzpatrick, the Irish owner and artist behind Cayla Couture, originally started her business to provide handcrafted, unique and beautiful mermaid crowns that were worn at Coachella in 2019. Now, the Tucson-based business offers an assortment of crowns (celestial, floral, mermaid), fit for special occasions, the alternative bride, maternity shoots or… just because you want to embrace your inner goddess! In addition to handcrafted crowns, Aileen sells dazzling statement earrings. Crowns and earrings are available for sale individually, as well as the Celestial Christmas bundle.
    What You Can Expect:
    Glamorous crowns and statement jewelry
  • Luna & Saya
    Luna & Saya is a handmade jewelry business with designs that are meant to inspire people to feel beautiful, magical and bold. Marina Cordova, the founder and designer, uses her craft to honor her heritage and culture as a first-generation Mexican-American. Her mediums vary from polymer clay, acrylic, glass and other materials.
    What You Can Expect:
    Colorful and bold jewelry
  • Points Jewelry
    Points Jewelry is meant to embody the appreciation for the beauty found in the simplest of shapes. Each line, curve, and angle is handmade by the owner, Illiana Madrid, in the hope that it will fulfill the same desire for the minimalist and effortless beauty that exists within you.
    What You Can Expect:
    Minimalist jewelry
  • Sigfús Designs
    Sigfús Designs features a mix of rock and roll , desert and retro jewelry products that are handcrafted by Lauren Valenzuela. The brand started with polymer clay, but has since expanded to resin, wood, lucite and wire.
    What You Can Expect:
    Whimsical and fun jewelry
  • Casa Kira
    Casa Kira jewelry is made with fair trade and ethically sourced materials from around the world. Every Casa Kira design is a limited edition or original work. This business places a strong emphasis on “Localness” and supporting the Local Arizona economy.
    What You Can Expect:
    Eccentric and one-of-a-kind jewelry
  • Bralessly
    Bralessly is stylish, comfortable clothing for women who wish to be confidently braless and modest. Their products are eco-friendly and sustainable, and their values lie first with the community. The soft, anti-microbial fabric wicks moisture away from the skin.
    What You Can Expect:
    Dresses, tanks, shirts
  • Sweet Repeats
    Sweet Repeats is a children’s resale boutique that sells trendy children’s clothing, from preemie to size 12. In addition to apparel, they sell baby equipment, toys, books, games and puzzles.
    What You Can Expect:
    Children’s resale items

Vines and Hops

Back in March, I created a Virtual Tucson Happy Hour blog post to help you find alcohol to-go in your neighborhood. Below, are additional recommendations to the list that I received from my Instagram friends.

  • AZ Wine Collective
    Arizona Wine Collective is a wine bar and bottle shop that is the dedicated to serving wines from multiple Arizona wineries.
    What You Can Expect:
    Wine, beer, small bites
  • Brew Your Own Brew
    Brew Your Own Brew provides you with homebrew and winemaking equipment and ingredients. They help you make your own beer, wine, and more. Keg equipment is also available.
    What You Can Expect:
    Wine and beer home equipment and ingredients
  • Flying Leap Vineyards + Distillery
    Flying Leap is a committed team of Arizona family farmers, skilled winemakers & artisan distillers. Their wines are made using French, Spanish and Italian wine grapes varieties. From the distillery, you will find grape-based spirits– including vodka, brandy, grappa and more.
    What You Can Expect:
    Wine and spirits
  • Tucson Hop Shop
    Tucson Hop Shop is known for their craft-beer and wine bar, bottle shop, growler-fill station, and Urban Beer Garden. Their extensive draft beer selection is great for the beer-centric fan!
    What You Can Expect:
    Beer, wine, sake, cider, kombucha, mead

Coffee Roasters

You can never go wrong with the gift of caffeine, and Tucson is home to multiple coffee roasters in town. Each roaster has their own unique story and offerings. Maybe make a variety basket from each roaster?

  • o7 Coffee Company
    o7 Coffee Company uses the Mill City 6KG Roaster, which enables control of the gas, temperature, air flow and drum speed. This assures that everything about their coffee remains perfect for your taste. Their blends vary from their specialty blend with hints of creamy chocolate to their simplest blend of Brazilian coffee beans.
    What You Can Expect:
    Roasted coffee and subscriptions
  • Rad Dad Coffee
    Small-batch coffee roasting has given Rad Dad Coffee the opportunity to experiment with their roasting methods and bring out the natural aromas and flavors of their coffee beans. Their mission is to share unique flavors of various bean origins, and extract those aromas through roasting and preparation.
    What You Can Expect:
    Roasted coffee
  • Filthy Pirate Coffee
    Utilizing their custom-built proprietary process, state of the art  blending, roasting and packaging equipment, Filthy Pirate Coffee removes all the fillers and impurities commonly found in coffee beans. They guarantee their coffee is smooth, bitterness free and low acid.
    What You Can Expect:
    Cold brews, k-cups, roasted coffee
  • Black Standard Coffee
    Their coffee beans are bought through the farm gate process.  Farm gate means that a price was negotiated with the farmer directly. From their store, you will find a variety of roasts and coffee subscriptions.
    What You Can Expect:
    Roasted coffee and subscriptions
  • Exo Roast Co.
    Exo Roast Co. micro-roasts single-origin coffees from around the world. They focus on careful extractions and small batches. Coffee subscriptions and one-time purchases are available.
    What You Can Expect:
    Roasted coffee and coffee subscriptions

Independent Retailers

Tucson is fortunate to have independent retailers that support our local artists and vendors. These businesses vary from sustainable products, gift boxes filled with Tucson products, and ethically-sourced goods.

  • Creative Kind
    Creative Kind is paper goods and workshop-focused business that enables people to connect over creativity and appreciate small businesses. They sell their gift boxes year-round, where you can build you own or have a mystery selection. There is something for everyone, whether you’re looking for the cocktail connoisseur or the beauty guru.
    What You Can Expect:
    Vinyl stickers, candles, jewelry, stationary, pottery and more
  • Antigone Books
    The eccentric Antigone Books is a 100% solar-powered bookstore that has been operated by women for 47 years. In addition to their large selection of books, you will find journals, puzzles, cards, games toys and more.
    What You Can Expect:
    Books, paper goods, puzzles, toys and more
  • Cero
    Cero is a zero-waste retail store that curates vegan and sustainable products. By supporting Cero, you are supporting regional, small businesses and the products they produce. Some of their retail items include: body and hair care, home goods, and products for on-the-go.
    What You Can Expect:
    Vegan and sustainable goods
  • Why I Love Where I Live
    Why I Love Where I Live exists to encourage people to love where they live and invest in their local community. Tucson-branded and Tucson-made products are largely available here: vinyl stickers, city-branded apparel, home goods, ornaments and more.
    What You Can Expect:
    Tucson-branded gear
  • El Be Goods
    El Be Goods is a downtown boutique that sells sustainable, ethical goods. Their produces include home goods, apparel and accessories.
    What You Can Expect:
    Ethically traded and local goods

I hope you enjoyed this list and thank you to everyone who contributed on my Instagram in the comments and DMs! If you have a favorite business that you’d like added to the list, please email me at contact@happilypink.com. I’m happy to find a spot for everyone on this community-contributed list!

1 Comments

  • Henrik

    December 15, 2020 at 5:42 am

    very informative thank you.

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