Here’s a relatively easy way to give a gift while also celebrating Ohio-made eats and helping out a local nonprofit.
For the 16th year, United Disability Services, headquartered in Akron, is offering its line of Buckeye Baskets featuring Ohio-made food items.
New this year is a coffee mug emblazoned with the word "Akron" on a silhouette of Ohio. It comes with two packets of hot chocolate from Berardi’s Fresh Roast of North Royalton, and two stirrers with mini marshmallows. The mug was designed by ModekDesigns of Akron. It sells for $15.95.
Sixteen basket styles are available. The “Seasons Greetings from Ohio" and “Buckeye Best” baskets are stuffed with 100 percent Ohio-made products.
Buckeye Best contains corn nuggets from the Krema Nut Co. of Columbus, honey roasted peanuts and nonpareils from the Peanut Shoppe in downtown Akron, buckeye candies made by Fannie May in Green, pumpkin pie crunch popcorn popped by American Classic Snack Co. in Wadsworth and white chocolate peppermint fudge from McJak Candy Co. of Medina Township, among other goodies.
Clients at an Akron workshop for adults with disabilities assemble the baskets and get them ready for shipping.
The baskets are not a fundraiser; rather, “This is a small business that operates to provide meaningful employment for people with disabilities,” Carrie Herman of UDS said.
Baskets are priced from $11.95 to $150, plus tax and shipping. Most are under $60. Order online at www.buckeyebaskets.com; or by phone, 330-762-9755, toll-free 877-731-8733, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can be shipped anywhere in the United States or picked up at UDS, 701 S. Main St., Akron. If you plan to pick up, you must place orders by phone at 330-762-9755.
You can also buy them at the Buckeye Baskets shop that opened earlier this year at Northside Marketplace, noted Herman, UDS' business development group manager. The collection of food and retail spots is on the ground floor of the Northside Lofts at 21 Furnace St., Akron.
What are your favorites
While we're talking about Ohio-made food items, I'd like to know what your favorites are to give as holiday gifts. I'm especially interested in food products — coffee, candy, sauces, spices, you name it — made in Summit, Stark, Portage, Medina and Wayne counties. But if you have faves made outside the area, don't hesitate to let me know. Toot your own horn if you are the producer.
I'd also be interested to know if you have Ohio-made kitchen items that make fun gifts.
Send to email@example.com and I'll include your suggestions in upcoming Akron Dish columns. Please include a name and phone number so I can contact you. If you don't have access to a computer, call me at 330-996-3781.
Cones keep out customers
I wondered what was up when I spotted orange cones blocking off some of the parking area west of the landmark Diamond Grille restaurant on Market Street in Akron.
Turns out that the restaurant no longer rents that property and others for parking, and the cones are to keep customers from parking there, Diamond Grille co-owner Katie Stack told me.
The good news is that the restaurant-owned parking area to the east of the building and a strip of parking just to the west remain available to customers. Also, the restaurant now has valet service, which begins at 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Restaurant hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and 5 to 11 p.m. Saturdays. It's closed Sundays. Call 330-376-1216 or 330-253-0041.
How to find Barberton chicken
Some folks called wanting to know the addresses of the Barberton chicken restaurants that are the subject of a new book I wrote about last week, "Barberton Fried Chicken: An Ohio Original" by Akron native Ronald Koltnow.
Oh well, you can’t make all of the chicken eaters happy all the time. So here, loyal readers, are the addresses and phone numbers of the remaining original houses: DeVore’s Hopocan Gardens, 4396 W. Hopocan Ave., Norton (330-825-9923); White House Chicken, 180 Wooster Road N., Barberton (330-745-0449); Village Inn, 4444 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Norton (330-825-4553); and Belgrade Gardens, 401 E. State St., Barberton (330-745-0113).
A few readers wanted to know the name of the chicken house that closed. It was Terrace Gardens in Norton, which closed in 1997. You can read more about that place and the other chicken houses in Koltnow’s book, which is available on Amazon and at Snowball Books, 564 W. Tuscarawas Ave., Barberton.
Holiday market at Hale
The Holiday Market on the Farm at the Hale Farm and Village Gatehouse in Bath runs from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday. More than 20 vendors will be on hand. Hale Farm’s shop, The MarketPlace, will be open, with products that include Ohio-made food items. Ohio wine and beer tastings will be available.
Bomba Tacos & Rum will do a kitchen takeover of Hale Farm’s Café 1810 for the evening. There's no admission or parking fee; the museum will not be open.
For information, go to www.wrhs.org/events. Hale Farm & Village is at 2686 Oak Hill Road in Bath. Phone is 330-666-3711.
• Tree City Coffee & Pastry in Kent will host its fourth annual Brunch with Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Children of all ages can take a selfie with Santa in a photo booth. On the menu are create-your-own waffles, a hot cocoa station for kids, and Great Lakes Christmas Ale, mimosas and spiked eggnog for adults. Admission is free; you pay for food and drinks. Tree City Coffee & Pastry is at 135 E. Erie St. in Kent. Phone is 330-673-5522.
• Pav’s Creamery will host its free Sundae with Santa at its Green and North Canton locations. The store at 3875 Massillon Road in Green will host Santa from from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. On Dec. 9, the event will be at the North Canton store at 708 S. Main St. and also will run from 2 to 4 p.m.
Kiddies will receive a free Kiddy Sundae and can have their pictures taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
• The First United Methodist Church of Akron, 263 E. Mill St., near the University of Akron, will host its second Gingerbread for Humanity to benefit Habitat for Humanity from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 8.
Participants will create gingerbread houses, using kits and decorations provided by organizers. Kits are $12. Reserve at https://gingerbreadforhumanity.eventbrite.com. For information, contact Brandy Draper at firstname.lastname@example.org. The church's phone is 330-376-8143.
• Reeves Cake Shop in Akron will offer classes on making gingerbread houses at the bakery Wednesday and Dec. 5. The 2770 Cory Ave., will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 28 and Dec. 5. All supplies are furnished. Cost is $25. Call 330-848-1036 to reserve or set up a class for a group, for which Reeves will come to your own house or another location.
Send local food news to Katie Byard at email@example.com or 330-996-3781, You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or Facebook.