Cityview wants to help you find perfect gifts — and support the local small business community — by sharing some creative gift ideas made by Knoxville area makers.
Over five weeks, we’re featuring suggestions for unique local wares. Some have appeared within Cityview’s pages over the past several months, and others are new finds. This week we’re focusing on culinary-related items for our foodie friends.
1. Providence Road Pottery: Before Ericka Ryba took up pottery and teaching—she’s the art teacher at Coulter Grove Intermediate School in Maryville—she completed culinary school and worked in food service. Eventually she went back to school for an MFA and began creating her functional pottery with a muted color palette and an understated classic style — just right for an elegant farm-to-table feast. “I focus on surface design and texture,” she says. Ryba sells her work at Jacks of Knoxville and Whimsey and a Dream in Knoxville as well as at markets. Her website is www.providenceroadpottery.com. Read more about her in our Cityview story.
2. Batch It Cookie Co.: Savanna Rose started decorating cookies as a new mom seeking a creative outlet, and then she rolled it into a small cookie-baking business based in Maryville. Now she’s settled into creating 1/4-pound Gourmet and Stuffed Cookies, which can be ordered online or at markets and special events. Her Gourmet Gift Boxes are sure to satisfy any Cookie Monster on your shopping list. Learn more at her website.
3. Olde Virden’s Spice Blends: You have a lot of thinking time when you’re the winter caretaker at LeConte Lodge in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Chris Virden spent his time thinking of better ways to season a pizza than red pepper flakes. Eventually, he and his wife Allyson created multiple blends of five chili peppers that are locally sourced. They are free of sodium, sugar, additives or preservatives, and delicious in sauces, eggs, chili, dry rubs… even fudge. Click here for their website.
4. Eat My Granola: When Debbie Metristky and Marc Rotman owned a B&B in upstate New York, they wanted to serve their guests a healthy and delicious starter course at breakfast. Their homemade granola became a versatile staple. Now they’re in Knoxville, and their Eat My Granola products are made with all-natural, gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients with no added sugar or preservatives. They produce eight flavors of granola and include choices that are vegan, grain-free, keto and nut- and seed-free. They also create small-batch custom blends for customers with very specific dietary requirements. Their website is here.