Last Updated on September 28, 2021
Last Updated on September 28, 2021
If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.
If you are like us, then you like to support local businesses, especially for special occasions. We like to look for the best North Carolina gifts from makers and artisans based in this wonderful state.
Inside this guide, we’ve curated a list of gifts made with love and with some of the highest quality ingredients and materials. Many of them are sitting in our home right now.
We’ll highlight some of the big names you’ve heard of, along with smaller operations that we feel deserve some love. Whether you’re looking for a Christmas gift, house warming basket, or just something to #treatyoself, this list of North Carolina gifts is where you will want to start every holiday season or occasion.
Here’s how we’ve organized things, in case you’re seeking something specific or a certain type of gift:
- NC Tripping Shop
- North Carolina Gifts: Food and Drink
- North Carolina Gifts by Local Artisans
- North Carolina Travel Guides
- North Carolina Chef-Led Cookbooks
North Carolina Gifts
Beyond the NC Tripping Shop, this article will NOT contain any kickbacks to us. Many of these products have either been gifted to us, we’ve bought ourselves, or were recommended by our Facebook Group members.
The photos used in this article are a mix of our own and product photos from the local business. All of the products and businesses listed in this article SHIP and we hope that you enjoy shopping from the makers of these North Carolina gifts.
NC Tripping Shop
Before we share North Carolina gifts from local business owners, we want to mention the NC Tripping Shop. Here, you’ll find shirts, stickers, coffee mugs, and more.
All the designs were created by us and are inspired by our love for North Carolina. We hope you enjoy and can find something to wear or decorate your home that will show off just how much you love this state, too!
Food and Drink
For the “Food and Drink” and “North Carolina Gifts by Local Artisans” categories, we’ve listed these incredible North Carolina gifts in alphabetical order by company name.
Ashe County Cheese
North Carolina’s oldest cheese plant makes the perfect gift for any foodie in your family! Making quality cheese since 1930, Ashe County Cheese is always a marker of delicious.
Why we love it: Whenever we’re in a restaurant that features North Carolina products, we always notice Ashe County Cheese. The quality can literally be tasted in every meal!
Asheville Tea Company
With a slogan like, “steeping it local,” Asheville Tea Company embodies everything we look for in North Carolina gifts. Using local and sustainable farmers throughout the Southeast, their tea blends have no additives and focuses on the leaves to bring the impeccable flavor.
Why we love it: Partnering with Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Asheville Tea Company contributes to their mission of protecting local land and water resources.
Bertie County Peanuts
Why we love it: Chocolate peanuts. Spicy peanuts. BUTTERSCOTCH peanuts! I don’t think this needs an explanation.
Big Spoon Roasters
One of our favorite Durham-based businesses is Big Spoon Roasters. We regularly see the owners at the Farmer’s Market, and they are such delightful people! Also, their handcrafted nut butters are wonderfully fresh, palm-oil free, and made to order.
With a business model that cares about what we put in our bodies and how we treat the environment, you can be sure that once you have your first spoonful, you’ll be wanting more!
Why we love it: You’ll fall head over heels for the Chia Spice Peanut and Almond butter just like we did. Have it on a Michael’s English Muffin and your day is made. They come in mini jars, too, which is perfect for gift giving!
Chapel Hill Toffee
Made with a homemade family recipe, this toffee comes from the Graves family, who decided to turn their hobby into a home-based business. Today, it’s in over 400 retail locations and travels great!
Why we love it: Every box of toffee sold makes a donation to Dina’s Dynasty Ovarian Cancer Fund. Whenever we go to Christmas dinner, we show up with a box of Chapel Hill Toffee, and it’s gone in seconds! This is hands down one of our favorites to gift!
Charlotte Coffee Company
You’ll find a great combination of coffee and community at Charlotte Coffee Company. Give a gift of them and you can feel good about sustainability and fair wages in the coffee industry. Even better, they offer free shipping when you order two bags!
Why we love it: 10 percent of all retail coffee sales go to support local non-profits. including organizations such as Loaves & Fishes committed to ending hunger and homelessness.
Chocolate Fetish is a small but thriving chocolate shop that calls Asheville “home.” The owners have spent their whole lives traveling and perfecting their craft to make sure every single one of their batches of chocolate is top-notch quality.
Why we love it: They have seasonal chocolates, like Maple Walnut Caramel Cups and Pumpkin Pie Truffles (for the current fall season) that make eating them that much more fun!
Cocoa Cinnamon/Little Waves
Woman-owned and with a strong focus on the community, Cocoa Cinnamon is a Bull City legend and absolutely one of our favorite coffee shops in Durham. Their coffee beans are sourced with sustainability in mind and roasted at their Lakewood location.
Why we love it: Latina led, this company pays a living wage and also has community coffee for those who are unable to afford a cup. This is a business we can stand behind knowing they love the community as much as we love them back.
French Broad Chocolates
Asheville-based French Broad Chocolate is bean-to-bar and handcrafted. Whether you want to just get a couple of items or a perfectly curated Self Care Package, French Broad Chocolates always makes for incredible gifts.
We also featured them in our guide covering Asheville restaurants, in case you need some ideas for your next visit.
Why we love it: Bonbons, bars, and vegan sipping chocolate. There’s nothing that would make us happier than being gifted some French Broad Chocolate!
Hops and Nuts
Why we love it: This company loves what they do and has fun while doing it! Everything is made-to-order and makes for a great snack to go with your favorite beer.
King Cobra Apiary
Did you know that local honey can help alleviate allergies? As such, King Cobra Apiary‘s products are among the most unique North Carolina gifts to give.
Located in Mebane, this apiary sustainably curates honey through natural foraging and works with small farmers. They sell infused honey, beeswax candles, raw honey, and more. Shipping is also free for orders over $35!
Why we love it: Local honey has so many health benefits, and King Cobra Apiary is run by two incredible humans who care about both the quality of their product and the land in which the bees live.
Mrs. Hanes Cookies
This bakery in Clemmons is a family tradition that dates back seven generations. Each of Mrs. Hanes Cookies is rolled, cut, and packaged by hand, giving it that special loving touch.
Why we love it: Delicious flavors like sugar, butterscotch, ginger, chocolate, and black walnut means there is something for everyone!
Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn
Poppy Popcorn in Asheville provides you with Non-GMO popcorn, Non-GMO corn syrup, and no artificial flavors or colors in any of their popcorn. Enjoy classic options as well as more unique flavors such as Cotton Candy, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate & Cherries, and more!
Why we love it: Poppy’s gives back to their community through their Asheville High School Student Fund, showing their appreciation for the town that has helped them survive through uncertain times. Seasonal favorites make for a fun way to celebrate the holidays as well!
Southern Distilling Company
I mean, who doesn’t love liquor as a gift?! Southern Distilling Company is located in what was once the “liquor capital of the world,” producing high-quality bourbon, rye whiskey, brandies, and more through their custom “Double Barrel” spirit safe.
Why we love it: Produced using local grains and supporting the agricultural community, we absolutely love this Statesville product. We think their creations make wonderful North Carolina gifts and will always continue to buy their Double Rye Whiskey for ourselves!
Southern Supreme Fruitcake
Nothing says Christmas like a fruitcake! Coming out of Bear Creek in Chatham County, Southern Supreme Fruitcakes are packed full of nuts, raisins, dates, pineapple, and candied cherries. The family recipe is moist, chewy, and a wonderful tradition and gift to give!
Why we love it: It’s not too sweet, perfectly nutty, and a crowdpleaser!
Know someone who is a chef without the coat? Spicewalla makes perfect North Carolina gifts for those who love cooking! Carefully blended by $4 James Beard-nominated Chef Meherwan Irani, they have the highest quality of spices and are roasted and ground to order.
Why we love it: What’s not to love about Spicewalla? The tins they come in are adorable and are extremely high quality. We love our Za’atar and Garam Masala!
Bean to bar chocolate factory that makes the most luscious truffles you’ve ever tasted? Yes, PLEASE!
Videri Chocolate is in downtown Raleigh and has a wide variety of organic nut-free, gluten-free, and vegan chocolate options. This makes a great gift when you’re unsure about allergies, on top of just being incredible.
Why we love it: There are no fillers and everything is sustainably produced, which means you are getting just straight cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and organic cane sugar. The bonbons are beautiful and shipping makes it even easier to send for that special someone who needs sweet North Carolina gifts.
North Carolina Gifts by Local Artisans
Hummingbird Candle Company
Enjoy candle-making workshops from Hummingbird Candle Company in their new Downtown Asheville location, the original Fayetteville shop, or order unique candle scents on their website. Whichever route you go, you’re sure to find something you’ll love here.
Why we love it: This company cares about the planet and we love that! Black-owned by a fierce and loving human, Hummingbird is more than just incredible scents. They also look out and advocate for women in their community by using their voice and the platform they have created.
Joel Cocker Photography
Why we love it: We especially love Joel’s mini canvases! Show your love for North Carolina by displaying it in your home and supporting an overall great person, too!
Thorlos is a sock company that cares about more than just looks. Their comfy socks also help those with foot problems or injuries. Beyond that, the socks’ exclusive padding is clinically tested to provide the best comfort possible.
Why we love it: The care they give to their customers shows in the way they tailor-make their socks to fit each individual person. They understand that no two feet are the same! We were gifted some while visiting Statesville and fell in love, now pretty much exclusively using their socks for hiking in North Carolina.
The Zen Succulent
This one is for all the plant lovers out there! The Durham-based Zen Succulent creates custom terrariums as well as other plant crafts. You can even book private classes, which is a great option for a group of friends, team bonding, or even date night.
Why we love it: What more could you want as a plant lover? Custom-made terrariums? Check! Plants of all kinds available for local pick up and/or shipping? Check! They also offer gift certificates if you don’t know what your fellow plant-obsessed family or friend doesn’t have (because we all know if you love plants, you have a ton of them)!
Ron Philbeck Pottery
Why we love it: His pottery makes for great décor and usable art, such as mugs, to fill your home. New collections mean that you won’t run out of new items to buy. Like we stated above, they’re one-of-a-kind, so once you buy it, no one else can have it!
Old North Shrub
What started as providing boutique and high-quality ingredients to local craft breweries and cocktail craftsmen have turned into what is now Old North Shrub. They provide Shrubs, drinks that are made of fruit, sugar, and vinegar.
Why we love it: These Shrubs provide high-quality drinks bottled for your convenience. Each bottle is packed with yummy, all-natural flavors that are sure to tingle your taste buds!
Good Juju Herbal
Good Juju Herbal is a Raleigh-based all-natural skincare company that provides products tailored to those that can’t find what they need at their local store. Stop by for some lotions, soaps, oils, and more!
Why we love it: Good Juju Herbal’s CEO suffers with eczema and, as such, has made products that can be used to treat sensitive skin and other issues, like chemo, post-partum, and babies. The inclusivity is amazing and that’s why we love this brand!
Lemons and Blessings
Beautiful handcrafted and custom-made jewelry! What could be a better gift?
Why we love it: Though she’s been through a lot, the owner continues to count her blessings and work hard to show that dreams can be accomplished! We love the products she makes and her hard efforts to make every item to our liking.
Enjoy hand-woven goods from this company that also serves as a school and children’s home. Crossnore Weavers aims to preserve the Appalachian hand weaving arts while giving economic opportunities to women through their work.
Why we love it: They offer an array of products from table linens to women’s clothing, all hand-woven by the women of Crossnore. They also offer weaving classes, which make for a fun learning activity!
Blue Hill Glass Studio
Who doesn’t like adding something unique to their home or closet? Blue Hill Glass Studio provides just that, with items such as sun-catchers and earrings made using either the kiln fire fusible glass method or stained glass copper foil method.
Why we love it: We love gifts that we can customize or design ourselves, as it makes that much more special. At Blue Hill Glass Studio, we can always make our own custom gifts, like a custom made pet sun-catcher, showcasing your furry friend.
Outer Banks Candle Company
At Outer Banks Candle Company, enjoy hand-poured candles filled to the brim with fragrance. Choose from a variety of vintage candles, mason jar candles, and even pillar candles! OBX Candle Company is sure to have something you’ll love.
Why we love it: If you’re not exactly sure what you want or what to gift, no problem! They offer gift baskets, candle subscriptions, and candle sampler packs for the perfect gift.
Hawks & Doves
Hawks & Doves is a leather goods company providing durable, long-lasting items made to withstand everyday use. From computers to handbags, and now face masks, enjoy a variety of items made with love and care.
Why we love it: We love the choice of items that range from vintage and military style to rustic cowhide. They also offer stamped keychains to donate to human rights groups–it’s always amazing when a company gives back!
Like to keep that cold beer or beverage cold? Then look no further than Freaker USA! Their cozies are made from recycled plastic with elastic woven throughout, making it usable for different sized beverages!
Why we love it: Freaker USA has cute and quirky designs that stick out compared to other cozies out there! This is the perfect gift for those who like to kick back with a cold drink.
McRae Design offers gorgeous and colorful hand-made jewelry in so many different designs! If you’re wanting something that showcases your style and sticks out from the crowd, then this is it.
Why we love it: Creative collection names match the different designs perfectly! From names like Little Black Dress and Purple Rain, each collection name showcases the different, fun patterns available.
North Carolina Travel Guides
If you, someone in your family, or a friend needs some guidance on things to do in North Carolina, grab a travel guide produced by a local author.
- North Carolina (find at your local bookstore via Indiebound)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (buy via Indiebound)
- Asheville and the Great Smoky Mountains (buy via Indiebound)
- North Carolina Coast (buy via Indiebound)
- Blue Ridge Parkway (buy via Indiebound)
Before searching elsewhere for these titles, read about the true cost of Amazon to our local communities.
North Carolina Chef-Led Cookbooks
We’ve eaten such amazing food from North Carolina’s chefs throughout the years that the wonderful smells and tastes still remain on my mind. Luckily, I can attempt to recreate some of these wonderful dishes with cookbooks offered by some of our state’s best.
We shared these essential cookbooks and more in this guide!
Which of These North Carolina Gifts is For You (or Your Loved Ones)?
We hope you find exactly what you need for your Carolina friend or family member! Heck, check out some of these amazing North Carolina gifts for yourself!
What NC-themed products do you want to see more of? You can let us know in the comments section and we’ll be happy to respond!