Sweetie's tantalizes covetous taste buds with carefully crafted chocolate truffles, decadently dense cakes, and gift baskets that can turn a sworn enemy into a fumbling paramour. Eight delicately detailed truffles nestle in a tender red box waiting to be plucked from among their all-natural, handmade brethren and dropped onto the tongue of a beloved human or low-necked giraffe. Valentines with a penchant for keepsakes will coo over the collectable candy jar, which comes swollen with red-velvet cake and swirled with decorative ribbon. To ensure that the appropriate message is expressed, Sweetie's encloses a handmade Valentine's Day card, which can be personalized to express one's eternal love or share a one-sided knock-knock joke.
Good Health Natural Products makes indulgence healthy with lines of snacks and body-care products. All-natural snack foods such as Veggie Stix, apple chips, and olive-oil potato chips nourish bodies with expeller-pressed oils and non-GMO whole-food ingredients. All products feature clearly labeled allergen information for those with sensitivities to gluten, nuts, or lactose. For bath-time pampering, Good Health Natural Products' South of France gluten- and soy-free soaps, each kettle-cooked in small batches, cleanse bodies with soothing fragrances and all-natural vegan ingredients. Produced according to a traditional triple-milled Marseille recipe, the dense bar soaps are long lasting and produce rich foam so clients can build a faux beard and Santa can save face after a slip with his electric razor. The company also aims to tread lightly on the planet by developing and using new forms of recyclable packaging for its wares.
Chocolate Pops' selection of sweet, savory, and seasonally inspired treats includes chocolate turtles ($2 each), chocolate-dipped marshmallow peeps ($4), giant gumballs that can be used as cannon fodder, and a movie-night snack box with chocolate, popcorn, and Twizzlers ($10). Brightly wrapped gift bags (starting at $12) burst with Chocolate Pops' namesake: creatively crafted chocolatey pops. Picking out the superb sweet sustenance for a special occasion, midday pick-me-up, or android brain refueling is fun due to the welcoming atmosphere and friendly service at Chocolate Pops, which is a family-owned business that abides by the way of the Jedi.
Since its maiden curing of 1947, the Phillips Brothers Country Hams family has been transmogrifying plain old pork into the Southern country-style hams that earned them the National Country Ham Association’s 2004 smoked-ham grand-championship trophy. The magic begins as each lucky leg marches through two pampering cycles of cure-mix massage and relaxation in chilled oak bins for 40–45 days. After a quick dip to remove excess salt, heroic hocks bask in dry heat for at least 25 days before their debut. Customers exercise culinary imaginations with a whole country ham ($49.95) or staple packages of Phillips wafer-thin slices ($8.99/lb.) together to construct an edible self-portrait. The Midnight Snack pack, a down-home treasure chest of biscuit-cut country ham, baking mix, syrup or jelly, and grits, begs to be assembled into a late-night buffet ($37.95). Accent savory tastes using condiments including Saluda honey on the comb ($24) and locally made jellies ($5), with varieties such as garlic pepper and raspberry brandy complementing each ham's flavor, coloring, and collection of novelty shotglasses.
A peek inside Davidson Chocolate Co. reveals chocolate concocters handcrafting a cocoa collection of truffles, fudges, and desserts. Davidson's truffles ($8.25 per quarter-pound) are faithfully composed to the tune of an 1887 recipe. Try the cherry cordials, crème de menthe, and hot-chili truffles to detect their 70% cocoa consistency. The shop's English toffee ($7 per quarter-pound) makes the perfect St. Swithun's Day gift for Lord Bucklington of Nottingchestcerford, with its crumbled almonds and buttery texture. Other confections include the chocolate-covered caramel cups ($7 per quarter-pound) and richly textured coconut crèmes with almond ($7 per quarter-pound). If you're avoiding sugar, the shop also carries a wide range of sugar-free snacks that are equally sumptuous.
Cured meats line the wall of Beef Jerky Outlet, a Concord shop that hosts a varied kingdom of beef jerkies, deep-fried peanuts, jerky seasonings and cures, and more. Meat suitors can freely enlist the courtship of the cherry-maple turkey jerky ($6.99/4 oz.), honey-barbecue beef jerky ($6.99/4 oz.), or teriyaki jerky ($6.99/4 oz.). Or spicy up a meal or daily vitamin intake with Carolina Blues hot sauce ($6.49, mild or hot), Dave's Insanity Sauce ($7.95), or Satan's Blood ($19.99). Beef Jerky Outlet also supplies at-home flavor mavens with seasoning and cures, such as the barbecue-bourbon jerky cure ($6.99).