2022 Green Valentine Gift Guide

Cinnaholic in Fort Worth serves up all-vegan cinnamon rolls that will have you coming back for more. Photo courtesy of Cinnaholic.

Feb. 9, 2022

February is the month of love — both for your sweetie but also for Mother Earth. Here are a few ways to say "I love you” so that you can honor both relationships. Be sure to order in time for Valentine's delivery. 

CINN-FULLY GOOD
In addition to the month of love, February is also Black History Month so be sure to support Black-owned businesses such as Cinnaholic in Fort Worth. There’s nothing as delicious as a hot cinnamon roll, straight out of the oven, especially when it's plant-based. 

But that's not all that Cinnaholic offers. They also serve other sweet treats such as "made from scratch” brownies, cookies and edible cookie dough. All are fresh baked and 100 percent vegan, dairy and lactose-free, egg-free and cholesterol-free, so perfect for anyone on your Valentine's list with or without allergies. 817 Currie Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107. CinnaholicCrockettRow.com

SECRET STASH

These gorgeous chocolate-dipped strawberries from Chocolate Secrets are $44 for a dozen. Courtesy of Chocolate Secrets.

On the Dallas side, pick up some incredibly decadent bonbons from Chocolate Secrets, another Black-owned company that is the brainchild of Dallas attorney and entrepreneur Pam Eudaric.

The company's candied delights include these amazing Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. Pick up a dozen ($44) or watch this video to learn how to make your own. 

Chocolate Secrets is happy to share their insider tips because they know you'll be coming back for some of their sweet treats to go. Be sure to ask Pam and her staff for the best bottle of wine to pair with your confection selection. 

Chocolate Secrets, 3926 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas 75219. MyChocolateSecrets.com

Chef Eboni Dionne of reBirth of FoodBORN AGAIN HEALTHY
Back to Fort Worth, Black business owner and chef Eboni Dionne of reBirth of Food on Oakland Avenue has created a healthy and smart fruit bouquet, Hearts Are Made for Love Chocolate bouquet, that anyone would love. But it’s especially good for your sweetie who's watching their sweet intake. Made from fresh pineapple, strawberries, other seasonal fruit and a bit of chocolate, this unique arrangement is large enough for two to share. 

Hearts are Made for Love by rebirth of FoodThe Hearts are Made for Love Chocolate bouquet is made from fresh pineapple, strawberries, other seasonal fruit and a bit of chocolate​. Courtesy of reBirth of Food.

reBirth of Food was an outgrowth of Chef Eboni's search for healthier alternatives after she witnessed the negative effects of our modern diet on her family. Her company also offers a complete selection of plant-based entrees and sides that can be picked up ahead of time and heated for the ideal lunch or dinner feast. 

Find their complete menu at Rebirthoffood.com. Be sure to order ahead and pickup at 404 S. Oakland Blvd, Fort Worth 76103.

Watch how to make the Cup o' Delights arrangement. Courtesy of reBirth of Food.

Cup of Delight Fruit Arrangement

FOOD FOR ALL

Are you in a blended relationship where one of you is vegan and the other is not? If so, you’ll have to try one of our family's favorite restaurants, Sankofa Kitchen in Oak Cliff. They offer both vegan and non-vegan dishes. 

For those of us who follow a plant-base diet, the menu is full of indulgent pleasures like Vegan Hot Wings, Vegan Po Boys, Vegan Shrimp Basket and Vegan Nachos. 

And for their Sunday Valentine brunch from noon to 4 p.m., you'll want to savor the plant-based “chicken” and waffles with mimosas on the side. 

Bring along your non-vegan sweetie too, because most fare is offered both ways. Family-run, you'll be right at home in no time. 

Sankofa Kitchen, 3333 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Suite 118, Dallas 75237

Sankofa "Chicken" WafflesSankofa features a plant-based version of "chicken" and waffles. Photo by Andrea Ridout.

SUPPORT BLACK-OWNED

A few other Black-owned local standouts are: Black Coffee in Fort Worth, Flowers to Go in Fort Worth and Fluellen Cupcakes in Dallas.

PACKAGE DEAL

Local teacher Theresa Dickinson wanted to order a gift box and couldn't find one with local goodies in it. So she decided to create her own. Soon friends were ordering them from her and A Box of Dallas was born. 

As Theresa notes, "My top priority in starting A Box of Dallas was to support local businesses by featuring amazing products from around Dallas, all while creating meaningful gifts people would love to receive.” 

Box of DallasCourtesy of Box of Dallas.

Surprise your significant other with one of Theresa's hand-curated boxes filled with love such as this delightful assortment, mostly from Texas-based companies: Wickry Candle Co Rose Petals, Cocoandre Chocolatier's White Chocolate LOVE bar, Texas Treaties' Rock Candy Sugar Cookie, Fentiman's Rose Lemonade and an Onderkast LOVE Notecard, all packed in a lovely ivory gift box and tied with a satin ribbon. $65 includes Dallas-area delivery. Shipping also available to Fort Worth and beyond. ABoxofDallas.com.

ARTFUL GIFTS

A few years ago, a unique store opened in east Dallas called Makers Connect, the brainchild of Chris Unruh, an artist who loves to support and promote other artists. 

Makers Connect became a showplace of delightful, locally-made jewelry and pottery, textiles and even home decor. Eventually, due to an economic downturn, Chris had to close her shop but you can't keep a good gal down for long. 

The new and improved Makers Connect has recently opened on Garland Road near the Dallas Arboretum. 

Vest made by Reid Barnhart at Maker's ConnectShop for handcrafted items such as this vest made by Reid Barnhart at Makers Connect. Photo by Andrea Ridout.

One of Chris' featured artists is Reid Barnhart, who has been known as "the Jacket Lady" and for good reason. Barnhart's colorful jacket/vests are a quixotic mix of found fabric scraps, random buttons and upcycled tassles. 

Each one is different from the last and the hardest part is choosing from her many gorgeous designs. Pick one for your sweetheart that he or she'll be sure to love and you might just find one for yourself as well. Instantly cozy and yet charmingly fashionable, the jacket/vests range from $85 to $110. Makers Connect, 9047 Garland Road, Dallas 75218. 

NUTTY AND LOCAL
White Rock Granola heartLooking for something special for your Valentine breakfast? Layer White Rock Granola with yogurt (or vegan yogurt) and top off with fresh berries for an easy parfait that's tasty and nutritious for you and your paramour. Make the night before if you prefer your granola to be chewy rather than crunchy.

Granola is a nutritious treat for your Valentine. Photo courtesy of White Rock Granola.

I became a fan of White Rock Granola a few years ago and ended up buying the company from the founder, Renee Latour, in late 2020. Renee started baking granola at her bed and breakfast and then became the local granola queen by selling her products at the Dallas Farmers Market.

White Rock Granola trio box setSince I took over, we've expanded into more retail stores and now have about 50 dealers across Texas and beyond.

We bake 7 yummy flavors from fruit and nut infused Gorilla a Go Go to C4 Explosion with a real Texas cayenne pepper kick, from crowd-favorite Orange Maple to Chocolate with almonds roasted with real French cocoa. The company's C4 Explosion Granola, with a little Texas cayenne kick, just won The International Flavor Award for Best Snack.

Our family favorite is the Viva las Vegan with rolled oats, agave, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. Though we enjoy it for breakfast, we keep a bag around for an energy boost anytime.

You can find White Rock Granola at most Central Markets around town and many other stores. Full dealer list at WhiteRockGranola.com or you can order online for shipping directly to your door.

JAM GEMS

Jammit JamsWest-Texas native Stephanie Magilow began her jam-making enterprise on her kitchen table and soon was selling out every weekend at regional farmers markets. 

Now based in Highland Park, Jammit Jam features her incredible, spice and/or liquor-laced jams, such as Peach Thyme Prosecco and Blueberry Balsamic Black Pepper, are sold at dealers all across the country. 

In addition to jam, Stephanie brews some of the most delicious homemade caramel that this writer has ever tasted.

Her Caramel Gift Bag is the ideal way to try both of her flavors. 

Each natural fiber bag contains one each of Bourbon Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramel Sauce and Mexican Caramel Sauce perfectly wrapped with 2 Effie's Cocoa Cookies. $18 plus $10 shipping. Many other gift ideas at JammitJam.com

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN

La Casita hot sauceDoes your gift preference run to savory rather than sweet? Create a fun gift assortment with award-winning La Casita Salsa and Chips, with a taste right from the heart of Texas. 

Veronica Westlake's grandmother and mother passed down their recipes to her when she would help make the family's salsa as a child — and the rest is history. 

The company now produces several flavors of all-natural, gluten-free salsas that are lower in sodium than many others. 

Choose from Abuela's Mild, Medium Original, Caliente! Extra Hot and two versions of Tomatillo Salsa as well as pickles, candied jalapenos and even a Hot Bloody Mary Mix. Make sure to add some of their All-Natural, Stone Ground Tortilla Chips to round out a fun Texas-sized gift basket. La Casita products are sold at many Kroger stores and specialty retailers around the area or you can order online.

SWEET SOLAR SAVINGS

And last but not least — Cincinnati-based GoSun, one of the country's leading purveyors of consumer solar gadgets, is having a huge sale with many items up to 40 percent off, just in time for Valentine's Day or spring adventures. 

Check out the Brew Travel Mug and Coffee Maker that heats, brews and keeps your drink ready to sip — from coffee to tea or anything else that needs to stay HOT! Watch video here. Reg. $119. On Sale Now for $79. 

GoSun Brew: All-In-One Coffee Maker

Or how about a complete Solar Kitchen that allows your lover not only to brew coffee but also to cook meals, refrigerate food, purify water and set up a sink or shower, charge devices, plus re-charge everything with a nifty solar table. 

Heck, you could start a restaurant with all of those gadgets! Reg $2,499. Now $1,999. Lots more on sales at GoSun.co.


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