Steadfast on only purchasing Pennsylvania-made products for the holidays? Though a Chinook helicopter would be a wickedly awesome gift for Mom, garage space could be an issue. But for those more practical shoppers, fear not! As you shop for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, there are plenty of Pennsylvania-made products that support our local economy, and that she’ll be sure to enjoy. Here are five ideas.
1. Beer, wine and spirits
Pennsylvania’s adopted son Benjamin Franklin called it “proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy” — and every mom deserves a refreshing and relaxing moment to enjoy a craft “adult” beverage this year.
If you are looking for craft beer, look no further than the Brewers of PA, a website that shows all the Pennsylvania Brewers and their locations so you can see which one is closest to you and what wares they have on offer. For those who may not enjoy this wonderful combination of barley, hops, and water, PA Wines is a fantastic resource for vino. A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rosé instead?
If you’re looking for something a little stronger, Pennsylvania’s distilleries have grown tenfold in the past decade and are making amazing, award-winning products. From bourbon to vodka to pre-mixed cocktails, the Pennsylvania Distiller’s Guild is the leading group promoting Pennsylvanian-made spirits. Their website is organized by region within the commonwealth.
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2. For the artist at heart
Sometimes, the perfect gift for Mom is the gift that gets back to the basics. Clear some time and table space and let the kids get crafting, but be sure to give them the best tools of the trade. Easton-based Crayola art supplies will be sure to put a huge smile on Mom’s face! Better yet, load up the family for a fun-filled day at the Crayola Experience to discover all that the iconic Crayola factory has to offer.
3. For the outdoor adventurer
Zippo lighters are iconic and collectable, but Mom will also appreciate other products the Bradford, Pennsylvania-based company has to offer. Along with their lighters, Zippo carries trustworthy hand warmers that will keep Mom comfortable in any condition. They also have a classy specialty candle/lighter set that will fit perfectly in her home. But the “Name in Flame” is so much more than just lighters. A full line of outdoor adventure gear will make your next family camping trip one to remember.
4. For the sweet tooth
Is the fastest way to a loved one’s heart through the stomach? If it involves chocolate, surely it is! But there’s more to the relationship between Pennsylvania and chocolate than you may realize. Did you know the Port of Philadelphia is the largest intake and storage facility of cocoa beans in North America? That is just one reason why chocolate lovers can find all their favorites in the commonwealth.
Hershey’s Chocolate, one of the most well-known products worldwide, can be found in Hershey, PA. There are plenty of lesser-known choices, too! Boyer Candy, located in Altoona, has tons of candy to choose from and recently brought the Clark brand back to its Pennsylvania roots. Asher’s Chocolate is another great option — founded in 1892 and based in Souderton, Asher’s specializes in making fine chocolates and chocolate-covered pretzels.
If Mom is not a fan of chocolate, there are other options for sweet treats. Based in Bethlehem, PA, JustBorn creates PEEPS, Mike & Ikes, Hot Tamales, and more. Additionally, there are countless other brands of chocolates and sweets you should explore that are likely right in our backyard.
5. For the collector of timeless treasures
Our last place to look for gifts is the Wendell August Forge. Based in Grove City, PA — a city known for its metal production — the forge is the oldest of its kind in America, where artisans have been crafting metal giftware one hand at a time since 1923. There are many different types of gifts available including metal plates, jewelry, glasses, and ornaments. The forge also offers personalized engraving of most items, so make your gift a keepsake that Mom will treasure forever.
The hunt for the perfect gift is surely made easier thanks to the wonderful manufacturers here in our commonwealth. On behalf of the half-million employees on the shop floors throughout Pennsylvania, thanks for shopping local — and happy Mother’s Day!
Carl A. Marrara is the Vice President of Government Affairs at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association.