Our local product gift guide tempts you with one-of-a-kind items produced and sold in Hampton RoadsBy Angela Blue, Patrick Evans-Hylton, Pamela Hopkins and Melissa M. Stewart
Support our region and celebrate the ones you love by giving the gift of a local product this holiday season. From hand-painted platters, peanuts and porter to stained glass and silver, we have something locally made for everyone on your list. Plus, as you are perusing our hand-picked products, have fun reading our locavore sidebars on HR lingo and homegrown athletes, celebs and companies.
Perfect for the eco-conscious writer whos short on time, this Un-Journal desk calendar is made from repurposed postcards and a berry container, which contains an index card for every day of the year. Write a short summary for each day, and then when the year is over, start back from the beginning. Youll be able to see what you did on that same day last year, the year before and eventually nine years ago, $10. Handmade by Amelia Baker and available at Green Alternatives, Norfolk. greenalternativesstore.com
The Art-Full Tree
The Art-Full Tree demonstrates how to make ornaments inspired by the folk art in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. For each project, the book includes an image of the original work, information about the art and artist and step-by-step instructions on how to create a wide range of ornaments, from fabric silhouettes to felt snowmen and paper doves. Written by Christina Westenberger, assistant manager of museum education, and Jan Gilliam, manager of exhibit planning and associate curator of toys for Colonial Williamsburg, this book will ensure a creative and crafty Christmas, $17.95. Available at Colonial Williamsburgs Visitor Center. colonialwilliamsburg.com/visit
Candles are an ideal gift to have on hand because theyre an item that nearly everyone uses, and these are produced by a local artist, making them uniquely wonderful. Michelle Odom makes her candles with high-quality fragrance oil and 100 percent soy wax poured in recycled or repurposed glass jars. They come in fun scents such as lavender soy, mango papaya, clean cotton, butter cream, birthday cake andour favoritemonkey farts, $6$20. Available at Mystic Mermaid, Norfolk. mysticmermaid.net
The holidays are a joyous time for families to gather round and partake in a delicious meal together. The recipient of these pretty platters will love showing off their holiday treats on these locally made dishes. Virginia Beach artist Sara Hunter of E.I. Designs makes this earthenware and then hand paints her pieces using lead-free, non-toxic paint and glaze. Saras work is often noted for its unique whimsical style, elegance and technique, making this a one-of-a-kind gift for a one-of-akind person, starting at $40. Available at Bridgets, Norfolk.
Neckties really do the trick in dressing up a mans ensemble, but did you ever wonder what happens to ties that have been retired from the closet? Some of them find their way to Chesapeake artist Doris Hewitt, who creates funky and functional purses from repurposed mens ties. This is a truly unique gift, as no two purses are alike, $35. Available at Riverview Gallery, Portsmouth. riverviewgallery.biz
Pop Top Necklace
Art is fantastic to look at, but its even more fun to wear. Chesapeake artist Kazuko Fuller crafts a wide selection of jewelry from recycled items, including this cascade-style necklace designed from multicolored soda can tabs. Present this gift to the artsy lady on your list for a non-stop popping colorful accessory, $35. Available at Chapman Gallery, Hampton.
Surryano Ham Slices
Hampton Roads is ham central, and the offerings from family-owned Edwards of Surry, which has had decades of experience in the curing business, is the cream of the crop in our books. Beyond the traditional country ham is Edwards Surryano ham, a name-play on Serrano ham. This dry-cured offering, smoked over hickory wood and aged for more than 400 days, is rich and flavorful, $33.94 for three 4-ounce packs. Available at various retail outlets, the Edwards of Surry shop in Williamsburg and by mail order. virginiatraditions.com
Chesapeake Bay-Seasoned Peanuts
HRM food editor and trained chef Patrick Evans-Hylton, a true locavore, worked for years on perfecting a 200-year-old recipe for a Chesapeake Bay crab seasoning blend that coats big, delicious Virginia-style peanuts from Belmont Peanuts. Large kernels are crisp, crunchy, flavorful and crafted into a real treat with a generous tossing of Chef Patricks seasoning, $5.25 for a 10-ounce can; $9.50 for a 20-ounce can. Available at a number of area retail outlets and mail order from Belmont Peanuts, Southampton County. belmontpeanuts.com
Café Stella, a new coffeehouse in Norfolks Ghent provides shabby chic surroundings (think Martha Stewart meets Juan Valdez), delish baked goods from Stella Pomianek and richly roasted coffee from husband Mariusz. The in-house roasted coffee is done in small batches frequently so the oils brought to the surface during the process are fresh and flavorful. Best of all, the beans, which are dated for freshness by Mariusz, are sold in canisters to take home and enjoy, and you even get a $1 discount when you come back for a refill. Well drink to that. $12.95 per canister. Café Stella, Norfolk.
St. George Porter
Pour this beer in a glass, and the crimson- black brew opens up with heady aromas of caramel, chocolate and spice. This English-style porter from St. Georges Brewing Company has a rich malt base that provides a full-mouth feel, without being over powering, and English aromatic hops join the party to flavor a most memorable quaff, $8.49 for a six pack. Available by the glass at a number of area restaurants, by the bottle at various retail outlets or at St. George Brewing Company, Hampton. stgeorgebrewingco.com
Sassy Pimento Cheese
Its called the Pâté of the South, and folks just cant seem to get enough of this classic, orangey amalgamation. Its pimento cheese, and the version offered by gourmet grocer Taste Unlimited is a traditional rendition with sharp cheddar cheese, pimentos and seasonings blended together into a mostly-smooth spread with mayonnaise. Available as a sandwich filling in stores, it can also be purchased in containers to take home, $10 per pound. Available at six Taste Unlimited locations across Hampton Roads in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Newport News. tasteunlimited.com
Crystal and Gemstone Jewelry
Local artist Caryn Galderisi of All That Jewelry specializes in custom jewelry made with Swarovski crystals, sterling silver and gemstones like amethyst and sodalite. No matter the occasion, she can design a handmade piece for you. Or come with your own ideas, and Caryn will bring your vision to life. Necklaces $29 $82; earrings $15$22; bracelets $22$28. www.allthatjewelry.net
Artisan Barbara Meier produces custom stained glass pieces at her home studio in Suffolk. Once the design is completed, a pattern is made and transferred to glass with a marker. Then, the glass is scored, cut, nipped, grinded, foiled, soldered and finished off in a zinc frame or lead came. Custom-made octagon of Two Koi in Water Glass, $600. Available at Glass by Basha, Suffolk. glassbybasha.com
Have you ever been in a beautiful place and thought about how you wish you could paint a picture of the scenery? This piece was inspired by artist Matt Haddaways visit to Buzios in Natal, Brazil. He and his fiancé stayed in a beach house owned by a family friend. The backyard had a quaint stone path leading to the beach and a fence that became Matts daily passage to the idyllic beach and warm water just beyond. The Passage 2011, acrylic on canvas, $235. Matt Haddaway lives in Virginia Beach and works out of his home studio. He participates in several local art shows throughout the year. matthaddaway.com
From hand-rolled truffles and beautiful molded designs to a Big Apple dipped in caramel, rolled in pecans and doubledipped in more chocolate, you typically cant go wrong giving Traftons Chocolates as a gift. The local gourmet company specializes in chocolate bark, offering 18 flavors such as Cookies n Cream, Key Lime Crunch and Build Your Own Bark, allowing customers to cover anything in chocolate. Locally-themed large crab basket, $35; small crab in metal container, $14 and shoes, $25. Available at The Globe, Virginia Beach. www.theglobevirginiabeach.com
Creating art that is original comes naturally to local residents John and Patty Waterfield. John is a 5th-generation carver who has hand carved local waterfowl since 1983, and Patty paints each piece to its natural specifications. Each carving is realistic, and no two pieces are alike. Prices from $68. Available at The Globe, Virginia Beach. theglobevirginiabeach.com
Hand-crafted doggie collars at Mrs. Bones Bowtique are lined with double-faced satin, and a decorative trim of the customers choice is sewn on the exterior. Each is closed with solid brass hardware and jewelry-grade clear finish. The collars have been featured on The Today Show and in Vogue, OK Magazine and The Los Angeles Times, Dont forget your furry friend this gift-giving season! Prices from $36. Mrs. Bones Bowtique, Virginia Beach. mrsbones.com
If you are looking for that perfect vintage to pair with your seasonal meal or a special bottle to bring to a holiday gathering, look no further. Support Virginia grapes and our burgeoning wine industry by sipping a varietal produced at Eastern Shore wineries Holly Grove Vineyards or Chatham Vineyards. The 2008 Holy Grove Merlot, $19, was aged 14 months in Hungarian and French oak, and the 2007 Church Creek Cabernet Franc, $19, is best served with local figs, blue cheese, seasonal fruit pie or chocolate dessert. hollygrovevineyards.com; chathamvineyards.net
Master Craftsmen Silver
Crafters at this quaint Williamsburg shop have been pounding out precious metals in the upstairs workroom since 1982. The store is best known for its quality silver jewelry and pewter line, and the handmade engravable pieces have become a tradition for many local families. Since 1985 they have also designed a different collectible pewter angel Christmas ornament every year. Engravable silver pendants from $25$53. Available at Master Craftsmen, Williamsburg. mastercraftsmenshop.com
Folk artist Nancy Thomas has lived and painted in historic Yorktown for 30 years. She uses a distinctive style in pieces that have been commissioned for a variety of institutions such as Colonial Williamsburg, the Museum of American Folk Art and the White House. This Nancy Thomas Winter Wooden Angel Wall Hanging, handmade and painted in Yorktown, is 22 inches tall and comes ready to hang on the door or wall to add to your festive décor. You can collect the other seasons as well, $125 each. Available at Nancy Thomas Galleries, Williamsburg and Yorktown, or by online order. www.nancythomas.com
Bob Saget (May 17, 1956)
This stand-up comedian, actor and television host won us over in the 90s with Full House and Americas Funniest Home Videos, and he was raised in Norfolk. His family attended Temple Israel and lived in an apartment in the Riverpoint complex on Forsythe Street before moving to Kingsway Road. Saget attended Larrymore Elementary, Azalea Gardens Middle School and Lake Taylor High for a short time before his family moved to California.
Ella Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917June 15, 1996)
Known as the First Lady of Song, this Grammy Award-winning vocalist was born in Newport News. In 1997, CNU created a music festival to honor Ella Fitzgerald in her birth city, and in 2008, the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News named its brand new 276-seat theater the Ella Fitzgerald Theater, located several blocks away from her birthplace on Marshall Avenue.
Mark Ruffalo (November 22, 1967)
This American actor, director, producer and screenwriter who you may remember from films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Zodiac, Just Like Heaven, 30 Going on 30 and The Kids Are All Right spent his teen years in Virginia Beach, where he graduated from First Colonial High School.
Michael Copon (November 13, 1982)
Born in Chesapeake, this actor, model and singer was cast as Blue Power Ranger Lucas on Power Rangers Time Force less than a year after graduating from Deep Creek High School in 2001. Since then, he has become recognized for his recurring role on the shows One Tree Hill and Beyond the Break.
Missy Elliott (July 1, 1971)
Melissa Arnette Missy Elliott, recording artist, producer, singer-songwriter, dancer, actress and clothing line designer was born in Portsmouth and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. Eventually, Elliott formed a producing/songwriting team with her childhood friend Timbaland, another Hampton Roads celebrity from Virginia Beach.
Pat Robertson (March 22, 1930)
In 1960, Marion Gordon Pat Robertson founded the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach, with its leading show The 700 Club. He also founded and is still the chancellor for Regent University, a Christian university in Virginia Beach. Robertson is known for giving controversial statements that frequently appear in news headlines.
Pharrell Williams (April 5, 1973)
This Grammy Award-winning rapper, singer, record producer, composer and fashion designer was born in Virginia Beach and attended Princess Anne High School with Chad Hugo, another Virginia Beach celebrity. The two formed record production duo The Neptunes. Williams and Hugo, along with Shae Haley, make up the musical group N.E.R.D, and Williams has created his own clothing line, Billionaire Boys Club, as well as his own liqueur, Qream.
Wanda Sykes (March 7, 1964)
The comedian whos been called one of the funniest stand up comics and ranks among Entertainment Weeklys 25 Funniest People in America was born in Portsmouth and graduated from Hampton University in 1986. Shes been seen on many feature films and has starred in television programs Wanda Does It and Wanda at Large.
Wayne Newton (April 3, 1942)
Carson Wayne Newton, the singer and entertainer based in Las Vegas was born in Norfolk. After spending his early years in Roanoke, he went on to produce the signature hits Danke Schoen, his own version of Red Roses for a Blue Lady and Daddy Dont You Walk So Fast. His Vegas performance has earned him the nicknames Mr. Las Vegas and Mr. Entertainment.
Aaron Brooks (March 24, 1976)
Retired football quarterback for the NFL, Brooks was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and college football at UVA, but he got his start in Newport News, where he was raised in a public housing project in the East End area. He graduated from Homer L. Ferguson High School along with his cousin, Michael Vick. Brooks has announced plans to invest in a redevelopment project in his hometown.
Allen Iverson (June 7, 1975)
This 11-time NBA All- Star whos played for the Philadelphia 76ers and was named Rookie of the Year for the 199697 season and the league MVP in 200001 got his start in Hampton, where he was born and raised and attended Bethel High School. In 1993, Iverson and some of his friends were involved in a racial altercation at the Circle Lanes bowling alley in Hampton. He was arrested and spent four months at Newport News City Farm correctional facility. The documentary film No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson resulted from the incident.
Alonzo Mourning (February 8, 1970)
Nicknamed Zo, Mourning is a former professional basketball player who played most of his 15-year NBA career for the Miami Heat. He has twice earned the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and was placed on the NBA All-Defensive Team, but before that, he played at Indian River High School in his hometown of Chesapeake, where he led the team to 51 straight victories and a state title his junior year. During his senior year, he was named Player of the Year by USA Today, Parade, Gatorade and Naismith.
Angela Hucles (July 5, 1978)
This former soccer midfielder and member of the United States womens national soccer team was born in Virginia Beach and graduated from Norfolk Academy in 1996, where she played for Kevin Sims while earning Parade All-American status. Hucles played for the Hampton Roads Piranhas of the W-League before being drafted by the Boston Breakers of the newlyformed Womens United Soccer Association. She won two Olympic Gold medals and two World Cups with the United States Womens National Team, and she retired in 2009.
Elton Brown (May 22, 1982)
One of the top offensive linemen in school history, Brown played for the Arizona Cardinals. Now he is giving back to his hometown of Hampton by working with at-risk kids through his 1st and G.O.A.L. foundation and coaching the Hampton Hawkeyes, a group of 912-year-old Pop Warner Players. Brown is also a loyal supporter of the Hampton Roads All-Star Football camp at CNU.
John Chandler Harper (March 10, 1914Nov. 8, 2004)
Best known for winning the 1950 PGA Championship, Harper was born in Portsmouth, where he spent all of his life. He won seven times on the PGA Tour, won the Virginia State Amateur three times, the Virginia State Open nine times and played on the 1955 Ryder Cup team. Harper was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1973 and to the PGA Fall of Fame in 1968.
Michael Vick (June 26, 1980)
Born in Newport News, Vick and his family lived in the Ridley Circles Homes, a public housing project in the East End section of the city. Vick attended Homer L. Ferguson High School until it closed in 1996, and he transferred to Warwick High School, where he was considered one of the nations top high school quarterbacks. At Virginia Tech, he placed third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Vick played for the Atlanta Falcons before serving time in prison for involvement in running a dog fighting ring at his home in Surry County. After being released, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and was named NFL
Comeback Player of the Year in 2010.
Ricky Rudd (September 12, 1956)
Known as the Iron Man and considered one of NASCARs Top 50 drivers of all time, retired racer Ricky Rudd was born in Chesapeake. He and his friends used to tinker on his first race car in his fathers Chesapeake auto salvage yard. From there, he went on to hold the record for HR most consecutive starts in NASCAR racing, and he was named the 2006 Virginian of the Year and inducted into the 2007 Virginia Hall of Fame. In 2010, he was inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame.
Terry Kirby (January 20, 1970)
This former NFL player for the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers was born in Hampton and attended Tabb High School in York County, where he was one of the most highly promoted football players in the nation. During his senior year, he was selected to Parades All-American Team, and by the time he graduated high school, he held numerous Virginia High School League football records. He is the brother of the well-known baseball player Wayne Kirby.
Headed in HR
The health insurance company thats been listed in the Fortune 500 is headquartered in Virginia Beach. It is the largest publicly-traded company focused exclusively on meeting the needs of those enrolled in publiclyfunded healthcare programs.
In 1953, K.R. Perry opened a Ben Franklin variety store in Norfolk, and the store later became known as K&K 5&10. In 1993, the company changed its name to Dollar Tree, and in 1997, the store that sells everything for $1 or less broke ground on its first distribution center and new Store Support Center, located in Chesapeake. In 2008, Dollar Tree was named to the Fortune 500, and it currently operates more than 4,000 stores.
The supermarket chain with 40+ stores is headquartered in Virginia Beach in the Chimney Hill Shopping Center. In 1992, Virginia Beach resident Gene Walters sold his controlling stake in Gene Walters Marketplace stores to Farm Fresh and Richfood and rejoined Farm Fresh as a consultant. Walters died in 1999, the same year that SUPERVALU purchased Richfood and all of its subsidiaries, including Farm Fresh.
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Class I railroad that transports coal from mines in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia is headquartered in Norfolk. Norfolk Southern was created from predecessor railroads, which date back to the early portion of the 19th century.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal rights organization co-founded by Ingrid Newkirk, is based in Norfolk. The group consists of two million members and supporters, claiming to be the largest animal rights group in the world. PETA is known and for its extreme media stunts, campaigns and consumer boycotts.
Although Planters Peanut Company started in Pennsylvania, founder Amedeo Obici built his first mass processing plant in Suffolk in 1913. Suffolk was the birthplace of Mr. Peanut, and the city has been called the Worlds Largest Peanut Market. Suffolk remains a major peanut processing center.
The worlds largest pork producer and processor, Smithfield Foods is headquartered inyou guessed itSmithfield. The company began in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company and now produces more than 50 brands of pork products and more than 200 gourmet foods and employs more than 52.400 individuals globally, making it the worlds largest producer and processor of pork.
The manufacturer of chainsaws and other power equipment was founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl in Germany, and in 1974, the company began construction of STIHL Incorporated in Virginia Beach, which is the headquarters for U.S. operations. STIHL Inc. employs more than 2,100 people nationwide, with more than 1,900 in Virginia Beach.
757 [sev-uh n fahyv sev-uhn] Noun
Area code denoting a region of Southeastern Virginia including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Franklin, Smithfield and the Eastern Shore.
Why are you so awesome?
Because Im from the 757; thats just how I roll.
CBBT [see-bee-bee-tee] Noun
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, a direct link between Southeastern Virginia and
the Delmarva Peninsula. The 23-mile long bridge-tunnel is known as one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World.
The view from the CBBT is breathtaking!
HRBT [eych-ahr-bee-tee] Noun
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, the 3.5-mile crossing for Interstate 64 comprised of bridges, trestles, man-made islands and tunnels. The HRBT connects the cities of Norfolk and Hampton.
The HRBT was congested, so I took the MMMBT.
MMMBT [em-em-em-bee-tee] Noun
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, the 4.6-mile crossing for Interstate 664, connecting independent cities on the Virginia Peninsula and Southside Hampton Roads.
The MMMBT was backed up, so I took the HRBT.
Norfolk [nawr-fuh k] if youre a transient or transplant, [naw-fik] if youre a local or [nawr-folk] if youre trying too hard. Noun
An independent city at the core of Hampton Roads that has a long history as a strategic military and transportation point.
Lets go to Norfolk to see some mermaids and ride The Tide.
OV [oh-vee] Noun
Ocean View, a coastal region in Norfolk consisting of several miles of shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay.
Did you know that OV used to have an amusement park and electric-powered trolley cars?
No, I didnt. Things sure have changed.
North End [nawrth end] Noun
The northeastern corner of Virginia Beach consisting of residential homes.
Its too touristy at the Oceanfront; lets go to the North End.
P-Town [pee-toun] Noun
Yesterday I took the ferry to P-Town, enjoyed a beverage at the Bier Garden and caught a flick at the Commodore.
The Boulevard [th uh bool-uh-vahrd] Noun
Virginia Beach Boulevard, a major connector highway that carries U.S. Route 58 most of its length and extends from the downtown area of Norfolk to the Oceanfront area of Virginia Beach.
Where can I find the JANAF Shopping Center?
Its on The Boulevard.
The Burg [th uh burg] Noun
Williamsburg, an independent city on the Peninsula that is well-known for Colonial Williamsburg and for the adjacent College of William & Mary.
Lets go to The Burg and hit up Busch Gardens as well as that Ripleys Believe-It-Or-Not Museum.
The Peninsula [th uh Puh-nin-suh-luh] Noun
A region of land in Hampton Roads that is bounded by the York River, James River and Chesapeake Bay and includes the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg and Yorktown.
I noticed that you always capitalize the P in peninsula when youre referring to The Peninsula.
The Tide [th uh tayhd] Noun
1. A light rail system whose initial line runs 7.4 miles through downtown Norfolk and connects Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University and Newtown Road.
2. The periodic rise and fall of the waters of the ocean and its inlets produced by the attraction of the moon and sun, and occurring about every 12 hours.
I wish I could see the tide from The Tide.