Have you ever tried to describe a place to someone after returning home from a trip? It’s not easy to convey the sights, sounds, tastes and feel of a place to someone who has never experienced it.
Savannah is a place that not only draws people for its beauty and history, but for its deeply Southern flavors. The holidays are right around the corner, so this year, stop trying to describe the experience and gift your loved ones their own taste of Savannah from these local vendors.
Savannah Bee Company
The Vendor: For over 35 years, Ted Dennard has been perfecting the art of bee keeping and honey making. Though the company now sources honey from all over the world, it all started with Tupelo honey, only found in the South. The Savannah Bee Company infuses Tupelo honey into many products—including body butters, lotions and hand soaps.
The Gift: Stick with the classics: Tupelo honey comes in sizes ranging from 3oz. to 80oz. Or go big with the Tupelo Honey Gold Reserve—a rare treat of a honey with a harvesting time of less than 10 days each year.
River Street Sweets
The Vendor: At just 11 years old, Tim Strickland begged his parents to buy a fudge pot. The instant popularity of the first batch of fudge sold out of the family’s gift shop, The Cotton Bale, convinced the Stricklands to convert to candy. Tim and his sister, Jennifer, still run River Street Sweets today as the world’s leading supplier of pralines.
The Gift: If pecans are your thing, you’ll find no shortage here. You can find everything from Praline Layer Cake to Praline Bear Claws and Praline Pecans. Don’t let all the options overwhelm you. The Historic Praline Gift Box is the perfect go-to, with the family’s praline recipe and a watercolor box designed by local artist James Dean.
Located at 13 E. River Street in downtown Savannah, and 4515 Habersham Road in Midtown Savannah. Visit online at riverstreetsweets.com.
Byrd’s Famous Cookies
The Vendor: Just five years after the Leopold brothers opened their soda fountain, Ben T. Byrd started making cookies. The cookies became so popular among visitors to Savannah that Byrd’s son had the idea to package them in the now-famous tins for better traveling. Innovative ideas like the tins helped establish Byrd’s as a world famous cookie supplier. The company now exports to countries in Asia, Europe and South America.
The Gift: The Taste of the Lowcountry tin comes with an assortment of six flavors including Georgia Peach and Benne Wafer—the cookie that started it all. The Savannah Specialties Gift Tray—the bakery’s number one seller—offers an array of Savannahian flavors, including Dr. Pete’s Praline Mustard Glaze, Verdant Kitchen Chocolate Covered Ginger and one bag each of Byrd’s Key Lime and Scotch Oatmeal cookies.
Located at 6700 Waters Avenue, 213 W. Julian Street in City Market or at 423 E. River Street in downtown Savannah. Visit online at byrdcookiecompany.com.
Savannah Coffee Roasters
The Vendor: Since 1909, Savannah Coffee Roasters has served up warm cups of joe. At the age of 21, Edgar R. Morrison opened Savannah Coffee Company on Bay Street with the intention of giving Savannah the best brews around. To this day the company continues to roast only the best.
The Gift: Savannah Coffee Roasters draws inspiration from its home city and takes advantage of the flavors Savannah has to offer, such as pecans. Savannah Pecans, River Street Blues and Caramel Pecan are all infused with the local nut.
Located at 215 W. Liberty Street in downtown Savannah. Visit online at savannahcoffee.com.
Chocolat by Adam Turoni
The Vendor: Adam Turoni and Alexandra Trujillo de Taylor met over cocktails and the idea behind Chocolat by Adam Turoni magically fell into place. That enchanting allure is reflected in the duo’s two storefronts—The Dining Room and The Library—where Turoni continues blending flavors and turning out magical creations.
The Gift: The Honeycomb Chocolate Bar—a Southern Living food award-winner—combines Turoni’s dark chocolate with the sticky sweet of the Savannah Bee Company’s honeycomb. For a different flavor, try the Bacon Butter Pecan Toffee, made with local Georgia pecans.
Located at 323 W. Broughton Street, and 236 Bull Street in downtown Savannah. Visit online at chocolatat.com.
Shop the Fox
The Vendor: This all-coffee-all-the-time store is the online location to get your hands on products from the Foxy Loxy–Henny Penny–Coffee Fox–Fox and Fig family that is taking Savannah by storm. These guys have their hands in a little bit of everything, from Tex-Mex to vegan baked goods, coffee and kid-friendly art spaces.
The Gift: Everyone needs a mug for their coffee and the Coffee Fox Klean Kanteen is perfect for taking your brew on the road. Round out a coffee break with some baked goods, such as Henny Penny’s Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies or a loaf of Zucchini Bread.
Visit online at shop.foxyloxycafe.com.
Paula Deen and The Lady & Son’s
The Vendor: Paula Deen started cooking meals for people as the Bag Lady. Deen and her two sons delivered bag lunches to offices and business people around Savannah. She gained a following and opened her first full service restaurant, The Lady, in the Best Western Hotel. Deen’s brand continued to grow with The Lady & Son’s restaurant in her own space downtown, cookbooks and a Food Network show.
The Gift: Try the traditional flavors of true Southern cooking in the comfort of your own home. Paula Deen’s sauces and dips bring the experience to your own kitchen. The Original Savannah Marinade and The Lady & Son’s Signature Hot Sauce are staples. Other local flavors to try: Vidalia Onion Steak Sauce and Vidalia Onion Peach Marinade.
The Paula Deen Retail Store is located at 108 W. Congress Street, next to The Lady & Son’s restaurant in downtown Savannah. Visit online at ladyandsons.com.
Leopold’s Ice Cream
The Vendor: In 1919, the Leopold brothers started an ice cream business that would become a local favorite and a worldwide sensation. Savannah native Johnny Mercer even wrote a song inspired by one of the original flavors, Tutti Frutti. Stratton Leopold, the son of one of the founding brothers, can still be found dishing out cones.
The Gift: Order Leopold’s online and it will arrive right at your doorstep with UPS Overnight. One caveat: orders need a minimum of four pints. That’s no problem if you go with the originals—Tutti Frutti, Rum Bisque and Lemon Custard—and Butter Pecan made with Georgia pecans.
Located at 212 E. Broughton Street in downtown Savannah. Visit online at leopoldsicecream.com.