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Executive Gift Giving
Executive Gift Giving

The Transition from TerrafugiaBig retailers weren’t even waiting for Black Friday this year to try to get people flocking to the stores. Holiday shopping commercials took to the airwaves as soon as the political ads came off. If you’re all laughed out from those “Show Your Joe” Kmart ads, below are some out-of-this world ideas (for all budgets) for all the sci-fi, closet nerds and other geeks on your list.

Rumor has it the economy is getting better, so a hot gift this year will no doubt be a Virgin Galactic space flight. read more »

Executive Gift Giving

Special to the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal

To my dismay I note that Christmas/gift catalogs are showing up in the mailbox earlier and in ever-growing numbers, weight and size. I clearly was mistaken in believing that the Internet would be the death of those nasty tree-killer catalogs. Well. Not catalogs about tree killers (oh, never mind.) “Christmas” began showing up in ads even before the Halloween candy made it into the bowl by the door. Egad!

In any case, whenever I see that little overworked USPS jeep-looking buggy coming up the hill, I can’t help but think of “The Little Engine that Could” and all the huffing and puffing that went along with the tale. read more »

Executive Gift Giving

Although the recent government shutdown didn’t help, the economy in general has been seeing an uptick. But demand hasn’t decreased at local food banks — and in many cases, it continues to grow.

“We’re seeing a lot more people coming in and a lot more of the elderly people are finding that finances are not holding up,” said Jan Coen, director of the Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula FISH Food Bank.

Patti Peterson, executive director of Bremerton Food Bank and secretary of the Kitsap County Food Bank Coalition, said a lot more clients are coming in who have never been on assistance before, especially seniors and disabled individuals. She notes that data from the federal food stamps program (called SNAP) showed that one in six children was hungry two years ago, and now that number is one in four. read more »

Executive Gift Giving

Silver City Brewery in Bremerton makes Old Scrooge Christmas Ale, and does a limited release of Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Scrooge.For giving or imbibing seasonal winter ales, The Kitsap Peninsula is a veritable brewtopia.

Area craft breweries are in a festive mood like everyplace else this time of year, rolling out barrels of special holiday beers that suit the season.

At 7 Seas Brewery in Gig Harbor, co-owner and brewmaster Travis Guterson greets a visitor in the taproom where a wall of windows give a view of the brewing operation that produces about 4,200 barrels a year. The skinny, heavily tattooed 30-year-old looks a bit like a rad elf in Santa’s beer workshop, with a red stocking cap on his head and the goatee below his chin pointing in opposite directions. read more »

Executive Gift Giving

Scoops Nuts is an enterprise run by Susan Otte, shown at a recent holiday gift fair in Poulsbo, and her husband, Doug, who sell a variety of roasted nuts. (Tim Kelly photo)Sweet, smoked, salty, spicy, crunchy, nutty.

Local entrepreneurs provide gourmet foods that match each of those adjectives and more, providing delectable choices for holiday gifts or party fare.

Start with chocolate. This indulgence is always in season, and this holiday season was ushered in with the debut of a Chocolate Festival.

Carter’s Chocolates owner Matt Carter of Port Orchard thought his town could host the kind of themed event he’s been a vendor at elsewhere, and he teamed up with the nonprofit community group Fathoms O’ Fun to make it happen. The successful first-time event — which Carter hopes read more »


Matt Carter, who helped organize this year's inaugural Chocolate Festival in Port Orchard, is planning to open another store in Tacoma. (Tim Kelly Photo)The owner of Carter’s Chocolates in Port Orchard has plans to expand his business with a store in Tacoma, and he’s running a Kickstarter campaign to give that effort a boost.

Matt Carter, whose store is on Bethel Avenue near downtown Port Orchard, said he’s been a vendor before at a couple Tacoma community festivals. He thinks his business would do well there because there’s no purveyor of handmade chocolates, fudge and ice cream there. read more »

Executive Gift Giving

Silverdale artist Lisa Stirrett holds a prototype of this year's Trident Foods smoked salmon box being sold at Costco. Her original painting for the box is on the easel. (Rodika Tollefson Photo)When Costco shoppers choose a boxed smoked salmon to give as a holiday gift, they are also choosing the work of a local artist. Silverdale’s Lisa Stirrett has been providing original art for the gift boxes for 12 holiday seasons, using her gyotaku painting techniques (gyotaku, an ancient Asian printmaking art, uses actual fish.)

The company that was providing the product was bought last year by Seattle-based Trident Seafoods, which continued the tradition of hiring Stirrett for the art. read more »

Executive Gift Giving

Owners Stacy and Jason Patrick gear up for the season at Pine Cone Gifts in Kingston with added inventory and a few shopping events.November and December are the “make it or break it” months for many retailers but small, locally owned stores are being squeezed out more and more by the lures of online shopping — this year, especially, is being forecast as having the most online holiday shopping ever.

Local retailers are feeling optimistic, however. Shops have been seeing increased traffic this year — a sign the economy is on the mend — even as the government shutdown disrupted the flow in October. read more »

Cover Story
Bremerton woman has a holiday hit with her handmade F.R.O.G. Soap using a unique ingredient

Cover Story: Gifted entrepreneurLaura Kneib found a forgotten family keepsake last year, something that had been packed away with her late mother’s belongings for a long time. It wasn’t heirloom jewelry or vintage clothing or an old photo album.

It was two bars of soap, wrapped in wax paper.

It has sentimental value because it’s soap that Kneib and her mother made themselves, maybe 40 years ago or more, when their family lived in rural West Virginia and owned a general store that she describes as “an old-fashioned mercantile.”

Today, Kneib is a fledgling entrepreneur whose handmade soaps are fragrant, artistic creations, but they have something in common with the plain white squares of homemade soap from her youth. read more »

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