Have you thanked a teacher today? They teach our kids so much more than the ABCs and 123s. Teacher Appreciation Week is happening May 1-5, giving parents the perfect opportunity to say “Thanks for everything!” From jewels to jam and teas to truffles, we found artisan-quality, locally-made gifts that will show teachers just how much they’re appreciated.
photo: Sprout Home Terrarium
Sprout Home Terrarium
Chances are, if you’ve been out and about in downtown Chicago, you’ve seen the work of Sprout Home’s terrarium designers. They grace the tables and shelves of many of our city’s finest hotels and most talked about restaurants, and make the perfect desktop green escape for a teacher. Available at Sprout Home’s gorgeous retail location (745 N. Damen) or online.
Online: sprouthome.com/terrariums; $50 & up
photo: Vosges Haut-Chocolat Exotic Truffles
Vosges Haut-Chocolat Exotic Truffles
Vosges Haut-Chocolat is a Chicago-based luxury chocolate maker that offers unusually luxe varieties inspired by the travels of the chocolatier owner, Katrina Markoff. The 16-piece exotic truffle collection will give your fave teacher the chance to take a trip around the world via chocolate. Extravagant ingredients like Hungarian paprika, first press extra virgin olive oil, wasabi and Indian curry powder make these chocolates truly unique. Each pretty purple box is hand-tied with a satin bow and includes an enclosure booklet that shares the stories behind the flavors.
Online: vosgeschocolate.com; $30
Chicago-based Circa Ceramics’ colorful, retro-inspired mugs are certain to perk up your fave teacher’s critical coffee break. Choose from a variety of ceramic-glazed mug stamps, including vintage typewriters, cameras, cats and Chicago flags. This etsy-based business is happy to ship, but you can also grab your gift direct from their ceramic studio upon arrangement (3759 N. Ravenswood).
Online: etsy.com; $22.50 for a box of 10
photo: Rare Tea Cellar
Rare Tea Cellar Tea of the Month Club
Treat your teacher to tea — three months of tea to be exact. Rare Tea Cellar’s Tea of the Month Club will send 2-4 oz. of two different teas chosen specifically to fit the season directly to your favorite teacher’s school or home mailbox. RTC Tea of the month club is available in 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions.
Online: rareteacellar.com; $85 for a three month subscription, shipping included
photo: Broad St. Jewelry
Broad St. Jewelry Constellation Charms
Broad Street is a collection of small batch, hand-crafted jewelry, gemstones and holistic accessories, collected and created by Chicago-based Sara Bradstreet. Gorgeous constellation charms are ideal for a science teacher or a teacher who loves to travel. Pick a favorite hemisphere, and it will be handcrafted in a beautiful brass charm keepsake on a rolo chain.
Online: Etsy.com; $50+
photo: Rare Bird Preserves
Rare Bird Preserves
Locally made Rare Bird Preserves are thoughtfully crafted in the French tradition, in copper pots with natural ingredients, and make for the perfect spread for a morning croissant or slice of toast with a side of tea, a welcome trade for the usual donuts and coffee. The flavors, however, veer towards unabashedly untraditional — think fig earl gray and cherry lime.
Online: rarebirdpreserves.com; $12
Chicago-made Tatine Candles are handcrafted little luxuries. Perfume and essential oils inspired by the seasons are blended in a vegetable soy wax while FSC certified paper packaging is letterpress printed with vegetable based inks, making these candles eco-friendly to boot. Each candle burns for approximately 60 hours.
Online: shop.tatinecandles.com/candles; $38
photo: Sugar Fixé
Sugar Fixé Macarons
Sugar Fixé macarons are a sweet treat for teacher — they’re almost too pretty to eat! Unique flavors range from mint chocolate, to lychee rose to passion fruit and everything in between. These lovely, made-from-scratch, pastel pastries are available daily at Sugar Fixé’s sweet bakeshops in Lincoln Park (948 W. Armitage) and Oak Park (119 N. Marion) or via Postmates.
Online: sugarfixe.com; $22.50 for a box of 10
photo: Flowers for Dreams
Flowers for Dreams
Brighten up a teacher’s desk with beautiful blooms from Flowers for Dreams, a local florist that offers gorgeous, locally-crafted bouquets that are hand delivered once every month. Choose your own presentation, price point, frequency, teacher recipient and Flowers for Dreams will take care of the rest.
Online: flowersfordreams.com; Subscriptions start at $45.
photo: Dell Cove Gourmet Popcorn
Dell Cove Gourmet Popcorn and Seasoning Kit
By Friday evening, you know your kid’s teacher is ready to crash the sofa and binge on Netflix. Make things merrier by gifting a Dell Cove Gourmet Popcorn and Seasoning Kit. Sweet, spicy and sour spice combos transform the popped organic kernels into a foodie’s delight. If your teacher’s crazy year has likely called for Friday night martinis in place of popcorn, check out the Chicago-based spice company’s cocktail rim sugars collections (and pair with a fine bottle of booze!)
Do you have any sweet ideas for locally-inspired teacher gifts? Share in the Comments below!
— Amy Bizzarri