IntoxiKate’s Edible Holiday Gift Guide: Empire Crate

by Katie Schlientz
empire crate

{Empire Crate: For the New York Locavore}

My father traveled often when I was little and when he returned home, he always pulled out a treat from wherever he was as he unpacked his suitcase. At first, it was things like tee-shirts or a hat, but my dad loved finding local items, and so it quickly turned to food.

When I moved down to Westchester over ten years ago, I began to return the favor. Each time I returned to Syracuse, I brought a little something with me for my dad—salami and cheese from Arthur Avenue, his favorite cookies from a local bakery, ice cream from Penny Lick, soup from Cafe of Love. He would send me home with my Syracuse favorites at the end of my visit: Hoffman hot dogs, Salamida State Fair Spiedies Sauce, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce, and salt potatoes.

And every visit to the New York State Fair, we’d visit the Taste of NY shop to find new local favorites to exchange.

This quickly became a tradition I truly love. Although he’s not as an adventurous eater as I am, I love the time we spend together talking about food. And I think that’s why I love the concept behind Empire Crate so much—it celebrates locavore love and experience.

empire crate

Husband and wife team Brandon and Brianne Dingeman, creators also celebrate this tradition. The creators behind Empire Crate’s monthly boxes travel across the state—from Buffalo to Brooklyn and everything in between—on the hunt for great New York state artisans producing fabulous food.

empire crate

Each shipment includes 5-7 delicious items and costs $39.95 per month (that includes shipping). Plus, you snag discounts on the service if you prepay for three-month and six-month bundles.

I was so excited to receive what was in my box (I’ve been sworn to secrecy from Brandon NOT to reveal the items… That’s part of the excitement!), but I also enjoyed reading the stories behind each local artisan. With one box, you are instanteasouly connected—and supporting—a locally-made New York food product. It’s a win-win all around.

Brandon and Brianne are a lot of fun! Here’s what they have to say about Empire Crate.

For more information about Empire Crate, check out the IntoxiKate Edible Holiday Gift Guide.

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