Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Celebrate American Made Virginia January 2014

Rating: Love It!!!!
Cost: $39.95/month

Celebrate American Made launched in December 2013 with a Wyoming themed box. This subscription features local artisan foods and crafts from a different state each month. They graciously sent me this box to review. This month featured Virginia, the state for food lovers. I always love checking out new subscriptions and their packaging. This one was amazing! So much fun to open and is definitely going on my gifting list!!!

The box was about the size of a shoe box and recognizably from Celebrate American Made.

This is the first look.

And I had to include a 2nd look, because I loved the cute packaging of this box.

It also included a letter with the products included. And a lot of other fun Virginia companies to check out. This was definitely one of the best curated boxes I've seen in awhile! Everything included in the box was made locally in Virginia and was different and unique!!!

The first item was Montebello Kitchens Traditional Virginian Peanut Soup. I've never tried peanut soup, so I was so excited this was included in the box. I can't wait to taste it!

The next item was Savannah Grace Cheese Straws. I've never had these before either, but they looked like a good snack. And they are so delicious! My daughter loved these and wouldn't put them down!!! And she's been a picky eater lately, so these get my stamp of approval. Now I just have to find out how to buy more.

Also, included was Graves' Mountain Apple Butter. I've had Apple Butter before and I love it, so when I saw this I was happy. They also have some recipes on the Celebrate American Made website to go along with this month's box and there is a Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette that looks yummy! We're definitely going to try it soon!!!

Another item included was Route 11 Yukon Gold Potato Chips. I resisted the urge to eat these up right away and tried out the recipe on their website for Potato Chip Chicken. It was so good! I never would have thought to use potato chips as breading. We'll definitely be making this again! The factory these potato chips are made at is also open to the public Mon-Sat for "fry viewing" so people can see how the chips are made.

The Virginia Chutney Spicy Plum Chutney looks delicious and won the 2013 Gold Sofi Award for Outstanding Condiment. I can't wait to try this as it is suggested on their website with crackers and cheddar cheese or as a topping for roast pork.

There were also a couple non food items included. One was Brigit True Organics Lip Balm. I will never complain about getting lip balm in a subscription box. I go through it like crazy and can never have too much. Not only are the ingredients simple and clean, but also the packaging. This is definitely a company I'll keep in mind for skin care products.

The final item was found at the bottom of the box under all the packing material and was probably the most meaningful item in the box. It was a print by Natalie Kay. It was created by the artist for her friend that had suffered severe injuries after a car accident and the print was sold to fundraise for her medical expenses. Talitha Koum meaning "Young Woman, Stand Up" is the inspiring message on the print. There was also a link included to read the whole story, that you can also get to from the Celebrate American Made website.

There was so much thought put into this box and small Virginia based businesses that were featured. You can also find so much more additional information on the Celebrate American Made website. Definitely check it out if you are thinking about subscribing or just want to learn more about the featured states. February they will be featuring Arizona and March will be Colorado, so subscribe now if you don't want to miss out. I know I'm going to keep this subscription box in mind for myself and as gifts. What a fun gift to give to natives of the state featured! I can't wait to see what this includes in future months.

I also have additional information about how this company was started, so if you want to learn more read on. The idea for Celebrate American Made came to Tiffany Tompkins in July 2012. The subscription box boom had hit and she thought that it would be a great idea to help small businesses get in on some of the action. 

A daughter of entrepreneurs, she knows how hard it is for small businesses to compete for market share, much less spend time marketing their own products while running their company. Small companies have small budgets, fewer people than needed and as a result, little time. So, she let the idea simmer until finally, in November, she decided she HAD to make Celebrate American Made happen.

Chalk it up to being 9 months pregnant or just tired of the negativity during the election, she sought to start Celebrate American Made as a way to unite the country by celebrating the hard working people that make America great - small business entrepreneurs! 

Listening to the media and other people describe “these people” or “this state” in a way that made me think they were talking about a foreign country was depressing. Isn’t the diversity of America one of its greatest attributes? She loves discovering new treasures made in other states. Trying new foods, seeing what people create as artists and gaining new perspectives keeps life interesting. 

So, Celebrate American Made was born and her journey of celebrating one state at a time has begun. Over the next few years she is going to revel in America’s unique landscapes, history, and culture. She's going to find wonderful products that are indicative of each state and help small businesses by telling their stories and getting their products into the hands of consumers who are passionate about these same things.

Will you be joining her on her journey of discovering the unique items found in each state? Subscribe here today.

*This complimentary box was received in exchange for my honest review. As always the opinions are my own!

Unpack the Box

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