The ultra-local gift guide for the Des Moines metro station

We’ve all heard the call to avoid chain stores and buy local this holiday season.

Reality check: The real reason to buy local is because it’s better. The companies in Des Moines make tons of cool stuff, which is often unique and more meaningful.

Here are some gift ideas for everyone on your list – inspired in part by the Catch Des Moines 2021 local gift guide.

For the friend who is proud of the city: The DSM logo has decades of history and its flag production was retired just a few years ago.

The Des Moines pride flag was introduced this year. Photo courtesy of DSM’s Dennis Haney

For the coffee obsessed: Des Moines-based BLK & Bold, which markets itself as the leading black-owned and nationally distributed coffee and tea brand, donates 5% of its profits to support youth groups.

A photo of the BLK & Bold café in Des Moines.
Photo courtesy of Google

For alcohol lovers: Say bravo! The metro has more than two dozen wineries or breweries, and most sell take-out bottles (and cans) that make great gifts.

A photo of Saints' n Sinners apple pie from the Iowa Distilling Company in Cumming.
Jason’s recent local libation find: Saints’ n Sinners Apple Pie at Iowa Distilling Company in Cumming. Photo: Jason Clayworth / Axios

For art lovers: Works by dozens of local artists are on display and some are on sale at the Polk County Heritage Gallery.

  • Monday to Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until December 17 at 111 Court Ave., DSM.
A photo of a painting by an artist from Des Moines.
“Prairie Storm”, a painting by metro artist Nicole Gyles is on display and on sale at the Greater Des Moines Exposé until December 17th. Photo: Jason Clayworth / Axios

For the curious: Gift experiences this year with season passes, tickets or memberships.

A photo from Living History Farms.
The “TRI Membership” packages give you access to Living History Farms (above), the Blank Park Zoo, and the Science Center of Iowa. Photo courtesy of Living History Farms

For gourmets: There is an abundance of fantastic food in DSM. Get gift cards for your friends and family who love to dine out.

A pizza photo from Franka Pizzeria.
Pancetta Pizza ($ 16) at Franka Pizzeria in downtown DSM includes roasted garlic, oregano, mozzarella, and honey. Photo: Jason Clayworth / Axios

For the cook: Handmade cutting boards from DamonLayne Woodworking in Earlham. (Jason has one and loves it.)

A photo of cutting boards.
Photo courtesy of DamonLayne
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