Okay, so you had us at “gingerbread kit.” One of the great winter pastimes is baking those golden-brown cookies and decorating them with frosting and candies. Now, imagine gingerbread figurines created by Ellie’s Bakery, the renowned patisserie in downtown Providence. For several years, Ellie’s has created prim little boxes with high-quality cookies and brightly colored confections. The family-friendly joys alone would be worth the $8. But these kits also serve a good cause: 100 percent of the proceeds benefit Rhode Island families in need. In previous years, Ellie’s has sold more than 3,000 kits, making lots of customers – and under-employed households – full of holiday cheer. You can find the kits at both Ellie’s Bakery and its sister-restaurant, Gracie’s Providence. The kits are also available at Miriam Hospital, where they can double as a get-well gift. Doing good never tasted so sweet. -Robert Isenberg
It all started with a croissant. Not just any croissant – a fresh-baked “buttery wonder” that Brian Leosz grabbed from a boulangerie in France. It was love at first bite, and the young hobbyist-baker-turned-entrepreneur launched Butterbang, a formerly Denver-based wholesale biz that relocated to the East Coast as of October: “[I] saw the opportunity to dive into the growing food scene in Providence,” says Brian.
Butterbang’s concept is simple: A bike cart selling Borealis Coffee and small-batch croissants baked by Brian in his commercial kitchen in Olneyville. The typical batch, Brian says, takes three days to make, and yields three dozen croissants, with combinations as mouthwatering as the Baked Brie (melted brie, onion jam, walnuts, and balsamic reduction).
For now, Butterbang plans to crop up across the city for as far into the winter season as weather allows – so keep an eye out for the cart, and stay up-to-date on Instagram. -Megan Schmit
“Shake Ferociously.” This is hardly the advice you expect to see printed on a can, but New Harvest Coffee Roasters aren’t playing tricks – this is how you are meant to enjoy their cold brew coffee now that it’s sold by the can and not exclusively on draft. “The instruction to shake ‘ferociously’ goes with the Wolf Can theme,” says Rik Kleinfedlt, founder and president of New Harvest, pointing to the image of a snarling wolf on the can’s label. “But yes, we suggest you shake it well.”
Unlike most canned beverages that risk explosion under such directives, this drink isn’t carbonated but “nitrogenated,” which cuts the acidity and gives it a smooth taste and creamy texture. “It’s fun for a roaster when people enjoy the taste of coffee,” Rik continues. “Cold Brew opens the window for more people to drink coffee black.” -Jenny Currier