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Gourmet gift baskets are filled mostly with items produced by families in Vermont.

Award-winning gouda and cheddar, delicious homemade chocolate and pure Vermont maple syrup are just a few of the tasty treats featured in an array of artisanal gift baskets from Graze, an online delivery service that brings fresh food from New England’s family-owned farms to local tables. Founded by Westport’s Christy Colasurdo and Julianna Doherty-Konczal, owner of Barnum Hill Farm in Bristol, Vt., gourmet gift baskets are the latest offerings provided by the popular food-delivery company.

Families in Fairfield County look forward to their weekly deliveries of milk — bottled right on the farm — from cows that graze freely in open pastures. Artisanal cheese, fresh eggs, grains, homemade jams, syrups and a full line of prepared foods are sent from local farms and producers.

“Our gift baskets are in keeping with Graze’s mission to support local farmers and small businesses,” explained Christy. “People really appreciate the handmade quality of these baskets, which are so much more personal than the mass-produced baskets on the market. Packed in handmade wooden crates with natural wood stuffing, our artisanal baskets are just so much more rustic and less commercial than the baskets we are used to seeing. People love them.”

As an example, Christy pointed out that the addictive toffee found in Graze’s popular Cheese & Chocolate Gift Basket is handmade in small batches by a local Vermont toffee company. “Most of the items you’ll find in our gift baskets are unique because they are handmade in Vermont,” she said.

Julianna said that the idea to add gift baskets to Graze’s assortment of specialty foods came from “a good customer,” and word of mouth spread quickly.
Along with a Cheese & Chocolate Gift Basket ($59), the selection of bountiful baskets created by Graze includes The Big Kahuna ($149). Designed for the ultimate foodies on your gift list, the Big Kahuna features one-year aged cheddar, Vermont Smoke & Cure pepperoni, Taylor Farm award-winning gouda, Vermont Harvest habanero jelly (to put on the cheese), Mapled Nut Co. mixed nuts coated with 100-percent organic maple sugar, and much more.

Additionally, there are several smaller baskets from Graze, tailor-made for corporate clients. Last year, a pleased recipient sent Graze baskets to her entire corporate mailing list, said Julianna. “His clients loved them so much that they called us and placed orders for their corporate gifts!” she said. “Many of our last year’s customers have already placed orders for their entire client lists this year.”
There are also plenty of smaller themed baskets, such as the Tea & Cookie Assortment and Maple Love, which are just right for babysitters, bus drivers and schoolteachers.

Gift baskets may be ordered online and sent anywhere in the United States. Special orders may be made in advance, too. “We want to make sure that your basket gets delivered to a corporate office when the right person is there to receive it,” Christy said. “We work hard to get the timing exactly right.”
She also noted that all gift baskets could be customized according to the recipient’s personal tastes. For example, if someone would prefer to add more cheese than chocolate to a themed basket, this special order could be easily accommodated. Graze’s customer-service team easily processes multiple orders with diverse special instructions.

In addition to gourmet gift baskets, Graze’s main business is making weekly deliveries of farm-fresh eggs, cheese, milk, baked goods, pasture-raised meats and other foods made by local Vermont farmers to customers throughout Fairfield County every Monday (delivery is free).

For more information about weekly deliveries and gift baskets, go to grazedelivered.com. To request a gift catalog, which highlights all of this season’s offerings, send an e-mail to gifts@grazedelivered.com or call 888-934-7293.