I wanted to give someone a thank you gift. Something that was classy, interesting and said more than a bottle of plonk on special from the local bottles shop. And flowers wouldn’t do because it was for a man and, well, sometimes that just doesn’t quite work as a thankyou. Especially in a professional context. So I was excited to discover the quality and value-for-money hampers of local Canberra products by The Local Larder. Ahead of Canberra Day, these are sure to be a popular product.
The Local Larder is founded by Rachel Evagelou, who is well known to many Canberrans as the bright, chirpy and fabulously vintage dressed face behind Shop Handmade. Sadly, the shop is no more after the building was demolished to make way for a new city residential centre. Rachel is now selling locally produced food, wine and gift items online.
The venture began six weeks before Christmas in response to ‘desperate cries’ from customers who wanted to get their handmade shopping done. Rachel began promoting at the December Handmade market, and business has spread quickly through those in the know since then.
What’s in the hampers?
There are a selection online that includes ‘thank you’ and ‘thank you very much’ selections (I purchased one of the latter; for $60 the hamper included a lemon and soy candle, a box of Himalayan rock salt and wakame dark chocolate from Jasper + Myrtle, and a bottle of Shaw Vintage Estate Sparkling Cuvee.)
The iconic Canberra Bus Stop range that was a stellar seller from Handmade is represented with a Trevor Dickinson designed selection of items. And then there is the ‘Canberra Really Lovely Place’ welcoming packs, that includes items designed to welcome even the most reluctant new Canberrans (including the fabulously named Canberra does not suck lollies). Who could not help but be won over?
Rachel said that her hampers are really popular with people who buy them to welcome new colleagues or friends to Canberra. She has been doing many special hampers for newbies to Canberra at this time of year. “Canberra has such a transient population,” she said. “People are always coming and going. Our hampers are really popular both to welcome new people and to send overseas to people homesick for Canberra.”
Her hampers are also popular with corporate clients. Rachel recently prepared 40 hampers for attendees at a conference at the Hyatt, which included custom packaged chocolates and other items bearing the corporate logo. She has also done corporate hampers incorporating Indigenous artwork adorned sunglass cases.
Rachel attributes the success of her online hamper business to the fact that consumer want to provide value gifts that are special and unique, rather than gimmicky items that will never be used. “Locally produced items have more meaning behind them, and more thought and love have gone into them,” she said.
Rachel is a proud Canberran, who is committed to promoting regional product. “I have always been a proud Canberran, and I loved how Canberra really came alive during our centenary year. We produce some amazing food and wine that really deserves a space. It is difficult, for example, for many local producers to be stocked by major supermarkets. I want to give these producers a voice and a place for them to showcase their love goods.”
You can purchase the Local Larder items online, or visit Rachel at the next Handmade market from 18-19 March at EPIC.
Canberra Day Giveaway
To celebrate Canberra Day, the Riot-ACT has one ‘Canberra Really Lovely Place’ hamper valued at $85 to give away. To enter, simply tell us what you love about Canberra in the comments to this post. We will announce the best winning entry on Monday 13 March.