CEO Gift Guide 2015


From farm-to-table private dinner parties to books that showcase the state of Michigan’s beauty, there’s nothing like the holidays to inspire, impress, and give back. 

Photograph by EE Berger

Down on the Farm

Looking to get out of the city? Take in a private dining experience by Epicure Catering at Cherry Basket Farm in Northport, about 45 minutes north of Traverse City. Located on the grounds of a restored barn, this enjoyable farm-to-table culinary experience for 16 guests offers a four-course meal, a view of the kitchen from an outdoor patio, and a fire pit for relaxing after dinner. A second option, which seats up to 24 guests, is set in a restored 125-year-old barn with exposed rafters and a view of a field and orchards. PRICES: $1,500 for chef’s table (seats up to 16); $2,000 for the barn table (seats up to 24). 

Pack it (All) In

The tote bag is an essential, and the leather everyday tote from Oregon-based Will Leather Goods, which recently opened a storefront in Detroit’s Midtown district, will go the distance. With a leather base panel that can withstand some wear and tear, and a cotton canvas interior that adds structure, this bag is great inside the office or out on the town. PRICE: $250

Take a Staycation

Following the success of Tuesdays with Todd and Brad Reed: A Michigan Tribute, the Ludington-based father and son duo traveled 30,000 miles around Michigan for a year, capturing the state’s natural beauty in their new book, Todd and Brad Reed’s Michigan: Wednesdays in the Mitten. A perfect book to decorate an office table, this 224-page tome is as eye-catching as it is celebratory of all things Michigan. PRICE: $110

Grilling Out

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s kitchen setup isn’t your typical backyard grill. Highlights include a stainless steel gas-fired pizza oven that can cook a Neapolitan-style pizza in less than three minutes. Or give the gift of a hybrid fire grill, which offers the ability to cook with charcoal or wood. Mix and match to create a full outdoor dining experience. PRICES: $6,900-$8,300 for pizza ovens; $11,300-$25,200 for hybrid fire grills.

A Night ‘in’ at the Movies

Bring the experience of a night out at the movies to the comfort of home with the help of Spire Integrated Systems. The Troy-based company will create a custom home theater room with high-end speakers, cinema-style chairs, and even a server that streams movies before they hit theaters. Control all aspects of the media room from a tablet or smartphone, sit back, and enjoy a  theater-quality film at home. PRICE: $50,000 + 

Super Bowl, Super Book

As the NFL celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl, any sports fan will enjoy flipping through hundreds of photos, reading commentary about every Super Bowl game played, and learning more about the action surrounding the game including the food, parties, commercials, and halftime shows in Super Bowl 50: Celebrating 50 Years of America’s Greatest Game. With a football-grain textured cover and laces embossed on the spine, it makes the perfect coffee table book. Better yet, it was created, designed, and published in Traverse City. PRICE: $50

Get Carried Away

Finding the perfect bag for a work trip is tough. Enter the Big John oversized duffel bag by Birmingham-based Z Ballerini. There’s no messing around with lots of small pockets — this duffel bag has one large compartment. With leather handles, a zipper that extends down the sides of the bag, and a merino felted wool main compartment, packing the laptop, a few suits, and multiple pairs of shoes won’t be a problem. PRICE: $800

Photograph by Kristina Sikora

Back in Time

The holiday season goes by quickly, but to enjoy it all in one evening, savor the yuletide spirit with friends and family at Greenfield Village in Dearborn with the Holiday Nights Dinner Package at Eagle Tavern. Ice skate, take a ride in a Model T, stroll among decorated homes and shops, eat a traditional dinner consisting of roasted chicken, homemade apple sauce, carrot cake, and more. Available weekends in December. PRICES: $75 (for Henry Ford members); $79 (for non-members).

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