There are literally hundreds of one-of-a-kind gifts
made right here in Kentucky. We hope you'll have fun choosing a special Kentucky-made
product for yourself or someone on your gift list.
Keep it Poppin'
It was quite by accident when Kenny's Cajun Corn
was concocted in 1998. Kenny (who only goes by his first name) created batches
of Cajun spices to flavor his food after moving to Kentucky. A customer sprinkled
some onto his bag of popcorn. "This stuff is GREAT!" recalls Kenny.
He knew right then he was on to something big.
Now he and his family business-with wife Jan and
kids Corey and Crystal-in Fisherville have created a $1.5 million business packaging
Cajun-flavored popcorn into microwave bags. The popcorn used is grown right
here in the Ohio River Valley, ensuring fresh, plump kernels, and the spices
are mixed and ground the day before blending.
Kenny's Cajun Corn is marketed in 187 stores over
17 states. By direct mail he ships 12 or 24 packs and gift packs to all 50 states
and eight other countries. To purchase direct or to find out what stores in
your area carry Kenny's Cajun Corn, go to the Web site at www.kennyscajuncorn.com
or call toll-free (877) BE-CAJUN (232-2586).
Introducing Kentucky-made products to the world
Take the finest Kentucky-made gifts and products,
and then introduce them to the world. That is the ambitious goal for the newly
the brainchild of the Kentucky Wood Products Competitiveness Corporation.
"Many of the state's artisans, craftspeople,
furniture makers, farmers, and food producers have not had an opportunity to
offer their products in such a way," notes Sam Young, e-commerce director
for the site, which went online the end of August. "By offering these products
in one online store, the shopper can choose from a variety of world-class products
and pay only once. Sure, they can find some of these items in other places,
but not together in a way that makes it easy for them."
To discover the vast array of top-quality, Kentucky-made
products, simply go to the site-www.kentuckyvirtual.com-and
click on a featured category or product, or click to view the complete list
of product categories. On every product page you can read the product information,
view larger images of the product, and add it to your shopping cart.
And if you want to sell your product online, contact
Kentucky Virtual at (888) 822-9663.
One of a Kind Chess Sets
If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind chess set
you might contact Wyatt Strong and Allen Cook of Somerset. Cook loves chess
and carves, Strong knows about wood, and they came up with the idea about a
year ago of making and selling chess sets. Cook, owner of Pennyroyal Dental
Lab, carves the pieces out of deerhorn he finds in the woods. So far, he's carved
one set on a traditional chess piece theme, and plans others on different themes.
Strong, who runs Strong Forest Products, supplies exotic woods for the boards.
They haven't put a price on the sets yet, but expect them to sell for a few
thousand dollars each-less for just a chess board. If you're interested you
can call Strong Forest Products at (606) 274-4122.
Kentucky's rural areas are known for country stores.
Now you don't even have to venture out of the house to visit a country store.
At the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's (KDA) Web site, you can order all
kinds of food products in much the same way you would in person.
The site includes the KDA Country Store, where you
can shop for Kentucky food and products. It is divided by type of product such
as produce, vegetables, baked goods, etc. There is also the KDA Farm Store where
farmers can find Kentucky livestock, hay, wood products, equipment, and services.
"We try to make it accessible and easy and offer
as much detailed information about specific commodities as we can," says
Sherry Hoffman, principal assistant in the Office for Agricultural Marketing
and Product Promotion.
For those interested in marketing a product on the
site, Hoffman says the Department of Agriculture can help build a Web site for
anyone with an agricultural commodity. You can also link an existing site with
the department's site. Call Sherry Hoffman at (502) 564-4696.
If you're looking for the finest crafts from Kentucky,
the place to look is Kentucky Craft Marketing Program's Website. Go to www.kycraft.org/trade_retail/juriedlist.html.
The site includes a complete listing of more than
400 juried participants and a description of their products. The jury-composed
of experts in various artistic mediums from outside the state-ensures that only
the very best products are on the site and that there is diversity in the products.
"The site is a cultural showcase of all of Kentucky's
finest," says Beau Haddock, a media communicator with the Kentucky Craft
Marketing Program. "You can view a variety of all the different mediums.
It's a great site for those inside and outside of Kentucky who want to buy the
best crafts but don't know where to find them."