Without the social interaction from colleagues, working from home can be mundane and monotonous. In some home environments, it can also be stressful and exhausting.
So why not brighten someone’s day with a care package – like what Zoe Tay did for Sharon Au and Stefanie Sun – sent directly to their doorstep to let them know that you’re thinking of them?
These care packages are also fantastic ways to wish a loved one happy birthday or celebrate a special milestone. At the same time, they have been painstakingly created by local artisans, which means you’ll be supporting local.
From cold brews and flavoured butters to comfortable bedsheets and delightful pastries, here are our top picks for care packages.
1. Amazin' Graze – For breakfast warriors
How about jazzing up your friend’s most important meal of the day? Amazin’ Graze started out with three women who wanted to create healthier food alternatives, which has now boomed into a range of crunchy granolas (with some tropically-inspired local flavours too!), jars of nut butters, and snack packs.
The company offers a selection of gift boxes, but the Ultimate Care Box is our pick as it has a little bit of everything – comprising granolas, brownie chips, trail mixes, and most importantly, a printed love message from you to them.
2. Parallel Coffee Roasters – For the cafephiles
For some, giving the gift of caffeine can be the greatest gift of all. Locally-owned Parallel Coffee offers thirst-quenching cold brews such as a regular black, a white sweetened option – and like all millennial stores – an oat milk option.
Regardless of choice, every bottle is brewed fresh daily and bottled on the morning of delivery. Be sure to place your orders for the coffee in advance, and the team will be happy to handwrite a note up to 160 characters with your surprise package.
3. Royal Durian – For the durian connoisseur
Singapore’s only Mao Shan Wang speciality store has also hopped on the care package bandwagon and released three bundles dedicated to durian lovers. They’ll also be happy to learn that the brand imports its Mao Shan Wang directly from Pahang, Malaysia, and the puree that Royal Durian uses for its desserts is processed by hand.
Our pick is the $56.80 Care Package Bundle with a little bit of everything – three Emperor Mao Ice Creams (a collaboration with Udders); a Gold Pillow Sliced Cake layered with thick, creamy Mao Shan Wang flesh; three Exploding Mao Puffs with a filling of pure durian flesh; and two Mao-jestic Mousses.
4. Boms & Buns – For those can’t get enough of cream puffs
Established in April 2020 during the height of Covid, this Muslim-owned bakery churns out cold choux puffs, gifted in delightful boxes. A complimentary gift card is also included with the Eid box, which comprises six assorted flavours – nutella, kaya butter, chendol, milk & cheese, rocher, and honey cornflakes.
Affectionaly named boms, each delightful puff features a sweet exterior crust, and is generously filled with lusciously cold, flavoured cream. They also have two warm options for those who can’t get enough of cinnamon – a Sticky Pecan Bun and a regular Cinnamon Bun.
5. Handmade Heroes – For sustainable beauty lovers
This local skincare brand promises that their virtual shelves are stocked only with skincare products that are natural and vegan, and are cruelty-, paraben- and alcohol-free.
Show how much you’re thinking of your loved one by sending across the utmost self-care package, the Best Seller Care Package. The box includes a lip dew, heavenly lip scrub, nourishing body scrub, and face mask. Don’t forget to fill out the Order Note section for a personalised message that’ll be included.
6. The Rare Honey Company – For the kitchen goddess
Know someone who has a sweeter palate but detests putting sugar in her drinks or bakes?
Enter The Rare Honey Company’s Mini Collection Limited Edition Giftbox filled with four 65g mini jars of pure raw honey and a honey twirler.
Honey varietals include Coastal Wildflower, Creamed Karri, Jarrah Honey and Redgum Honey, all of which originate from a small, family-owned and operated beekeeping company in a remote south-west corner of western Australia.
Other options include a Chef’s Pack, and includes a raw honeycomb piece, a bottle of Winter Black Truffle Oil, and a personalised note.
7. Kind Kones – For keeping a friend kool
Ice creams, cakes, cookies and other treats churned out at Kind Kones are all-natural and vegan, and are free from dairy, egg, refined sugar, and other artificial additives. These are perfect for those who are lactose-intolerant, or choose to be vegan or gluten-free, and are feeling extremely bogged down by the humidity.
Our pick is the Be Kind & Stay Safe Bundle which includes two pints of ice cream and six cookies, allowing your loved one to customise their own ice cream cookie Sandwich to beat the heat.
8. Boxgreen – For healthy snackers
If you know someone who loves to snack and are looking for tasty options to fuel their day without feeling guilty, look no further than homegrown company Boxgreen.
Building a gift box for your friend is certainly enjoyable, as you’ll get to choose 12 varieties from a list of 20 wholesome, natural, plant-based snacks. Be sure to include the super addictive and crunchy Honey Mustard Soy Crisps, and the umami Shiitake Mushroom Chips. Other bundles with nut butters or various crunchies are also available, and all gift boxes include a personalised message.
9. The Good Fat – For buttering up your loved ones
This home-based flavoured butter business was started by a husband and wife duo in the thick of the pandemic last year, and is still going strong. Regular flavours include Black Garlic, Kombu, and Spiced Miso options, and come nicely packaged in a box. Do keep an eye out for their seasonal creations such as Porcini Garlic, or their collaborations with other home-based businesses on their Instagram page.
Aside from spreading their halal butters on a freshly-toasted slice of sourdough, the butters can be used to fuel homemade kitchen creations, such as a cheesy baked rice with kombu butter, or spiced miso butter-marinated sea bass atop Japanese rice.
10. Gudsht – For celebrating life’s milestones or misfortunes with a toast
Gudsht is a homegrown cocktail label born out of a pandemic with a mission to deliver elixirs to local folks to help them celebrate an occasion, unwind after a long week, or drown their sorrows in the safety of their homes.
Its imaginative and whimsical bottled concoctions include Frooty Booty, which tastes reminiscent of the colourful cereal loops; and the Unicorn Barf with notes of yuzu, mint, and plums. There’s also a locally-inspired Cheng Tng Gao, the perfect accompaniment to your da-baoed hawker meal. Bundles start at $69.
11. L’éclair – For those who can’t pass up on desserts
Eclairs are usually filled with plain pastry cream and glazed with dark chocolate, but L’éclair wants to change that perception by developing new flavours to fill and garnish the long French pastry with. As such, fancy flavours at Singapore’s first éclair speciality store include tiramisu, lemon meringue, ispahan (rose), and salted caramel.
Although personalised notes are not available, L’éclair has several delightful gift boxes with words such as “I Miss You” and “Stay Safe” spelt out in fondant. There’s also an alphabet customisation to spell your friend’s name out if you wish. Très bien!
12. Sunday Bedding – For those who spend a lot of time in bed
With staying home becoming the norm due to hybrid work arrangements, we foresee that there will be a lot of time spent in bed. Aside from sleeping, you could catch up on Netflix shows, attend virtual events, and do a lot of other fun stuff.
Local bedding company Sunday Bedding offers a Slumber on Sunday Set at $148 which we simply adore.
The gift set includes four pillowcases (your choice of bamboo sateen or French linen); a pair of candles created in collaboration with local candle maker Artisan of Sense; a set of caffeine-free tea bags; and a laundry bag. Otherwise, splurge on an entire bedsheet set or loungewear for the full experience.
13. Nine Wicker Ave – For those who appreciate scents
This homegrown company creates gorgeous, aesthetically-pleasing jars of candles, filled with their own creative blend of scents, botanicals and gemstones.
The WFH Essentials Bundle is perfect as a gift, where the box includes a signature 8oz candle of your choice, a 30ml pillow mist, and an essential oil roller.
If you know your friend has a serious case of wanderlust, transport her to Japan with the Kyoto candle, and allow the scent of Japanese Cherry Blossoms and sandalwood to permeate her home. Don’t forget to write a haiku on that gift card as well!
14. Bakery Brera – For those with a fondness for French pastries
This heartland bakery tucked away in a quiet Farrer Road estate is a purveyor of fresh, artisanal bakes with no preservatives – think generously-filled buns, flaky cruffins, and buttery croissants – all of which will leave one hankering for more.
The Brera Signature Set is ideal for a loved one who hasn’t tried Bakery Brera before. At $34, the value-for-money and tasty box includes eight of their most popular pastries:
A croissant, pain au chocolat, almond croissant, triple cheese ham croissant, mushroom onion danish, kouign amann, a cruffin and savoury scone (the last two items’ flavours change daily). Just writing this makes our mouths water already!
This article was first published in Her World Online.