October 9, 2018

Headed to Seattle for the Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium? Top Gift Ideas from the PNW that are sure to WOW!

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Headed to Seattle for the Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium? Top Gift Ideas from the PNW that are sure to WOW!

Posted by: Libby Dowd, Senior Specialist, Communications

When you think of Seattle, what do you think of? Coffee (Starbucks specifically), rain, salmon, the space needle? All great answers, but did you know that Seattle is a hotbed for glass art? Famed American art glass master Dale Chihuly is from the area, so it makes sense. If you are headed to Seattle for the Cartus Global Network Conference and the Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium, you will obviously be spending time away from home, and that might mean you owe whoever you left home to hold down the fort a “thank you” present. Let’s go over some options for you.

Bring home some glass art or make some yourself


Seattle Glassblowing Studio and Gallery

You can go there to look at the gorgeous creations, buy yourself a trinket, or make your own glass art. For $65, anyone ages 5+ can make a rudimentary piece of glass art in 15 minutes. If you can spare a half hour and want to spend $125, you can create your own paperweight or ornament. How cool is that?

Drip Drip Drip….when the end result is coffee


This is the place where it all began. The hometown of Starbucks. While there are other options for coffee that people may be familiar with in the Seattle coffee scene, like Tully’s for instance, when you are in the U.S. birthplace of the barista, I guess you sort of have to go to the very first Starbucks location. Right at the mouth of Pike Place Market at 102 Pike Street, you could pick up one of the companies “You Are Here” location mugs.

If you are looking for a change of pace and crave a different caffeinated buzz, head over to Fonte Café across the street from the Seattle Art Museum on First Avenue. Voted “the best micro-coffee roaster in the Northwest” by Northwest Palate magazine, it has attracted an impressive global clientele from luxury hotels to the finest dining establishments.

Drip Drip Drip….when the end result is not coffee

rain globe.png


Just like a snow globe except it’s a rain globe. In a city that experiences an average of 152 days of rain a year, their reputation as a soggy city is well deserved, so why not turn it into a quirky, fun gift idea. Perfect for the tourist or business traveler heading back to say…Tucson or Albuquerque, or for anyone who wants a reminder that they don’t live in one the rainiest states in the country.  

Forget the coffee, we want wine


Washington has more than 900 wineries across the state, making it the second largest producer of premium wine in the country. Within half an hour of downtown Seattle is the Woodinville Wine Country, but step farther east beyond the Cascade Mountains, and wineries are ubiquitous. Understandably, when you are in Seattle on a business trip, you might not be able to work a trip outside the city to visit a winery, so luckily there is a store at 2700 Fourth Ave, called Esquin, and the family that owns the store is committed to showcasing Washington wines. Keep a look out for Seattle Magazines 2018 Best Wines of the Year award winners: https://www.seattlemag.com/eat-and-drink/red-white-rose-best-washington-wines-year.

To summarize:

  • Rosé of the Year: Long Shadows 2017 Julia’s Dazzle Rose of Pinot Gris $20
  • Red Wine of the Year: Two Vintners 2015 Syrah
  • White Wine of the Year: Efeste 2016 Feral Sauvignon Blanc $20

Something edible


The salmon from the waters of the PNW is not your grocery store salmon you would find in other parts of the country. This is wild caught and there is just something about the fish that makes it taste different. You have your King Salmon, your Sockeye Salmon, and your Coho Salmon. Buy it smoked and, if you are lucky enough to live near NYC, grab a bagel when you get home and you have a match made in heaven, and off the beaten path of the normal pairing of a bagel with nova lox. 

If fish is not your thing, Washington State is also known for their exceptionally sweet, not tart, cherries. October is not cherry season (July-August) but you can still buy them dried, jarred, or covered in chocolate, and any of those options seem like a fair compromise.

If you have zero time to wander around Seattle looking for gifts, there is an easy fix that is NOT the airport gift shop. There are a few Made in Washington Stores in the area, with one located right in Pike Place Market (PPM). PPM is a place everyone should see anyway (while there, check out the gum wall, the name explains what it is) so just pop into the Made in Washington Store at 1530 Post Alley at the market and get what you need in one convenient location and avoid the guilt/embarrassment of grabbing a last minute gift at SEA/TAC Airport.

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Cartus Communications

About Cartus

Cartus is the trusted industry leader, offering guidance on a wide range of topics related to global relocation using expertise gained through more than four million moves and a diverse client base.

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