The Stories BEHIND Each You Betcha! Box: Local Love
October 12, 2021

The Stories BEHIND Each You Betcha! Box: Local Love

(Originally published Nov 16, 2020)

When I started You Betcha! Box in 2017, I knew I wanted to create a company that was about much more than gift boxes. I wanted to create a way to help people support one another, to truly lift one another up and to help build stronger communities in Minnesota. And what better way to achieve that than with food… the one thing that we all love and brings us all together. 

One of the main ways we accomplish our mission of supporting one another is by providing a marketplace for local entrepreneurs in Minnesota who produce small batch, high quality, handcrafted artisan foods. These “makers”, as we refer to them, are local small businesses – from rural areas, small town main streets, to Minneapolis-St. Paul urban core – they all share a common bond of working hard to grow and sustain their companies by developing innovative, unique culinary delights. 

Making Connections

My passion is finding and connecting this incredibly talented supply chain of local food artisans with people who love locally sourced gourmet food. I see You Betcha! Box as a platform to express our Minnesota values by coming together to support one another and help Minnesota’s culinary ecosystem thrive.  That’s exactly why we don’t make generic, find-it-in-any-catalog gift boxes.  Instead, we pride ourselves on curating boxes that reflect who Minnesota is today – a culturally rich and diverse state who is proud of our roots and emboldened by our potential for the future!


Meet Minnesota’s Culinary Entrepreneurs

Each of the local makers featured in You Betcha! Boxes have an inspiring story to share! In fact, each You Betcha! Box includes a profile of each maker featured in the box, sharing their story, recipes, and an offer to redeem for a future order with them. 

We’ve taken the liberty of sharing a few of their stories below.

Ancient Indian Spices – Saint Paul, MN

Founder Deborah’s husband Rob, and their son Anil, were born in India. They have a passion to help Midwesterners discover Indian cuisine and the fine art of Indian cooking.  In fact, Anil has been making spices since the age of five and now at the age of 20, serves as the company’s Master Spice Maker who roasts, grinds and oversees the production of their incredible, organic handcrafted spice mixes. 

Each spice is individually selected, pan-roasted by hand to allow the natural fragrance and flavor to emerge, and finally ground and blended according to traditional recipes from India. In addition to making authentic Indian cooking accessible, Ancient Indian Spices gives back through their work to support small farmers and a sustainable food ecosystem.

Hoyo Foods: Basbaas Somali Style Salsa – Bloomington, MN

Hoyo Foods–Matt, Mariam, Halima and Asha
At Hoyo, the heart of their business is mothers. “Hoyo”, means “mother” in Somali and was founded by sisters Mariam, Halima and Asha along with restaurant consultant Matt with the purpose of employing and empowering Somali women.  They hire mothers to make one of their favorite dishes, sambusa. This way, they are able to share a piece of their culture with the Twin Cities community while also providing for their families. 

Their recipe originates from Halima, mother of six, and each sambusa is hand-folded, allowing you to experience traditional and authentic Somali cuisine. Basbaas Salsa makes a zesty and lively condiment to use liberally as you would other salsas. 

Coco, Bee & Nut – Minneapolis, MN

Coco, Bee & Nut, Minneapolis, MN
From a young age, Kathryn Nelson loved experimenting with food. Years later, when a friend was looking for a lower-carb alternative to cereal for breakfast, Coco, Bee & Nut was born.  Kathryn says their conviction at Coco, Bee & Nut is to help others and promote healthy, whole food-focused living is at the heart of everything they do.  


Their granola has a base of wholesome mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit, wildflower honey and organic coconut oil, all blended together with various spices that make up each flavor. They pride themselves on using all natural, non-GMO ingredients.  Ten percent of all sales is given to people in need of life resource assistance.

K-Mama – Columbia Heights, MN

K-mama, Columbia Heights, MN)
After moving to Minnesota, local food artisan KC set out on a mission to create high-quality, authentic and delicious Korean sauces – trying over 100 variations in the process!  He wanted to recreate his mother’s signature sweet, complex and spicy sauce that went on a variety of Korean dishes because he missed his mom’s home-cooked meals.


We can attest that K-Mama has achieved the perfect blend of sweet, rich and spicy flavors that go with everything and are sure to please.  Initially sweet with a rich and buttery middle and a spicy tang at the end, K-Mama Korean Hot Sauce adds an authentic, delicious kick to appetizers, salads, soups, and entrees of any style.


Share Local Love

Please join in celebrating these artisans who embody what Minnesota is all about!  When you gift a You Betcha! Box to clients, customers or employees this holiday season, your purchase helps support local artisan makers and their growing small businesses, while giving the gift of delicious, Minnesota-made gourmet treats.  Great things can happen when we all join together to share local love and support our fellow Minnesotans!