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Get your holiday gifts at Sphinx Date Palm Co. for a unique Arizona flavor

(Sphinx Date Co. Palm and Pantry Photo)

It’s that time of year again and, just like me, I am sure you are struggling to find perfect gifts for everyone on your list.

On a recent stop to Sphinx Date Co. Palm and Pantry in Old Town Scottsdale, I not only found some wonderful gift ideas but I also learned about Sphinx’s unique role in Arizona history.

A date is the fruit product of a date palm and, in 1928, a rare Black Sphinx tree was found growing in the front yard of an Arizona residence, which basically snowballed into date farming in Arizona.

The Sphinx Date Ranch was developed in the Arcadia neighborhood, encompassing 47 acres of land. By the early 1950s, the Sphinx Date Company was developed into a shop and luncheon patio.

Throughout the years, many changes occurred, including the closure of the luncheon patio, a remodel and even a change of ownership. A few years ago, mother-daughter team Sharyn and Rebecca Seitz took over and gave Sphinx a much-needed 21st century makeover.

Speaking with Rebecca, you can quickly see the passion she holds, not only for selling dates but also preserving the history.

I was memorized by her stories of early date farming and cultivating throughout an area I drive through daily. She listed off many presidents and famous celebrities who have enjoyed or received Sphinx’s Dates as gifts throughout the years.

Rebecca is truly a preservationist as well as an entrepreneur and her pride in Arizona’s agriculture past is inspiring.

Rebecca then introduced me to the black date, a slightly different species than the popular Medjool Date.

The rare Black Sphinx Dates are found exclusively in Arizona and are at risk of extinction. There are less than 200 trees producing these dates but Sphinx Date Company is proud to offer this year’s harvest for sale now.

So what is so special about this date? Well, after I sampled this little treat, I must say it is worth being saved! It was sweet and rich with a caramel essence. I was truly shocked how decadent a fruit could taste.

The adorable, remodeled Sphinx Date Company pantry has a lot more to offer then just dates — a variety of local Arizona products awaits you inside. You will find items ranging from pasta to peanut butter, even wine, all made locally here in Arizona.

Wonderful varieties of gift baskets, trays and tins with sweet, salty and savory themes make fantastic unique gifts. Their friendly staff is also helpful in creating a personalized custom gift for any occasion throughout the year.

I know all these items will be a hit with not only my Arizona friends and family but my East Coast family as well. I will be proud to serve up my Sphinx Date Company salsa throughout the holiday season and share a bit of the history behind it.

Oh, before I forget! While you are there, be sure to indulge in one of their famed date milkshakes. They are made to order and are NOT to be missed!

If you can’t make it into the store, all of Sphinx’s Date Co. products can be found online or in their catalog. Enjoy!

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