WAUWATOSA, Wis.— In a rented banquet room at a Wauwatosa hotel, Theresa Nemetz can be found assembling gift baskets filled with Milwaukee area food specialties. It is something she would have never expected to be doing a year ago. 

Nemetz owns Milwaukee Food and City Tours, a company whose business was going strong before the start of COVID-19. While in-person tours were canceled, she shifted focus to creating Milwaukee themed gift boxes. This holiday season, she expects sales to soar. 

“They know family is not able to travel. This is a way to send a bit of Milwaukee to them, So we are seeing them even shipping them overseas to military addresses so people can enjoy the holidays even if they cant'] travel home," says Nemetz.

This year, with online sales expected to grow, companies are getting creative. For Nemetz, it has meant creating a Wisconsin themed advent calendar. Each of the 24 doors in the box is filled with a different miniature Wisconsin food treat. 

Meanwhile, at Milwaukee’s Usinger Sausage, which has long relied on holiday gift box sales, Fritz Usinger says he expects a busy season.

“We are anticipating a larger season than historical. Just less travel going on but people still want to acknowledge their friends and business associates and employees," says Usinger. 

With more people planning to have a product shipped, Usinger encourages people to consider ordering early. ​