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We adore new mom-and-pop home-goods company Brooklyn Slate, whose gorgeous, slate cheese boards, coasters and trivets remind us to appreciate the simple things in life (a delicious, locally-sourced gift basket being at the top of our list).

Founded after owners Sean Tice and Kristy Hadeka paid a visit to Hadeka's family quarry in upstate New York, all Brooklyn Slate products are hand-crafted in the duo's Gowanus studio, and wrapped in a pretty, brown-paper package tied up with string (seriously).

This spring, Tice and Hadeka are expanding their serving horizons with a garden collection. We love the slate seedling markers ($18 for four) and soapstone pencils--so we'll never confuse parsley with cilantro--as well as the sweet Garden Lights candle sets ($28 for a slate base, four mason jars and four tea lights). Backyard barbecue season can't come soon enough.

Those without backyards should invest in one of the company's original slate boards, which are sold at some of the city's finest gourmet food stores--from Murray's Cheese to BKLYN Larder--so you can pick up your picnic lunch and have something lovely to eat it on, too.

Brooklyn Slate, 61 Ninth St., Studio B8, Brooklyn; 877-648 8333 or

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