Tis the season for generous gifting, from your mother to the mail carrier, consumers tend to spend the last few weeks of the year frantically searching for the perfect present. Look to your neighborhood small businesses!
Some of the benefits of shopping local are obvious, supporting local businesses with your dollars (who are in turn more likely to support local community causes) and contributing to job growth (small businesses are the largest employer nationally). Giving back by shopping local also reduces the environmental costs of shipping and packaging.
Don’t know where to start? Check out a few exceptional local businesses here, and walk out into your community to discover even more.
FOR FOOD LOVERS
The Marquette Food Co-op: A full-service grocery store specializing in local and organic products, the Co-op also has unique gifts and housewares from locally made soaps and scarves to dishware and kitchen gear. www.marquettefood.coop
Zilke Farm Kitchen: Subscription meal kits from Zilke Farm Kitchen are the perfect gift for the family on the go, the college kid hitting the books or the empty nester looking to try new things. www.zilkefarmkitchen.com
Sophia’s Selection: Whether you want to add something new to your favorite pasta dish, or you’re looking for a new style of dip to enjoy snacks such as cheese and cured meats, she’s got the tapenade for you. www.sofiaselection.com
Redheads, Inc.: From black bean burgers to roasted almonds, from coffee to dressings, Redheads specializes in high-quality foods that make for gourmet stocking stuffers or luxe gifts. https://www.redheadsinc.com/shop/
Crazy Joe’s: Gluten-free, preservative-free, and with no artificial ingredients, the salsas and sauces at Crazy Joe’s will add some spice to your holiday hosting menu or make the perfect gift for a foodie in your life. https://www.crazyjoes.us/
Redz Bulgogi: In the mood for a barbeque instead of turkey this year? Redz sauces are all vegan-friendly and have a gluten-free variety, https://redzbulgogi.com/
Jimmy John’s in Battle Creek: Want to skip the dishes hosting a holiday lunch or spoil your favorite office staff? Jimmy John’s caters and has something for everyone. https://www.jimmyjohns.com/catering/
FOR COFFEE ENTHUSIASTS
Contrast Coffee: WIth four locations in the Upper Peninsula, Contrast is the perfect spot to pick up a gift card for your favorite student or a bag of their locally roasted coffee for the new parents on your gift list. https://contrastcoffee.com/shop-categories/
Populace Coffee: From Petoskey to Bay City down to Detroit, Populace coffee has the lower peninsula covered and offers coffee subscriptions, the gift that keeps on giving. https://populace.coffee/collections/coffee
Velodrome Coffee Company: In the heart of downtown Marquette, Velodrome offers a tranquil sipping experience and boasts locally roasted single-serve coffee packets for that on-the-go java fiend. https://www.velodromecoffeecompany.com/collections
Grand Alpaca Farm and Fiber Mill: High quality, locally made clothing such as socks, hats, gloves and scarves…or luxurious Alpaca yard for those who want to DIY. www.grandalpaca.com
Stormy Kromer: The legendary wool Stormy Kromer Cap with cozy pull-down ear flaps, as well as handcrafted apparel, accessories and pet products made in Michigan. https://www.stormykromer.com/
Boomerang Retro and Relics: From accessories to apparel, Boomerang is ready to help you shop for the fashionista in your life who loves a task of the way-back-when. (stop in for home goods for the mid-century modern lovers in your life as well) https://boomerang-retro-and-relics.square.site/
Cheryl Stevens Studio: While these hand-stamped clay necklaces and bracelets may be crafted in a small studio in the Upper Peninsula, Cheryl ships her creations anywhere in the United States! Send a piece of home to someone you love who can’t be here this holiday season. https://www.cherylstevensstudio.com/
Piggy Polish: For those on your list heading to sandal climates in the New Year, Piggy Polish has cute stocking stuffers and the perfect gifts for neighbors, postal workers, teachers or anyone looking for some color in their life (and on their toes). https://www.piggypolish.com/shop/collections/
FOR HOME DECORATORS
Kobasic Creations: Based in Escanaba, Kobasic Creations delivers handmade laser engraving and woodworking to customers locally and nationwide. Shop with Kobasic to find the perfect, personalized gift. https://kobasiccreations.com/
Ruff Life Pet Outfitters: Sweater season is here, and there is no reason why your furry friend shouldn’t be able to get cozy this winter. Ruff Life offers dog sweaters + jackets, collars, bowls and every other special treat you could need for your Good Boy this Christmas. http://www.rufflifepet.com/
FOR THE PERSON WHO ALREADY HAS EVERYTHING
LifeFit BrainFit: The gift of health in the form of Interactive Metronome Sessions that can help with autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety, struggles with reading or math, balance, Parkinson’s and more. LifeFitBrainFit.com
When you shop locally this holiday season, you’ll be making a greater impact with your dollars by supporting local businesses and job growth as well as ensuring the gifts you give are unique and made with love.