There are lots of benefits to buying local, but as Christmas closes in on us and shipping deadlines whiz past, we can add one more: it’s right here. You can purchase a gift and have it in hand immediately. Perhaps you are a procrastinator by nature or necessity. Perhaps you’ve just discovered that you need a gift unexpectedly. Perhaps you’ve been handed the collected kitty and told to purchase a group gift. Regardless, these lovely local vendors are here for you.
Beverages and Accessories
- Piper and Leaf–With fantastic tea, an array of starter kits and gift sets, and beautifully packaged simple syrup, head here for any tea lovers in your life.
- Smartea–Know someone who loves Piper and Leaf’s teas but finds their distinctive jars difficult to wrangle while out and about? Get them a Smart-Tea carrier for hands free beverage enjoyment.
- Happy Cactus–Or perhaps you know someone who doesn’t mind carrying the jar but really hates the cold, wet hands that accompany it? These jar sleeves will keep the peace between their hands and tastebuds. (The link is to her Etsy shop, but she is happy to meet you in person!)
- High Brow Cold Brew Coffee–Rich coffee flavor without the bitter taste, cold brew coffee is quite “the thing” right now and perfect for any coffee lovers. No brewing necessary! Pick up a bottle at Digium’s Beans and Bytes Cafe, University Pickers, The Switch House, The ARTery….or sign up your giftee for their subscription service, set to start in January.
- Wish You Were Beer–Huntsville has a robust craft brewing community, many of whom have matured into offering six packs of their brews. Head into this local shop for for tons of local selections. Not sure what to get? Look for Straight to Ale‘s Monkeynaught or Yellowhammer‘s Belgian White both of which are hugely popular.
- Mad County Winery–“Country” wines made from fruits like huckleberries, apples, bananas and an “AlaBAMArita” wine which sounds like the perfect excuse for a party.
- Pizzelle’s Confections–Gourmet artisan chocolates that are both delicious and almost too pretty to eat. In addition to chocolates, you can pick up marshmallows, drinking chocolate, and caramels. Give the gift of beauty and deliciousness, but be forewarned, your chances of getting your pick are best if you arrive when the shop opens. They are getting cleaned out on the regular.
- What’s Popp’n–Know someone who doesn’t like sweets or is watching their weight? What’s Popp’n offers delicious flavored popcorn in everything from sample sizes to full on tins. Pro tip: their small bags are the perfect size to slip in a stocking if you want something to fill it out.
- Morgan Price Candy Company–Delicious old fashioned styled candy, they are known for their English style toffee.
- Sugar Belle Cupcakes–Want to give someone the gift of treats all year long? Try this sweet ornament which contains a punch card good for 12 free cupcakes. That’s one a month…if they can wait that long!
For the Foodie
- Cooking with C.C.–I’ve had the pleasure of taking two cooking classes with C.C. and both were utterly fabulous. If you know someone who would love a chance to watch a chef work and pepper them with questions before eating said dishes…this is the gift for them.
- Huntsville Food Tours–A 3 hour walking tour through downtown, stopping in for tastings at 6 local restaurants, offered Saturdays.
- AL Backroad Restaurants Cookbook & Guide--A guide to the best “back road” restaurants in Alabama. Our own New Market BBQ is one of the featured restaurants and you can pick this up at their store (and get a tasty meal while you are there…just saying…)
- Come Home To Supper—Southern Plate‘s new cookbook is available at local bookstores. Christy Jordan was one of the foodies on the Restaurant Week Tour I wrote about earlier this year and is an all around fabulous person.
Bath and Beauty Products
- Body By Belle–Lotion, Lip Balm, and Soap made with goat milk. Pick these up at the Elkmont creamery. Or give someone the gift of time as well and take them on a tour of the creamery and let them pick out their favorite scent.
- 1818 Farms–Spa quality bath and body products for men and women. Find your closest retail location here.
Local Artisan Made
- Lowe Mill–The largest center for the arts in the Southeast, Lowe Mill is chock full of artisan goodness. Need a gorgeous stained glass piece? A bespoke guitar? Original artwork? Jewlery? Custom tie-die? Tea towels printed on site? (I’m partial to the “graters gunna grate” one…). All of that and so, so much more and every price point. They are opening the new North Wing this Saturday and celebrating with a huge Grand Opening event from 12-6pm. If you’ve never been, now is the time!
- The ARTery–Original artwork, handmade jewelry, custom framing, Soda Works soda, treats from Honeypie Bakery, this small shop has a variety of items which would all make great gifts. The shop has an eclectic feel that leans to the funky, but has some more traditional items as well. When in doubt, who can resist a plush, felt, bacon magnet? (Spoiler alert: I couldn’t. He still makes me smile every time I walk past.)
- The Switch House–Focusing on local and organic products, they also carry Honeypie goodies, tons of bath and body items, stained glass, locally made bottle openers, stockings, stuffed animals, and much, much more.
- University Pickers–Chock full of vintage and handmade items, this store is nirvana for photographers and pinterest lovers. 3 foot tall, 3-d metal letters for like $30? Yes please. Handmade jewelry, knick-knacks, even a nook full of cool clothes and shoes! On my last trip, I came home with a beautiful monk’s cloth table runner/scarf for $12.
The Tough to Shop For
- Gift Certificates–Almost all of your favorite local restaurants offer gift certificates. If you aren’t sure what someone might like, of if they have too much “stuff”, then give them the gift of a meal out. Not sure what they might like? Browse the top reviewed local spots here. Depending on your individual budgets, you might also give them funds toward a CSA membership, such as these from Doe Run Farms.
- Pay it Forward–Make a donation of food or money in their name to the Food Bank of North Alabama. This organization supports over 200 local food banks as well as multiple other programs to help eradicate hunger in our communities.
What will you be purchasing locally this holiday season?