Anna Lappe, an author and sustainability advocate, has some food for thought on the matter:
“Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
So instead of taking to department stores and big businesses for Christmas gifts, why not invest in your own community this holiday season?
Several studies have shown that there are many different benefits from shopping at local companies, rather than nationally owned businesses. To start, more money from your purchases will remain in the community, which will benefit local owners, service providers, and farmers. Investing in the community through your purchases puts your tax dollars to good use, creates more local jobs, and reduces environmental impact. Chances are, you will be able to find unique and higher quality goods from local and artisanal producers than at any store in the mall.
Here are eleven locally owned and operated options for holiday gifts for everyone on your Christmas list:
1. Zoe’s Chocolate Company -
This local, award-winning chocolate shop sells boxes, individual treats, and seasonal favorites. There are also unique, Mediterranean-inspired flavors that will excite your favorite chocoholic, including Aegean pistachio, baklava, and orange flower. Zoe’s has two locations, one in Frederick and the other in Waynesboro.
2. Seton Family Center (Thrift Shop) -
You never know what kinds of treasures you will find at the thrift shop! You can find quality clothing, home goods, and books at low prices and at a convenient location. It is a great place to start your holiday shopping. All proceeds from thrift shop sales are used to support Seton Center’s outreach programs, which benefit community members. Seton Center can be found in Emmitsburg.
3. Timeless Trends Boutique –
This boutique specializes in one-of-a-kind furniture, antiques, local art, pottery, and jewelry. Look for vintage and eclectic pieces at 21 East Main Street in Thurmont.
4. Monocacy Brewing Company –
This local brewery, crafts unique, full-flavored ales and lagers out of the old Ebert’s Ice Cream plant in historic Downtown Frederick. Check out the tasting room to decide on which brew would make the best gift.
5. Sunrise Soap Company -
Located at 7 Chambersburg Street, in nearby Gettysburg, this company prides itself in making “skin-healthy” soaps in small batches, by using the highest quality ingredients; pure vegetable, coconut and olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and castor oil. Sunrise offers a huge variety of fragrances, so you will sure enough find the perfect gift, just by using your nose.
6. Catoctin Mountain Orchard -
Right along Route 15, this market features fresh, local produce along with a bakery full of delectable pies that are a great way to finish any holiday meal. Grab one on the way to your holiday celebration for a last minute, freshly made dessert. The orchard is located at 15036 North Franklinville Road in Thurmont, and will be open until the end of January.
7. Dublin Roasters Coffee -
This café and roasting facility is a great stop to find the right gift for the coffee-lover in your life. With over 80 different varieties of coffee, roasted in small batches and organic, fair trade options, you are likely to fall in love with something for yourself as well! Visit Dublin Roasters at 1780 N. Market Street in Frederick.
8. Serrv Outlet Store -
Serrv is a local nonprofit organization that works to eradicate poverty through supporting artisans and farmers worldwide. You will be able to find something for each person on your holiday list, among their collection of fair-trade products, from jewelry to spices. Getting a unique, handmade gift for a loved one while supporting individuals at small organizations and cooperatives in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and here in the United States just cannot be beat! The outlet shop is located on the grounds of the Brethren Service Center, at 500 Main Street, in New Windsor and you can also order online!
9. H.T. Krantz Honey Company -
While most honey suppliers don not own a single hive, Frederick’s H.T. Krantz is run by beekeepers, and has become one of Maryland’s finest suppliers of honey. Using old-world artisan methods of extraction, this company offers a variety of batches that will thrill anyone. Honey can be ordered online!
10. Springfield Manor Winery and (soon to be) Distillery -
Visit Springfield Manor and be awed by the gorgeous scenery and variety of wine. The winery uses fruit from its vines at Stone Manor, as well as other fine vineyards. There is a tasting room and wine is sold by the bottle, which can make a perfect gift for your favorite Chardonnay-loving friend. Springfield Manor is also in the process of adding a distillery with artisan spirits. The Manor sits on a hill at 11836 Auburn Road, in Thurmont.
11. Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium -
Nicknamed “L.O.V.E.,” this is the place to go to shop for anybody who loves to cook with quality ingredients. Head to 214 N. Market Street in Frederick to taste, pour and enjoy the over 50 varieties of olive oil and vinegar that are in store.
Shop local this holiday season, as your gift to your community!