A Little Something (Local) Under the Tree

November 13th, 2020 by Emma Durand-Wood

Anyone else finding a little bit of enjoyment/distraction in starting their Christmas planning early this year? Full disclosure: I started picking up the odd thing here and there in September!

Even though it looks like we’re headed for a household-only Christmas this year, it’s still nice to think about the perfect gifts, especially for the kids who are being such troopers during this year of endless cancellations and disappointment. And ok, I’m also hoping that if I hit on JUST the right presents, it might buy me an extra hour of peace & quiet to enjoy my coffee and Baileys.

It’s pretty clear: small businesses need and appreciate our patronage this year, more than ever.

One of the coolest things that’s come of this pandemic has been watching these local businesses pivot and adapt so quickly. The availability of delivery has been a game-changer for me, since we don’t have a car and aren’t taking the bus any more than absolutely necessary.

Sometimes it takes a little more effort to buy from a smaller retailer than from a big box store, but it makes a massive difference to our community, our local economy and the environment.

So, today I am sharing some of my favourite places to shop locally and safely and conveniently this holiday season!

McNally Robinson
For books, music, movies, games, baby books/toys/gifts and so much more great stuff! Grab a Reader Reward Card while you’re at it and save 10% on all purchases, which will get you $5 Canada-wide shipping so you can send gifts to your loved ones elsewhere, no post office trip required.
Curbside pickup & local delivery.

Toad Hall Toys
For toys, books, games, art & craft supplies. Lots of items in their online shop but only a fraction of what they actually have in stock so call or email to be sure. Honestly, something for everyone here!
Curbside pickup & local delivery.

Tara Davis Studio Boutique
One of my favourite local shops. She doesn’t have an ecommerce site, but she’s doing phone/email sales! Check out her Instagram or FB page for a glimpse of the gorgeous soaps, textiles, ceramics, jewelry and other beautiful treasures she’s got in store, then let Tara work her magic.

Kite & Kaboodle
Giant selection of toys, games, puzzles, and much more. This is one of the only places you can buy LEGO from a local independent business!
Taking phone orders for curbside pickup at St Vital Centre and The Forks.

Across the Board – Board Game Cafe
For a massive selection of games & puzzles of every kind and for every taste.
Curbside pickup & local delivery.

MB Children’s Museum Gift Shop
For science & craft kits, toys, books & more.
Free local delivery over $25.

Local breweries
For beer & gift cards, obviously, but lots of them carry cool merch, too! Most offer local delivery and/or curbside pickup. Neat to see breweries offering goods from other local makers in their online shops.

Nonsuch – beer, glassware, art prints, sweatshirts, enamel pins, etc
Sookram’s – beer, tees, hats, glassware, jerky, etc
Kilter – beer, coffee, soap, patches, tees, hats, glassware, etc
LBJ: beer, glassware, local maker gift baskets, etc
Half Pints – beer, tees, hoodies, hats, glassware, etc
TCB – beer, hats, hoodies, tees, soap, etc
OGC – beer, hard seltzer, apparel, etc
Torque – beer (their own + 5 other local breweries), hoodies, hand sanitizer, etc
Barn Hammer – beer, apparel, candles, honey, coffee, etc
Stone Angel – beer, glassware, jerky, apparel, etc
Oxus – beer, glassware, jerky, hand sanitizer, etc
Fort Garry – beer, apparel, hats, bottle openers, etc

Plain Bicycle Project
Bikes (new and used) and every bike accessory you can dream of. Plus fun t-shirts, masks and new for this winter, KICKSLEDS!!

Fromagerie Bothwell
Way more than just cheese. Order online from hundreds of products from 80+ local makers. Cheese, charcuterie, preserves & sauces, olives, baked goods and too many other categories to list. I’m definitely going to be adding some goodies from Bothwell to my gifts of home baking this year.
Curbside pickup & local delivery.

Parlour Coffee
For coffee, cool shwag, honey, brewing gear, cool mugs, chocolate and other stuff that will make you feel extremely cool.
Curbside pickup & local delivery.

Forks Trading Co
This is a place I have to drag myself away from IRL. So many lovely things! Lots of nice Christmas stuff, and plenty of items from local maker. Thinking I may be getting stocking stuffers from here.
Curbside pickup & local delivery.

Little Sister Coffee Maker
Coffee, chocolate, cute mugs, totes, cards, tees, etc.
Curbside pickup & local delivery.

That’s just what I can think of off the top of my head, and there will almost certainly be many more innovative and creative offerings to come over the next few weeks. Just this morning I saw the West End BIZ has launched a gift box initiative that looks amazing!

Other recommendations?? I welcome your suggestions in the comments!

p.s. For grocery delivery, don’t forget Diversity Foods (I’ve ordered from them many times and their produce quality and service are excellent), King’s Head, Pineridge Hollow and Gimli Fish (much more than fish!),

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