Shop Locally for Gifts This Season
The gift-giving season is upon us, and there’s still time to shop for everyone on your list. Fortunately, there are thousands of local businesses throughout Chicagoland that you can support through your holiday shopping, whether you purchase a festive item, a gift card, or a subscription service (the gift that keeps on giving!). With that in mind, following are a few ideas to get in the spirit while showing some love to local businesses:
For the Bibliophile
While their doors may be closed for in-person browsing, a number of independent bookstores are offering curbside pickup, local delivery, and/or online ordering. Among the many beloved indie bookstores in Chicagoland are:
An independent bookstore in Lincoln Square, Book Cellar offers a subscription program that helps bookworms find new reads. Subscription plans feature a best-selling book each month, delivered straight to the subscriber’s door. Six- or 12-month packages are available for adults and children.
This Hyde Park gem houses everything from kids’ books and popular fiction titles to cookbooks, mysteries, and more. Customers praise their friendly staff and diverse collection of books. 57th Street Books shares a website with its sister store, The Seminary Co-Op, featuring a subscription service and 2020 holiday gift guides for those in search of a great gift.
Located in Winnetka for over 75 years, The Book Stall offers a wide selection of books and monthly subscriptions, where they hand-select books based on the recipient’s preferences and send them directly to their door every month. Book subscriptions can be gifted to adults or children, and yearly memberships are also available for purchase.
Check out Bookshop.org to discover local bookstores in your area.
For the Coffee Addict
In addition to serving up coffee to go, some coffee shops have subscription boxes allowing people to regularly make their go-to blend from the comfort of their own home. See what your local shop offers, and here are a few recommendations:
With shops throughout downtown Chicago, Dark Matter Coffee has become a local staple. Treat your loved one to Dark Matter’s newest and freshest roasts with the New Limited Blend Subscription, which can be set up for three, six, or 12 months, and can be skipped or paused as needed. Dark Matter also sells a variety of merch including t-shirts, travel tumblers, mugs, and more.
Know a coffee lover who could diversify their morning brews? Help them discover new and delicious tastes by gifting them a subscription from Elmhurst’s very own Brewpoint Coffee. The Roaster’s Choice highlights Brewpoint’s most popular coffees. Brewpoint’s subscription service can be set to deliver every week or every four weeks, and holiday gift boxes are also available for purchase.
With locations in Bridgeport and Hyde Park, Bridgeport Coffee roasts and serves a collection of direct imports and fine coffees. The shop sells a variety of coffee-related gifts, including handmade mugs, apparel, and gift cards, but we especially love the gift boxes that include two and three delicious roasts! Bridgeport delivers throughout the country, so you can easily introduce non-Illinois residents to this South Side favorite.
For the Sweet Tooth
Nothing says the holidays like indulging in sweets. Support your local bakery or market by purchasing a gift box for a friend or family member. Local spots with unique gift items include:
When it comes to having a robust collection of gifts, Foxtrot Market really has it all. From jumbo candy canes and Reindeer Bites to Hammond’s Ribbon Candy and Boozy Truffles, Foxtrot is a great place to shop for anyone with a sweet tooth, and they have many locations throughout the city. Foxtrot even has curated holiday gift boxes, such as the Chicago Foodie and Holiday Snacks & Sweets boxes, which include a selection of candies and tasty treats.
Considered an Evanston institution, Tag’s Bakery has been operating since 1937. The bakery’s iconic Florentine Gift Box has been a signature item for over 50 years and includes 36 mouthwatering florentines made with all of the good stuff: honey, butter, sugar, and sliced almonds.
Established in 1959, Elk Grove Village’s Jarosch Bakery delivers sweet treats throughout the northwest suburbs. Jarosch’s menu ranges from pies and coffee cakes to cookies and cupcakes, and everything in between. The bakery’s classic Butter Cookie assortments feature holiday decor and make a wonderful gift.
For the Vino Connoisseur
Many wine shops have adapted to include delivery and subscription services. Ask your go-to stores about their offerings, and consider sending a bottle or two to the wine enthusiast in your life – they may even discover a new favorite. These local shops also take the stress out of the selection process:
Chicago-based Winestyr offers access to some of the country’s most unique small-production wines that you won’t find on store shelves. Directly supporting artisanal producers, the company meets with wineries and tastes every wine it carries to ensure quality. Winestyr’s Wine Club is the perfect gift for any vino aficionado, and delivers two bottles of red, white, or mixed to their door every month or quarter.
Logan Square’s Diversey Wine has a selection of natural wines that wine lovers can taste through the shop’s wine club membership. Members receive two bottles of wine as well as descriptions, background information, tasting notes, and pairing suggestions. Diversey Wine offers pickup or local delivery options.
For the Plant Lover
Got a friend with a green thumb? Help them spruce up their space with a new plant or floral arrangement. Chicagoland is home to hundreds of shops, including:
Plants Delivered has a variety of plants including everything from Jade Pothos to Spider Plants. The company also partners with local Chicago artists to create custom pet portraits, so you can commission a picture of your pal’s favorite plant with their furry family member.
Asrai Garden in Wicker Park and the West Loop features a subscription service that keeps a fresh bouquet of flowers in your loved one’s home every month. Available in three sizes, bouquets can be sent for three, six, or 12 months, and make the perfect gift.