Shopping local is more important than ever this year. In the post-COVID economy, our local, small business owners are not only still playing “catch-up” from the months of financial loss during the shutdown of 2020, but they’re also dealing with workforce issues and a higher cost of goods.
They need us now more than ever!
So while the big box stores and online businesses are struggling with supply chain issues and increasing their shipping rates daily, mom and pop store owners are showing up to work every day, stocking their shelves with the best products they can find, and waiting on you to give back to them this holiday season by shopping local and shopping small.
So, to get you started, our staff has put together a list of some of our “Favorite Things” this holiday season. The list below will take you to some of the region’s best small businesses. Some offer online shopping, others do not, but they are here, they’re not leaving and you can walk out of their stores with the gifts you need when you need them.
Goose Creek Candle is a family-owned company that was founded by Chuck Meece in the small Kentucky town of Liberty in 1998. Their candles are made with 100% lead-free cotton wicks, made in the USA. They contain three times the fragrance and burn clean and evenly and they’re shipped around the world. www.goosecreekcandle.com
Moonbow Merchantile is dedicated to bringing its customers Appalachian “magic” through unique food and retail experiences. You can visit them in person in three locations throughout the Kentucky mountains, or shop online. Visit them at Moonbow at Second & Main in Corbin, Ky., Moonbow Tipple Coffee & Sweets in Harlan, Ky., and Moonbow Mercantile in Williamsburg, Ky. https://www.kentuckymoonbow.com
The Paisley Posey is a flower and gift shop located in downtown West Liberty, Ky. Owner Julie Lane offers custom flower arrangements for a number of different occasions. Sending someone a flower arrangement during the holidays can often brighten their day and put them in the holiday spirit at the same time. https://www.thepaisleyposey.com/
Piccoli Horses is a technology company that introduces children to the fun of learning little words in different languages. Pulaski County owner and entrepreneur Kimberly Rogers brings together a non-electronic stuffed animal and a fun learning app to make learning foreign languages an adventure. Piccoli™ is a technology company for children. She creates mobile apps paired with tangible objects to help all children practice their growing conversation skills. https://www.piccolihorses.com/
When Rockcastle County residents Valerie and Neal, the founders of Lone Star Farm and Home, found themselves driving over 30 miles to buy supplies for their farm they decided something had to be done. So in April 2011, they set up shop in Mt. Vernon, hand-selecting items that they had used themselves with good experience. you will find a ton of unique Christmas gifts at their store just off Highway 461. https://lonestarfarmandhome.com/
Somerset Asian Market specializes in Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai cuisines. Owner Dan Brown says he enjoys bringing these unique and hard-to-find products to the Somerset area. But it’s the unique candies that thrill the kids who come into the store. Some of his best sellers: Slime lickers.. demon slayer goodies.. and nik-l-nips make great stocking stuffers. https://www.facebook.com/SomersetSeafoodShopper
Protrade Hardware is a local and independent hardware store owned by Pulaski County residents Jen and Luke Bates. They offer a wide range of general hardware, keys, fasteners, power tools, electrical, plumbing, safety, drywall supplies, and more. They are also an authorized Traeger, Weber & Country Clipper Zero Turn Mower Dealer. Check them out just off Highway 80 in Somerset, Ky. https://www.protradehardware.com/
Fuzzy Duck Coffee Shop and Coffeetree Books give the downtown Morehead, Ky. area the coffee they need, the books they want, and the space to relax and enjoy both. Susan Thomas and Grant Alden, co-owners of the family-owned business, are constantly updating their services and products to keep the local and college community enticed. They also offer gift cards.https://www.coffeetreebooks.com/
If skates are on your child’s list or if you’re looking to book a fun Christmas or birthday party for the holidays, Somerset’s Sk8ter’s Paradise is the place for you. Owned by Amanda Smith, the local entertainment center offers food, fun, and skating for all ages.http://sk8tersparadise.com/
Happy Hopper’s Coffee & More is a premier and authentic coffee shop that has been serving the Monticello area and beyond since 2018. The coffee shop and restaurant also offer unique, handmade lunch items and baked goods. They serve Baxter’s Coffee in a quaint hometown setting.https://happyhoppersky.com
FlattBroke Signworks owners Johnny Flatt and Kelly Mitchell offer tin signs for your home, office, and more. Their signs make great gifts for all ages. They also customize signs at reasonable prices. http://www.flattbrokesignworks.com/
If you need a break from shopping until you drop, stop by Marcella’s Farm to Fork, located just off Highway 461 in Mount Vernon, Ky. Owner Marcella Lovell has been feeding tourists and regional food lovers her best local delicacies for years. https://marcellafarmtofork.com/
You can get all of your gift baskets items in one location at Haney’s Appledale Farm. The 151-year-old family-owned business offers seasonal produce, jams, jellies, specialty sauces, salsas, baskets, handmade toys, crafts, honey, sorghum (molasses), gifts, local battlefield memorabilia, cookbooks, candies, gourmet cheeses, country ham, and more. They also have a large line of sugar-free products. Check them out at their Nancy, Ky. location or visit. haney’sappledalefarm.com
With four locations in Somerset, Ky., Baxter’s Coffee is a family-owned coffee shop that roasts its coffee in small batches to create a true, handcrafted beverage. Check out their locations for a pitstop on your shopping trip and pick up some gifts while you’re at it.https://www.baxterscoffee.com/
If you think, Burnett’s Farm only operates during the warmer months, you’re wrong. This family farm operates 12 months a year and offers a number of different and unique gift ideas like locally grown beef, pork, and more. https://burnett-farms.business.site/
Brothers Josh and Jared Ravenscraft are on a mission to bring good to the textile industry and the region around by reimagining the fashion industry from Central Appalachia at their apparel shop called New Frontier. They focus on pillars of sustainability, transparency, and authenticity. Check them out at their Morehead, Ky. retail location or online https://www.newfrontierbrand.com/
If you love a real Christmas tree and all of the greenery that goes with it, check out Heffelfinger Tree Farm for your home decor. The family-owned business is a choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm located in Somerset, Ky. https://www.facebook.com/HeffelfingerTreeFarm/
Did you know you can get traditional boxed chocolates inspired by the owner’s recipes at this family-owned business in nearby Beattyville, Ky.? Chocolate Inn offers a nine-piece box featuring milk chocolate caramels, a milk chocolate coconut bonbon, dark chocolate vanilla cream, buttercream, peppermint, peanut buttercream, chocolate-covered candied cherry, and the new flavor…biscoff cream. https://www.chocolat-inn.com/
Kentucky Soaps and Such, owned by Jess and Angela Correll in nearby Lincoln County., offers some of the best local crafts in a single location from their retail business in downtown Stanford, Ky. Their product line: Plainview Farm is made on-site at the Main Street location. They make soaps, scrubs, and salts from scratch and mix creams and liquid soaps with high-quality essential oils. They are passionate about making products that support local farmers and provide healing benefits for their customers. The store includes numerous unique gift options, as well as Kentucky and regionally hand-crafted products. Check them out online! https://kentuckysoapsandsuch.com/