"Small Business Saturday" is one of my favorite ideas, but I feel pretty strongly that it should last more than just one day. Last year, I did almost all of my holiday shopping at small independent shops, and managed to assemble gift baskets that not only were sold locally, but also produced exclusively in Putnam and Dutchess Counties. If you're not sure where to start, I've listed a handful of my favorite shops and producers below.
There's also one very important thing to keep in mind while you're preparing for Cyber Monday - Amazon offers a program called "Amazon Smile" - just go to smile.amazon.com, select your favorite charity, and every time you shop Amazon will make a donation. No extra cost and all of the same products as regular Amazon.
- Cold Spring Apothecary: a Hudson Valley-based health and beauty company.
- Consider the Cook, Bedford: essentials for the kitchen, accents for the home
- Crown Maple, Dover Plains: setting the standard for maple in quality, purity and taste through singular, certified-organic maple products.
- Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, North Salem: offering their own farm products plus a variety of gifts, including Hardscrabble Cider.
- Hayfields North Salem: though their focus is on food and beverage, they offer fine selection of seasonal flowers, wreaths, gifts and dry goods.
- The Horse Connection in Bedford Village: tack, apparel, and requisites for country living - their motto is "The best service, and the best price".
- Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company: I often go here to purchase gifts for others, and never leave without a few pieces for myself, too.
- Millbrook Winery: a trip to their hilltop vineyard is a must, for both the wine and the views
- North Winds Lavender Farm, Pawling: a full line of products showcasing lavender grown on their Harlem Valley farm
- Privet House, New Preston: an emporium of home goods, antiques and curiosities
- Salinger's Orchard, Brewster: all things apple including gift boxes and baked goods and my favorite, apple butter
- Taconic Distillery, Stanfordville: hand-crafted, small-batch, award winning spirits