I’ve always been a proponent of shopping local, especially for the holidays. Every year I put together countless guides for buying local or buying gifts for the bourbon lover in your life. Last year I wrote my Kentuckiest Holiday Gift Guide, which was full of things that scream Kentucky. This year I’m making a running list of all the purchases I make from local artisans and businesses so you can see where I’m buying. If we want these businesses to be around after the pandemic, now is the time to support them – the big box stores don’t need your money to stay in business right now.
I will be adding to this as I go. I’ve already started my holiday shopping with several local companies and artists and I’m really happy to be fortunate enough to support these great businesses during the pandemic when it is needed most.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the passing of Tony Davis. Davis was the mastermind behind the Kentucky Knows brand of bourbon barrel-aged coffee, and his was the best. He was a former Marine and operated a coffee shop in Lexington first and later in Frankfort near the Buffalo Trace Distillery. He died tragically this year after a motorcycle accident. His coffee was on my gift list every year from the beginning. The holiday season isn’t going to be the same without him. But he would want us all to come together and support each other during these difficult times, so without further ado here’s my local holiday shopping list.
Kentucky for Kentucky – I always get a t-shirt or two from this awesome company that loves Kentucky almost as much as I do. I also like to get stickers for everyone’s stockings. And this year they’re offering a Cocaine Bear ornament (read up on the history of Cocaine Bear here – he’s real).
WhitchyBee Herbs – I first met Lynn Quire when she was the proprietor of Good Garbage, a creative reuse center in Portland, Louisville that was, frankly, ahead of its time. Over the years I have watched her grow and develop new business ideas, all of which have been fantastic. The last couple of years I have bought washable/reusable sponges and other eco-friendly home goods from her, and this year I’m happy to support her new venture making herbal teas. She’s super creative and always does a superb job with whatever she does.
Made By Marianne – I bought the MOST FABULOUS leaf earrings from Marianne Zickuhr last month and I can’t wait to order some more to send to folks on my holiday list. I love every single thing she designs. She just added new designs and put them into an Etsy shop! Made By Marianne on Etsy
Rickman Pottery – I’ve bought from this Bowling Green, KY-based artist at the St. James Art Show for several years. I’ve bought my kids and my niece snowman mugs, which we use for hot cocoa. I’ve used a beautiful Kentucky coffee mug for years, which was unfortunately broken when I moved. But a replacement is on the way!
Art Eatables – My favorite chocolate shop just opened a new location and I can’t wait to check it out! All their candy is nut-free, and it’s not just bourbon truffles, though that’s what they are known for. I always like to get the chocolate-dipped Oreos and chocolate horseshoes for stockings. Pre-sales for their 12 Days Of Bourbon collection start on Black Friday.
Charcuterie At Home – Charcuterie boards are a great gift because who isn’t hungry and constantly snacking right now? This is one of many small local businesses you can support while feeding your friends and family yummy meats and cheeses.
LaGrange LightWorks – 2020 has been a dumpster fire, so why not commemorate it with a Christmas ornament?
Ale-8-One – Am I the only one super nostalgic about this brand? I remember seeing it for the first time going into the convenience store with my dad, asking about it, and him telling me it had a lot of caffeine so college students could stay up late to study. Of course, it’s nothing like the “energy drinks” of today, and the main difference is it actually tastes good. While I’m still waiting to get my hands on some Cherry Ale-8-One Zero, basically everyone on my list this year is getting an Ale-8 clip on camping mug.
Heine Brothers – Every year I get each teacher a Heine Brothers gift card, while my husband and several others get a bag of Ugly Sweater Blend coffee beans. You can get free shipping on orders with $30 worth of coffee beans. And who doesn’t need a great cup of coffee these days?
Heimerdinger Cutlery – I’ve probably bought more holiday and birthday gifts from these folks over the years than I have from any other store anywhere. This year I’m going to be getting some Opinel pocket knives for my kids’ stockings – don’t worry, they have their knife safety certification through BSA!
Mom’s Music – We’re spending a lot of time during the pandemic playing our old musical instruments, so we needed some guitar picks for stockings and an amp.
Muth’s Candy – Modjeskas have been part of my holiday family traditions for generations – my grandfather’s office was right next door for several years. And there’s nothing more quintessentially Louisville than Modjeskas.
Paul’s Fruit Market – You can buy gift baskets and gift boxes from a local company and have them shipped wherever they need to go – no need to order from a national chain! I sent a gift box to relatives here in town and another relative in Florida. Super easy and some of the boxes and baskets have free shipping!
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl