Occupy Main Street

21 Nov

In a nutshell, local businesses are flailing. Struggling to survive against all odds (and odds being mainly greedy landlords and big-box retailer competition), the local small businesses that make each of our towns special are dwindling day by day.

In Mt Kisco alone, I counted 14 empty storefronts the last time I cruised through town. That’s 14 stores shuttered, and 14 storefronts that aren’t earning their owners a penny (except for the tax deductions they’ll be able to take on them, I suppose). More businesses are on their way out, if the rumors I keep hearing are true.

There is no doubt a place in my shopping agenda for Gap and Target. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t (and won’t continue to) shop at these spots for staples and deals. But this year, I’m especially mindful of the “small business,” and I hope you will be too. These are the shops that color our towns with vibrant store windows, unique merchandise, and personable service. Here are some of the stores I plan to personally support for my holiday gifts:

Beehive Co-Op, Mt Kisco

Beehive Co-Op (Mt Kisco) — If you’ve never been to Beehive, you’re missing out. It’s just the cutest store around, with handmade wares and one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list. From babies to Bubbies and everyone in between, you’ll find something special for everyone – wooden rattles, artisan jewelry, hand-dyed scarves, and handsome pottery for example. And their prices are entirely competitive. Plus, they do a really beautiful, organic job of wrapping gifts for you for free. Added bonus: saving money on wrapping paper and ribbons this year!

Mint Premium Foods, Tarrytown

Mint Premium Foods (Tarrytown) — for the foodies in your life, hand-pick items to make a personal gift basket. Hassan, the owner, stocks the most amazing selection of cheeses, noshes, spices, exotic beers and more. Ask him for samples of some of his favorites. You’ll be surprised what flavors you uncover!

Marmalade, Chappaqua

Marmalade (Chappaqua) — This is a one-stop-shop for hostess and holiday gifts. Cindy, Marmalade’s proprietor, has such a great eye for sophisticated housewares and decor. From candles to serving trays, jewelry to bedding – her shop offers a well-edited mix of high and low price points – which, if you’re anything like me, is exactly what you love to see in a local home + gift shop.

Kids enjoy storytime at Little Joe's Books, Katonah

Little Joe’s Books (Katonah) — (Cover your ears, Jack…) This is where I plan to buy many of my son Jack’s gifts this season. This sweet kids’ bookstore has such a warm feel, and features books for all ages (from baby board books to teen angst dramas) as well as puzzles and games.  And what’s better than being able to grab a hot coffee or hot chocolate when you’re finished shopping? Just walk downstairs to Noka Joe’s and you’re set! Easy peasy.

American Express is hosting their second annual Small Business Saturday this weekend – it’s a national effort to support and infuse some energy and staying power into local “Main Street” businesses. So this year, instead of being part of the Black Friday rat race, hold off until Saturday and spend the day supporting your local economy!  Think Big: Shop Small!

What local shops do you plan to support this holiday season? Give your favorites a shout-out, here.

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2 Responses to “Occupy Main Street”

  1. meri November 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    I love going to Mint. I buy all my cheese there.

  2. barbara December 15, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Let’s not forget Heller’s Shoes in Mount Kisco and Pleasantville

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