Yeah, we know. It’s only Nov. 8, but we’re already getting into the holiday spirit. Any day now, Team 834 will walk into an office with holiday cheer spewed in every corner and Kim passed out on the couch, covered in lights, ornaments and pizza rolls.
One of our favorite parts of the holiday season is finding the perfect gift for friends and family. We’ve enlisted the team to share their favorite gift-giving companies, products and more.
Kim Bode, owner
When choosing the perfect gift for someone, whether it is a co-worker, family member or friend, always rely on your stomach. Avoid the fruit cakes or loaves… gross. Delight someone with delicious baked goods from Little Lucy’s Cafe. Stop in and get an assortment of muffins, scones, quiche, danishes, cookies, brownies… you get the idea. If you want to be clever, drop them in a Tupperware container, throw a bow on the top, rub some flower on your face and look exhausted when you stumble into the office.
Adrienne Wallace, director
I’ll be gifting fun items from small shops this year like le bon Macaron, Rebel Reclaimed, and Lost & Found GR. Because I crave variety in all things, I also love gifting passes to Twisted Hot Yoga. Each instructor and class is so different from day to day that it 1) relieves stress and 2) keeps the class participant from getting bored when contorting from pose to pose. Ginya keeps an amazing selection of last minute gifts inside the showroom as well like mats, bags, headbands, essential oils, and S’well waterbottles in patterns and colors you can’t get anywhere else in town. Buy a few sessions for yourself while you are in there, you know talking politics with your family just got a lot more complicated so you will need to sweat that hot mess out.
Rebecca Dutcher, web director
I will be gifting some of my friends and family with locally made chocolates, toffees and gluten-free baked goods from Brooks Candy Company. It is run by two sisters, Brooke and Dana, who opened a store right around the corner from Launch Terre Haute. Their almond toffee was also in the 2015 Grammy swag bag for the stars to enjoy. Baked goods include carrot cake, cookies, brownies and more that are all gluten free and rice free. And taste delicious. You can order gift packages online but they do have some shipping specifications for the toffees and chocolates.
Lindsay Patton-Carson, content director
With all the choices available in West Michigan, someone I know is gonna get some booze. Pick up a bottle of Gray Skies’ Michigan single malt whiskey, coffee liquer or apple brandy, which will all be available on Nov. 15. All bottles are the perfect price range for gifts – great hooch at a reasonable price point is a gift-giver’s dream. Down the street is The Knickerbocker, New Holland Brewing Company’s Grand Rapids taproom and distillery. There you can pick up boozy swag in the company store, whether it’s taproom-only releases, a new T-shirt or beer accessories.
Leigh Rapaport, project manager
For holidays gifts, or for any occasion, I try my best to shop local. It’s so easy to find incredibly fun and unique items right here in Grand Rapids. One of my go-to spots is G.B. Russo & Son. Delicious food and drink are a no-fail gift for anyone on your list, and G.B. Russo & Son has a mouth-watering selection of fresh, frozen or grocery items – not to mention kitchenware. Some of my favorites are the Mezzella’s Carmelized Onion & Butter marinara sauce, G.B. Russo & Son’s aged balsamic vinegar and blood orange infused EVOO. ‘Tis the season of cheering, so pour a glass of the Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay, or La Post Paulucci Malbec, and cheers to friends and family! Need something a little stronger? Grab Brewt’s Bloody Mary Mix and create a cocktail with your favorite vodka. I usually end up picking up a little gift for myself – the dark chocolate peppermint pretzels from Creative Snacks Co. are TO DIE FOR. Sweet and salty, just like me.
For the pop culture fanatic in your life, I love this Dadbod beach towel from Caroline Goldbarb. Culturally an “it thing,” and the perfect size for that last-minute trip to warm weather and beach lounging they’ll take to get away from the craziness of the holidays (or family, or both). Usable all year!
Nicole Winter, associate
My go-to gift for friends and family alike is found at Eastown’s own Rebel Reclaimed. Though you’ll likely get distracted for a few moments by their vast collection of accessories, signage and papergoods, look for their beautiful display of succulents. These small plants come in an array of containers, from hanging glass bulbs to modern stone planters. Succulents are easy to care for, requiring little water or sunlight. And, at Rebel Reclaimed, they’re less than $20 – making them the perfect gift for anyone wishing to add some greenery and design to their home or desk. Most of my friends and family have received at least one of these little plants from me!
Sarah Pontbriand, associate
For the food lover friends and family, a great store to shop from this holiday season is a small business named Old World Olive Co. The first store was opened in Rockford in 2009 and has continued to grow to more Michigan cities, including Grand Rapids. The store has an amazing selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars to choose from that make cooking an entirely different experience. Choose a 200ml bottle of olive oil for $13.95, include some recipes that are provided on the website, throw in some foods that will pair well, and you’ve got the perfect gift.
Julie Sheeran, creative director
For our creatively inclined folk, you can’t go wrong with anything paper. We love doodling and we love a good printed piece *hint hint*. Among my favorites are Rifle Paper Co. and Carleigh Courey Design. Rifle paper has everything from stationary to gift wrap to organizational paper items like planners, address books and more. Perfect for your sort of over-the-top, slightly stubborn designer friend who will use only the most well-designed products. Carleighcourey.com has beautifully hand-crafted paper goods. Those who appreciate the craft will fall in love with her captivating floral designs, whether prints or note cards. Mix and match the two together to customize gifts for your friends and family.
What are you giving this season? Do you have any go-to businesses you love to support?