By Jennifer Farnsworth
Anyone looking to capture the Holiday spirit in a more intimate and authentic way, far from overcrowded malls and parking lots, can head to shops in downtown Saratoga.
From gourmet teas to spiced oils, to pet gifts to live music that promises to create a meaningful shopping experience, local businesses have it covered.
Many small businesses focus on getting people to check them out on Black Friday, Nov. 23, and Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24. Andrew Mitchell, store manager at Saratoga Olive Oil Co., 484 Broadway, said they will be stocked with olive oil and balsamic vinegar gift baskets, sampler boxes and locally crafted wooden box sets and gift boxes, handmade ceramic cruets and dip dishes.
“Guests can come in and shop or ship out holiday gifts right from our website, “ said Mitchell. He said they will be offering discounts on Black Friday ranging from 10 to 30 percent off, as well as having $5 stocking stuffers. Small Business Saturday will also offer discounts throughout the day.
Allie DeStefanis, store manager at Saratoga Tea & Honey, 348 Broadway, said this time of year, they have mini honey jars with wooden dipper available for $9, and they are only available for the holidays.
“They are extremely popular and they make a great stocking stuffer,” said DeStefanis.
They also have variety packs that include two honeys and one tea for $30, or four varieties of honey for $38 Other popular items include variable temperature electric kettles, new books on tea culture including “The Little Tea Book” and “Green Tea; A Quest for Fresh Leaf and Timeless Craft.”
DeStefanis said also available for a limited time is fresh, raw cut honey comb that they recommend pairing as a gift with their locally made slate cheese boards.
Saratoga Spicery is a family-run, online business based in Saratoga Springs that creates small-batch, handcrafted seasoning blends. This holiday season they will be offering gift packs starting at $15 with everything from a go-to bread dip seasoning to a selection of blends from around the world. Visit them at saratogaspicery.com. New gift sets and Cyber Monday specials will be available.
G. Willikers is a specialty store at 461 Broadway that features unique toys and games. The shop has eclectic toys from years past, plus an array of gifts that is modern and current.
Established in 1978, Impressions of Saratoga features large selection of Saratoga sportswear and memorabilia for all ages. Souvenirs, collectibles, jewelry, cards and gifts for people and pets are showcased the 368 Broadway location. Gift Baskets, gift certificates, free gift wrapping, shipping and many other services are available.
Owner Marianne Baker also opened a shop on the other side of Broadway this year.
Dark Horse Mercantile at 445 Broadway expands on t he Dark Horse brand that Impressions sold for years. It sells T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and ties with the Dark Horse logo and there is a line of Under Armour clothing with the Dark Horse logo. The baby and children’s clothing line and products ere also expanded.
Caffe Lena is a downtown place to unwind following an afternoon of shopping. Tickets to performances also make good gifts.
Among the upcoming shows include the Wynotte Sisters, who will perform pop and country Christmas songs in a three-part harmony on Dec. 1. Josh White Jr., a legendary folk singer from the Civil Rights era, will bring gospel, soul and songs of peace to the stage with his Christmas Spirit Concert on the Dec. 9.
The neighborly Holiday Folk Show has featured songs of the season for more than 20 years. It will take place on the Dec. 15, and there will be an additional matinee show on Dec. 16.
Saratoga’s own jazzy jam band Let’s Be Leonard offers A Very Leonard Christmas on Dec. 21.
Saratoga Marketplace at 454 Broadway has an eclectic mix of shops, with unique gift ideas for pet lovers, fashionistas, foodies, and much more.
Lucia Boutique is a women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories boutique. Pangea has gifts and home furnishings from around the world. Bella and Lindy is a lifestyle boutique for dogs and those who love them, and Hamada Naturals sells handmade natural bath products and gifts, All are located at the Marketplace.
For information on all businesses in Saratoga Marketplace, visit Saratoga Marketplace.com.
The 32nd annual Victorian Streetwalk will be held Thursday night, Nov. 29. in downtown Saratoga Springs.
The street will be blocked off and shops will be open for people to browse and possibly start their holiday shopping. There will also be entertainment along the way. The event draws thousands each year to the downtown area.
Online shopping is always a convenient option and can be done while still supporting local businesses.