Support your neighbors this Christmas season
Unless you are one of those frequent shoppers who buys Christmas gifts year-round, you are probably fast approaching panic time for holiday gift giving. If that’s the case, consider shopping local to support those small businesses owned by your friends and neighbors.
“With the holiday season approaching, supporting local businesses is more important than ever,” says Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, who heads Buy Missouri, a program that promotes made-in-Missouri products. “When we shop small, we are supporting our friends, families and communities.”
You can log on to www.buymissouri.net and search for Missouri-made items by county or by business type. For example, a search for toys turned up three businesses, including Warrensburg’s Three Trees Workshop (www.threetreesworkshop.com), which makes wooden games and toys. When you buy from owners Nathan and Cynthia Epps, you not only support their business, you also support the local businesses where they source their wood.
A recent addition to the Buy Missouri program is retail partners, businesses that sell at least five Missouri-made products. Shopping at one of these retailers — such as Maw Maw’s Cupboard in Warrenton (www.mawmawscupboard.com) and The Outpost in Freeburg (www.facebook.com/outpostfreeburg) — offers access to locally made goods.
If artwork is your thing, check out the 400-plus juried artists who are part of the Missouri Artisans Association’s Best of Missouri Hands. Included on its website at www.bestofmissourihands.org are artists who work in a wide variety of mediums and create works at the highest level. Included artists such as Texas County’s Lanie Frick, described as “an artist who paints her subjects of horses and wildlife with spirit, life and light,” to Linda Sutterer from Marthasville who uses recycled glass panels in her work.
When it comes to artists, don’t forget Missouri’s home-grown musicians. Gift a CD or downloads from local talent such as The Creek Rocks (www.thecreekrocks.com), folk artists Blackberry Winter (yarnspinner-media.square.site) or the “Critter Rock” of Wildheart’s Jan Syrigos (www.wildheartmusic.com).
Perhaps you see food as the perfect gift. Consider a gift box from one of the many AgriMissouri producers listed at www.AgriMissouri.com such as kolaches or cinnamon rolls from the Hayes Family Farm Bakery in Halfway (www.hayesfamilyfarmandbakery.com) or a juicy Steak Bundle from the Stedem Family’s Pasture to Plate Co. (www.pasturetoplateco.com) in Chillicothe. Or go all out and ship tasty treats from Burgers’ Smokehouse (www.smokehouse.com) or Swiss Meats (www.swissmeats.com).
Coffee lovers will appreciate a bag of the finest beans lovingly roasted at a Missouri coffee shop. Chances are you will find one at your nearest downtown, but here’s a few of our favorites: KeenBean Coffee Roasters in Mount Vernon (www.keenbeancoffee.com), Arcadia Valley Roasting Co. in Ironton (www.arcadiavalleyroastingcompany.com) and the newly opened Reconstruction Coffee Co. in Villa Ridge (www.reconstructioncoffee.com).
Your coffee lover will need a grinder too, so check out the selection of these and other Missouri-made home goods at Red Rooster Trading Co. in Baring, (www.redroostertradingcompany.com).
Maybe the person on your gift list would rather someone else did the cooking. In that case a gift certificate from one of Missouri’s many fine-dining establishments would do the trick. Many of these places struggled to stay open during the COVID-19 shutdown. Your gift would help them keep the doors open and checks coming to employees.
You can find dozens of rural eateries featured in our pages on the Rural Missouri YouTube page at www.youtube.com/RuralMOmag.
Another idea is a weekend getaway at a Missouri B&B. You can find many unique places to stay at www.bbim.org or if you can’t make up your mind, buy a gift card on the website. Package your gift card with a bottle of Missouri wine. You can find a huge selection of wineries at www.missouriwine.org.
Taking a little time to shop local might just be the best gift ever.