Shop Local for the Holidays
You don’t have to search online or travel far to find the perfect gift this holiday season. From the Town of Riverhead to the furthest points east, the North Fork is lined with family owned and operated businesses stocking goods both curated from top brands to locally made finds by area artisans. In the spirit of giving, supporting local businesses is a benefit to those that help define the community. Plus, it’s much more original than your average last-minute Amazon purchase. North Fork real estate agents share their tips and tricks for shopping local this year.
It’s no surprise the Douglas Elliman Real Estate licensed associate real estate broker Jill Dunbar keeps her holiday shopping local and with purpose. In tune to what’s happening on the North Fork, she is a fan of anything that helps promote it. Branded gear, for example, is a top pick. Pick up a t-shirt representing a local establishment like Preston’s Marine, Fork & Anchor deli, Southold Fish Market, or the Peconic Land Trust. It exemplifies East End living and shines a spotlight on the places people love most. Local Knit in Greenport is a great place to find t-shirts from any number of North Fork businesses.
Dunbar also recommends edibles and potables. Pick up potted herbs from local farms. Choose snacks like biscotti and coffee from Aldo’s in Greenport, Simply Nicki’s peanut butter, and Catapano Dairy Farm goat cheese. Local beer or wine is a great hostess gift. Gift cards are also an easy option for all denominations and varieties of food, goods, and services. Dunbar also says to be sure to give back.
“One of my favorite gifts, in the name of friends and family, is a donation to worthy local causes,” Dunbar shares. “That also enters the receiver into the donor base, hopefully getting another person involved in good causes like the Peconic Community School, North Fork Environmental Council, Peconic Land Trust, CAST, and the North Fork Animal Welfare League.”
To make living spaces extra cozy during the holidays, home décor items are a must and even better when purchased locally. Whether for yourself or a hostess, North Fork Real Estate Inc. associate broker Erin Kaelin loves Nicolette’s For The Home in Southold. Find weathered signs with heartwarming sayings, vintage-inspired tabletop goods, plaid fringe blankets, cozy throws, and much more in the home design shop. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, these home finds are easily interchangeable to create warm and inviting spaces to host family and friends.
“I also like NoFo Knits for homemade gifts,” Kaelin says of another favorite holiday shopping spot. “She has beautiful knitted hats, scarves, sachets, and unique specialty items. Both stores welcome you with friendly and helpful staff. And I’m lucky enough that they are in walking distance from my office.”
There are so many boutiques and shops on the North Fork to choose from. For those with a sweet tooth, The Candy Man in Orient is a great pit stop. Greenport’s Front and Main Streets, and other little side streets, have tons of options. The Weathered Barn, Tea & Tchotchkes, and Lido offer unique wares. There are clothing stores as well for gift giving and finding holiday party outfits for yourself. Foodies will indulge in gifts from Greenport Fire and Vines & Branches.
In Southold, visit touchGOODS, White Flower Farmhouse, and RICA Bath + Body for housewares. Mattituck’s Love Lane is home to a number of stores perfect for foodies like Lombardi’s Love Lane, Roanoke Vineyards, The Village Cheese Shop, and Love Lane Sweet Shoppe. Just around the corner, pick up a gift card for North Fork Doughnut Co.
The Jamesport Country Store is ideal for vintage Christmas décor, especially its unique selection of ornaments. In Riverhead, pick up gift cards to any number of restaurants. Wading River is home to The Shoppes at East Wind where customers can find wine, jewelry, crafts, candy, cheese, and much more.
These are just a small handful of North Fork shopping options for the holidays. When it comes to preparing for holiday parties, Douglas Elliman licensed associate real estate broker Kristy Naddell’s go to for cute event outfits is Mint on Love Lane in Mattituck. She can always find something in a pinch that is both stylish and reasonably priced. For both herself and gift giving, Orenda in Greenport is a favorite women-owned business that produces beautiful handmade jewelry.
Wellness is high on the list for many around the holidays. Rather than a traditional gym membership, a gift certificate to a yoga studio offers a striking balance between fitness and mindfulness. One of Naddell’s absolute favorite shops is The Giving Room in Southold, not only for their yoga classes, but also for their smoothies. Between showings, and between holiday shopping, it’s a must-stop.
“If I need some caffeine, I go for the Coffee Split, which is cold brew coffee mixed with almond milk, chocolate protein, banana and dates,” Naddell shares. “They also have a great selection of natural, organic health and beauty products. They close at 3pm so make sure to stop in earlier in the day!”
No matter what holidays you celebrate, or if you just enjoy this coziest of seasons, support North Fork businesses by keeping shopping local on the top of your list this year. Outfit the family for holiday parties and gatherings, pick up the perfect hostess gift, find unique and thoughtful goods for any type of recipient on your list, and much more. The North Fork is also home to many great restaurants to celebrate the year. Book your office party or family gathering at your favorite, or just pop in after a long day of shopping. Happy holidays to all!