We are fortunate in Yakima to have world-class wine, talented artists and people committed to producing high-quality food. Chances are your community offers great things too! Sometimes it’s a matter of driving off the beaten path–out of the way of the big box stores. Around the corner you may very well find your new favorite thing. And thank goodness for Google. Because sometimes a Google search is all it takes to find just what you are looking for in your hometown.
The holiday season is a great time to get out in your community and shop locally. It’s the ultimate way to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts and support your local businesses. Click here to see the economic impact that shopping locally has on your community.
We thought we would offer just a sampling of ideas…….
1. Handmade Soaps
I love goat’s milk and shea butter soap! When they are made with all-natural ingredients they are better for your skin than commercially made versions. We have a few soap makers in Yakima. One of my favorites is The Little Soapmaker. (image via Ellie’s Handmade Soap)
2. Local Honey
When Mandi and I were at the Central Washington State Fair for our cooking demonstration, we had a chance to see the Central Washington Beekeepers Association display. At the end of the day Dylan, Kendall, Taylor, Sophie and I watched the beekeepers extract honey. The girls got to taste the freshly extracted honey and honeycomb. It was a real treat! There are many benefits to eating local honey instead of what you normally find on grocery store shelves. Look up your local beekeepers association to find honey producers near you.
3. Lavender & Flower Farms
I love the smell of dried lavender. I’ve even had lavender tea cookies that, although may sound weird, were actually quite delicious! You can find dried lavender and a variety of lavender goods at Selah Ridge lavender Farm.
4. Sweet & Salty Treats
It’s no secret that we love Copper Pot Caramels and pretzels from The Pretzel Lady. But there are numerous other treats to be found in the Valley–like caramel apple pies (now available frozen if you want to bake your own) at Johnson Orchards. Go into any gift shop in Yakima and you are bound to find locally made sweet & salty treats that you will want to stuff into stockings everywhere.
5. Hometown Gift Shops & Indie Bookstores
Find the perfect gift for each person on your list by shopping your locally owned gift shops and independent bookstores. We are lucky to have Inklings Bookshop, Fiddlesticks and Garden Girl all in Yakima filled to the brim with fun things galore. We also have a ton of antique and second-hand stores just waiting to be explored. Find your local Indie Bookstore here. (image shown, Illume candle sold at Inklings Bookshop)
6. Local Etsy Sellers
Etsy is a great place to find one-of-a-kind art and handmade goods. It is also home to stores filled with vintage finds. Did you know you can do a custom search in Etsy to find sellers in your hometown? If you are local, simply click the title above for Yakima-based Etsy sellers. (image ViAnneli)
7. Wineries & Breweries
Your hometown may not be as well covered with wineries and breweries as we are here in the Yakima Valley. But it’s worth a look around. And if you don’t find what you are looking for, plan a trip to our neck of the woods (actually high desert) and we will show you around. (Image shown Masset Le Petit Rouge)
8. Farms & Creameries
Those who know me well know that I have an affinity (maybe an obsession) for good cheese. Nearby is Tieton Farm & Creamery where they make artisan goat cheese. My favorite way to serve goat cheese is covered with saffron honey (preferably locally harvested) with flatbread crisps.
9. Locally Manufactured Goods
We have this ultra-hip and eco-friendly company in the area called Liberty Bottleworks. Check out their website for proof of their cool-ness factor. They make the only American-made metal water bottles and they use recycled materials. You can even custom design your own for gifts or marketing purposes.
10. Experiences (not pictured)
Of course, another ultra eco-friendly gift suggestion is to give experiences. Pay for someone to go ice skating or to the movies. Buy tickets for a live theater or music event. We just went to see Annie the musical at our local theater. The girls adored it! When all other things are long gone, memories will remain.
So get out there and explore your hometown and support local businesses in the process.
Have a favorite shop that you think others must know about? Let us know. We are always up for exploring and discovering new places and things.