Tis’ the season to gather gifts for loved ones, treat ourselves, and support the community! It’s no secret that 2020 has been detrimental to small and local businesses, so let’s use our spreading power to do what we can to support them.
Sometimes gift hunting can be dreadful, we get it, but before you resort to sending another gift card to that special someone, check out this guide to finding the best local gifts for everyone on your list. Whether you’re shopping for a bookworm or the pet-lover in your life, there’s something for everyone inside the walls of MKE-owned businesses.
For the plantsman: Urban Sense (Milwaukee)
“Did some shopping at this adorable shop… great gift ideas from candles to bath bombs! They’ve also got an array of plants and unique pots for the plant lover on your list. I see that they do floral arrangements and orders, as well. The owners were welcoming, and it seems like West Vliet is turning into home decor central, with unique small businesses like Urban Sense. Shop Small everyday!” – Kyle H (Yelp Elite)
For the chef: ORO Di Oliva (Third Ward)
“This store changed the way I cook… literally a culinary mind-blowing experience when I tasted (then cooked) with their oils and balsamic. Deep, robust flavors for citrus-based oils and vinegars, earthy nuttiness in their nut and seed oils and magic in their other blends. Because of their products, I cook healthier.” – Nicole L (Yelp Elite)
For the fashionista: Salamander (Wauwatosa)
“I absolutely love shopping at Salamander; you’re sure to find something unique, high quality and in fashion. There is a great selection of jewelry, pants, tops, dresses, glasses, even things like candles and journals. Most importantly, I love supporting the local community – a mother/daughter duo run the place, and you’re sure to stand out wearing these styles.” – Nell B (Yelp Elite)
For the pet-lover: Bark N Scratch Outpost (Milwaukee)
“We’ve been shopping exclusively at BnS for many years now, and continue to love the combination of high quality offerings and fair prices. I know if I shop here I don’t have to worry that I’m giving my dog something subpar. Today’s experience is why I will always support local. BnS allows you to order online and they deliver free within 11 miles. I placed my order, and my food was on my porch in 45 minutes. Honestly, I’m kind of speechless! Support your local small businesses, guys.” – Joanna T (Yelp Elite)
For the cheesehead: The Village Cheese Shop (Wauwatosa)
“We ordered a cheese tray and canned drinks. After eating we purchased some fine cheeses and olives. She carries interesting cheese, not like your standard cheeses. They come from around the world and are worth every penny.” – Leigh A
For the bookworm: Voyageur Book Shop (Bay View)
“I stumbled upon this book shop and was very happy to spend an hour or so perusing the bookshelves. The shop had a good variety of books, from local authors and Wisconsin-centric literature, to classics and new releases. The majority of books seemed to be in really good shape as well, which is always a plus at a used bookstore. I ended up with only one book (which is a small miracle in itself), so I’ll be back to look for more!” – Marissa M (Yelp Elite)
For the dapper man: NL Suits (Third Ward)
“As far as suits are concerned, (this) is top notch quality. Every time I wear NL Suits, people notice differences right away and they make comments about the suits. The place is only by appointments and it’s very private and customer oriented. If you ever need suits or need consults on what you need to wear, this is the guy to see. After your experience with Nas, you will never look at other suits the same anymore.” – Duke L
For the sweet tooth: Ultimate Confections Candy (Milwaukee)
“We were amazed at the selection of treats that they offer. Among their offerings are chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate-covered pretzels, truffles, cherry cordials, and a treat that has melted fudge inside of it. They also have solid chocolate molds to represent all sorts of careers and hobbies. For those special occasions, Ultimate Confections can provide you with gift boxes and gift sets with specially-themed chocolate pieces.” – Jennifer R (Yelp Elite)
For the wine connoisseur: Nonfiction Natural Wines (Bay View)
“The store is run by very knowledgeable staff who are happy to provide guidance and suggestions. The store offers a variety of natural wines from all over the world. I selected an organic French Malbec, which was a crowd pleaser at the wine club I was attending. I will definitely be returning for my future wine needs. I encourage everyone to support this great, new Bayview business.” – Emily V (Yelp Elite)
For the youngster: Ruckus & Glee (Wauwatosa)
“I absolutely love this place – it’s my go-to for niece and nephew gift purchases. I’ve had a chance to talk to the owners, and their passion for their business is written on their foreheads. You can feel the respect for time-honored games and toys as well as newfangled gadgets here. All toys are sacred (and) all fun is encouraged. There are items in here for fun-lovers of all ages.” – Johanna K
Ready for more gifting? Check out this Yelp collection (crafted by the Yelp Milwaukee Elite Squad and Yelp Community Manager, Jessica J) for the full guide to Milwaukee holiday shopping.