Shop Local This Holiday Season: Ideas For Both the Foodie and Non-Foodies in Your Life

Tis’ the season of giving and what better way to give to others by also giving back to our community. Chances are you’ve got either your Christmas list finalized, have a vague idea of what you’re going to get for others, have no idea what day today even is, or some of you super humans have already shopped, wrapped and tucked gifts away.  If you are in the first 3 categories, this list, should help you get on the right track to find the perfect gifts for friends and family and help support our flourishing community.
Why Should I shop Local?
If you live in our community, then you directly benefit from the success of our local businesses.  There are numerous infographics on the internet which all attest to the positive community effects of shopping local. I will summarize those benefits for you here.
-Economic Activity: For every $100 you spend locally, $68 stays in the community versus only $43 from a big box retailer. Also, if only 10% of all major retailer sales were converted into local business sales, that would generate a profit close to $192 MILLION in additional community economic activity!! Lastly, money spent at local businesses generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy versus spending at major retailers. Bottom line: more of the money you spend with our talented local business owners, stays in our community, helps with jobs and helps us grow.  Those are all good things.
Talented Artisans/Owners:  You get the distinct privilege to actually MEET the talented artisans and owners of these shops! What could be more interesting and fun than talking to the actual people who put their blood, sweat and tears into a product? Nothing. Not to mention, there is waaaay better customer service at local shops.  These artisans and owners treat you like VIP and actually want to help you have the best experience possible. I’d personally prefer that over a uniformed associate at a major retailer, who can’t make you top priority.
Environmental Impact: The US currently ships over $2.2 trillion from other countries. That equates to 11 billion gallons of fuel used, 1 billion metric tons of CO2 produced and industrial pollution being the responsible for 50% of the pollution present in our country. That means more toxic chemical spills, hazardous waste and land loss.  Ok, I don’t know about you, but I want clean air, water and less fuel usage. I know environmental impact and hazardous waste is not what you might think of when you think of your Christmas shopping, but it’s unfortunately a reality presented in numerical data and if by shopping local, I can also help hinder the pollution growth, I think it’s a fantastic added benefit.
So now that I have unequivocally and without a doubt in your local loving mind convinced you that shopping local is better, here’s where you can spend your hard earned money, along with some gift giving ideas! (In no particular order)
Location: 10020 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 975-2515
Social Media: FB,
Services: Custom Framing, shadow boxes, holiday gift wrapping service for any/all of your gifts. Shaby has over 25 years of experience!
Gift Ideas: Frame a family portrait, original art work and/or memorabilia. Go to the store and get one-on-one attention and help design your gift yourself! And while you wait, drop off all your presents here for custom gift wrapping. Who said multi-tasking should be hard!
Artisan/Owner: Shabnam Abbasi
Location: 419 Main Street, North Little Rock
Phone: (855) 623-3562
Social Media: FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest,
Services: Southern inspired gifts from vendors all over including neighboring states.
Gift Ideas; Visit their store front on Main Street for one of a kind items or go online for an even larger collection. And, good news! Bourbon & Boots just announced FREE SHIPPING ALL THE TIME!!! What?!
Co-Founder/Contributors: Matt Price; Amy Bowers-Gordy
Location: 3001 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock
Phone: (501) 658-4223
Social Media: FB, Instagram
Services: Reasonably priced fashion pieces.
Gift Ideas: This is the boutique to visit, if there is a fashionista on your shopping list. Pick up a gift card or some super cute booties or a scarf, if they haven’t sold out, that is!
Artisan/Owner: Erin Hohnbaum
Location: 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd.
Phone: (501) 664-6900
Social Media: FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest,
Services: Food lover’s dream come true! Kitchen supplies, housewares and cooking classes
Gift Ideas: Chances are you know someone who is sooooo into food, that it seems obsessive. I support such an obsession. Go and check out their bake ware and all their gadgets! Any food lover would be happy with anything with the Eggshells, stamp of approval! Gift cards are great too!
Owner: Lindsey Gray
Location: 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd., Ste. C, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 661-1776
Social Media: FB, Twitter,
Services: Household goods made in the USA. Heather scours the country for fantastic finds!
Gift Ideas: There are too many great things at DD! Personally I love the Sydney Hale Co. Hand poured candles! Get one of those and an American Trench scarf! You’ll be LOVED by the receivers!
Owner: Heather Smith
Location: 5305 Joslin Road, North Little Rock
Phone: (501) 413-0377
Social Media: FB,
Services: All your photography needs
Gift Ideas: If you want a fantastic experience and product, schedule a session with Anna for either the whole family or just an event. Then go get it custom framed by Artistic Edge. You can’t give a more personal keepsake gift.
Owner: Anna Martin
Location: All over and that’s great!
Phone: (501) 590-6072
Social Media: FB,
Services: Hand crafted LR shirts
Gift Ideas: Basically everyone on your list could benefit from an ELL shirt or sweatshirt! Right now they can be ordered by emailing Erin directly, or visiting, Box Turtle, Gallery 26 and various local events.
Artisan/Owner: Erin Lorenzen
Location: 2616 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock
Phone: (501) 661-1167
Social Media: FB,
Gift Ideas: Box Turtle has a variety of unique and Arkansas made items. Definitely pick up an ELL shirt here and a Giving Thanks book to start your own family tradition or to give to another new family as a thoughtful gift.
Owners: Emese & Collin Boone
Location: 301 N. Shackelfod, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 954-8888
Social Media: FB,
Services: Full service spa with facials, massages and everything in between.
Gift Ideas: If there is a woman you love, please consider purchasing a gift card from Ava Bella! I truly look forward to a massage day there!!
Owner: Deedee Helbig
Location: 3515 Old Cantrell Road, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 661-8005
Social Media: FB,
Services: Yoga studio offering varying degrees of yoga classes
Gift Ideas: Go pick up a gift card for a few sessions for anyone you love! Yoga is a great way to exercise and meditate. I don’t know know anyone who couldn’t benefit from such a gift.
Owner: Breezy Osborne-Wingfield
Location: 7801 Cantrell Road, Ste. D, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 313-2950
Social Media: FB,
Services: The newest yoga studio in Little Rock offering all varieties of yoga classes.
Gift Ideas: Again, there is no one who could not benefit from the gift of yoga classes and all that they offer. Go check out the new decorated space and grab a gift card.
Owner: Angel McVay-McGehee
Location: 14810 Cantrell Road, Ste. 160, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 868-8088
Social Media: FB,
Services: Lounge wear, lingerie, swim wear and so much more.
Gift Ideas: Go get a set of Bedhead PJs (or maybe something a little more intimate if that’s what you need) from here!! They have tons of colors, sizes and styles. And, seriously, who doesn’t like getting comfy pajamas for the holidays?!
Owner: Jennifer Cumming
Location: Various locations (Look on Biz Section of FB page for vendors)
Social Media: FB,,
Services: Handmade soaps, lip balms, body scrubs and lotions.
Gift Ideas: In lieu of the expected lotion sets, get a gift set from SGS! Some of these can be found at The Green Corner Store and Diamond Bear Brewery. That’s right, a brewery, thus beer scented soap! There are wonderful scents and a variety for anyone on your list.
Artisan/Owner: Stephanie Hamling
Phone: (501) 282-9469
Social Media: FB,
Services: Handmade cosmetics and beauty supplies
Gift Ideas: A small gift set made from hand selected items would be so perfect. Liz works hard to study essential oils and their benefits to you and then includes them in her products.
Artisan/Owner: Liz Sanders
Services: Rodan + Fields products
Gift Ideas: Contact Christina for a full array of incredibly useful skin care products that you can order!
Representative: Christina Munez-Madsen
Location: 1423 Main Street, Ste. D, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 374-1111
Social Media: FB,
Services: House, food, beauty/health, baby products sourced from vendors that maintain strong, economic, social and environmental standards.
Gift Ideas: There’s really too much to choose from at TGCS. Whether it’s an eco friendly pet product or something delicious to fill a goodie basket with, it’s all there!
Owner: Shelley Green
Location: 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 225-4050
Social Media: FB,
Services: Indoor children’s playground and high quality toy sales
Gift Ideas: You probably have one or two children on your list and this would be a terrific way to take care of them. Whether you decide on a carefully selected toy from their small store area or you pre-pay for a few fun visits, every child would be thrilled to receive this experience.
Owners: Julie Crouch & Cathleen McFarlin
Location: 500 President Clinton Avenue, Ste. 150, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 396-7070
Social Media: FB,
Services: Indoor museum dedicated to science, learning and geared towards all ages. Especially kid friendly.
Gift Ideas: The Museum itself is a gift. Buying tickets for a family to experience this together would be a wonderful and memorable gift. There is also and fantastic store with gifts that are far from ordinary and are education and experiment focused for the curious one on your list.
Nonprofit Organization
Location: 1200 President Clinton Avenue
Phone: (501) 374-4242
Social Media: FB,
Services: Library and museum focused on President Clinton’s years and work while in office. Includes various events throughout the year highlighting different causes and people.
Gift Ideas:  If you know someone who has never been to the Clinton Library, it’s your duty to purchase tickets for them this holiday. It’s a terrific gift for that history buff friend. Also, the store has a wonderful collection of items for purchase that are wholly unique and you are sure to find things for anyone there.
Location: 601 Main Street, Little Rock
Phone: (501) 378-0405
Social Media: FB,
Services: Our very own local theatre! There is a great line up and full events can be seen on the calendar online.
Gift Ideas: To receive tickets to a show at The Rep would be such a welcomed surprise to anyone. Most people get very busy during the holidays that a gift of time and stress free entertainment would be a so very appreciated. There is always a theatre lover on your list (or else you must befriend one!).
The food scene in Little Rock is highly active and getting bigger as time passes. The best way to learn about our emerging food culture is to not only try out all the various restaurants and food vendors here in town, but also encourage others to do the same because local restaurants NEED word of mouth to thrive.
The best gift to give when it comes to a restaurant, is to give a gift certificate. Everyone loves food and the vendors love your support. It’s a win-win.  Here is a list of restaurants and vendors from which a gift card would be great! I am unable to list thorough information on each because there are too many and you wouldn’t see this article until next year!! Please be sure to search out all these places on FaceBook because almost ALL of them have a page and following! This is by no means a comprehensive list!!
NATCHEZ, 323 Center Street, Little Rock
Cuisine: Upscale American, southern and european
Owner/Executive Chef: Alexis Jones
SOUTH ON MAIN, 1304 Main Street, Little Rock
Cuisine: Gourmet southern
Owner/Executive Chef: Matt Bell
LOCAL LIME, 17815 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock
Cuisine: Handcrafted modern Mexican
Owner: Scott McGehee/ Ben Brainard
BIG ORANGE, 207 N. University & 17809 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock
Cuisine: Gourmet burgers
Owner: Scott McGehee
HILLCREST ARTISAN MEATS, 2807 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock
Cuisine: Burgers, Sandwiches and full service Butcher shop
Owner: Brandon Brown
SOUTHERN GOURMASIAN, Food truck w/store front opening soon.
Cuisine: Gourmet fusion of southern and Asian items
Owner: Justin Patterson
Cuisine: Upscale waffle pairings
Owner: Matt Clark
TERRY’S FINER FOODS, 5018 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock
Cuisine: Pizzeria, Pies, and American
Owner: Jacquelyn Compton-Pittman
ARTHURS PRIME STEAKHOUSE, 27 Rahling Road, Little Rock
Cuisine: Steakhouse
Owner: Jerry Barakat
THE PANTRY, 11401 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock
Cuisine: European/International
Owner: Tomas Bohm
MYLO COFFE CO., 2715 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock
Cuisine: Locally sourced coffee & Pastry shop
Owners: Stephanos & Monica Mylonas
LOBLOLLY CREAMERY, 1423 Main Street, Ste. D, Little Rock
Cuisine: Hand crafted gourmet ice cream
Owner: Sally Mengel
THE TERRACE, 2200 N. Rodney Parham, Little Rock
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Owner: New owners
BRUNO’S LITTLE ITALY, 310 Main Street, Little Rock
Cuisine: Italian
Owner: Bruno Family
MUGS CAFE, 515 Main Street, Little Rock
Cuisine: Hand crafted coffee, pastry and lunch shop
Owner: Michael Carpenter
GIFT BASKET GOODIE MENTIONS: Search out these goodies to make a killer Gift basket!!
Izard Chocolate
Cocoa Rouge
Kent Walker Cheese
Moody Brews by Josiah Moody
Bonta Toscana

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