I cannot be the only person that dreads a shopping trip between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Many shoppers have turned to the internet where purchases can be completed at home, alone, and wearing pajamas. But online shopping is so impersonal you may as well just email a gift card to everyone and be done with it.
Is there a middle ground? Can there be a type of shopping that sits neatly between crazy busy big box stores and easy but impersonal online shopping? Yes! There is an option that is more unique than either, and you may, actually, enjoy it. What is it? Small business shopping. Locally owned, specialty shops are all around us and offer guests not just a shopping trip but a shopping experience. They are well know for their unique selections, knowledgeable and involved employees, and inviting and inspiring atmospheres.
As a small business, ReHouse, its staff, and its customers know the benefits and enjoyment of shopping small. Together we have put together a list of our 10 favorite local small businesses to share with you. We have tried to cover as many genres and geographical areas as possible in our list. We hope you will enjoy many of them during your holiday shopping and year round.
Abode – Emily, fairly new to ReHouse and to Rochester, has already found her favorite small business here. Abode offers hand selected, affordable mid-century modern furniture, home decor, gifts and other goodies, “piecing them together in modern, fresh and inspiring ways.” Located at 289 Gregory St., Rochester, NY 14620 or call 585-471-8357
The Bird House – I recently ventured into The Bird House for the first time. I took a step in the door and stopped in my tracks. The variety and selection of bird houses in particular is unmatched. Although their best seller is Black Oil Sunflower Seed blends, they also carry suet blends, bird feeders, bird houses, wind chimes, binoculars, and most anything else you might relate to birds or gardens. “Many of our products come with a lifetime guarantee and are made in the US,” the website told me. On Small Business Saturday they are hosting an open house including a visit from Nikon Representative Bill Stopinski who will answer all your questions about binoculars and scopes from 10am-3pm. Located at 3035 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14618 or call 585-264-1550.
Black’s Hardware – Todd, who co-owns Black’s Hardware with his brother, was very honest with me, “we aren’t the kind of place people think of when they go gift shopping. We are the place they go when they need something.” My brother-in-law is an avid furniture refinisher and usually receives gift cards to one of the big box hardware stores in town for holidays. This year he will be doing his after holiday shopping at Black’s instead. Todd, I’m on my way in for a gift card. At ReHouse we send customers over to Todd everyday for unusual hardware pieces that we do not regularly stock. Maybe he will help me pick a small go-with item to add interest to the desired gift card. As their website says, “don’t say you couldn’t find it until you check with us.” Located at 310 E Ridge Rd, Rochester, NY 14621 or call 585-544-9896.
Canacadea Country Store – Kathy, co-owner of ReHouse, loves shopping at her close-to-home Canacadea Country Store for “something special, something different.” I spoke to Don, half of the husband/wife team of owners, who is obviously very dedicated to his small business located in an historic building that was originally an 1858 general store. They are well known in the area for representing local artists and crafts people. Their best-selling items include many styles of “earrings followed closely by coffee and candy.” I asked Don what his personal specialty was as a small business owner. “Local pottery,” he said proudly. “We currently represent the work of 5 local ceramicists.” In addition to the one-of-a-kind work by locals they also carry a line of jewelry that cannot be purchased elsewhere in the area, Lizzy James, which includes a versatile wrap bracelet that doubles as a necklace. Are they participating in Small Business Saturday? Yes they are, they hope many regular and new guests will stop in to see what they have to offer. Located at 599 Rt. 244, Alfred Station, NY 14803 or call 607-587-8634.
Dan’s Crafts and Things – When it comes to hobby and craft supplies, the employees at Dan‘s are known for their expertise and ability to offer guidance for nearly everything they carry. They each have specialties and work in designated areas in order to provide the best possible customer service to each guest. “I trust Dan’s to understand my teenager’s hobby related wish list,” Julie confides. “I have no idea how to choose a 1/43 scale metal diecast unassembled car model.” In fact, model kits, model trains, and radio controlled vehicles are some of their top sellers. They also have a fabulous jewelry findings selection that Lisa will be using to make several holiday gifts. They have “big plans for November 26th.” No hints as to the specifics, but I’ll be there! Located at 352 Empire Blvd, Rochester, NY 14609 or call 585-482-7850.
One World Goods – Travel the world without leaving town. Julie says she can “shop for anyone” at One World Goods which carries fair trade items from over 50 countries. The selection includes clothing, jewelry, home decor, kitchen and dining, toys, instruments, ethnic foods, and more. At this time of year in particular you can find a most unique collection of Christmas ornaments and nativity scenes. If you have to join the bustle of this plaza, please take the time to step into One World Goods and enjoy your trip around the world. Located at 3349 Monroe Ave. (Pittsford Plaza), Pittsford, NY 14534 or call 585-387-0070.
Orien’s Café – Sally, co-owner of ReHouse, highly recommends the mozzarella panini for lunch. If you are only looking for something sweet look no farther than Orien’s selection of “authentic Italian pastries and gelato made on site using recipes designed by Italian pastry chef Salvatore Garofalo.” Located at 1100 Long Pond Rd, Rochester, NY or call 585-663-3291.
Patti’s Pantry – Another favorite of Sally’s, Patti’s Pantry offers a unique selections of pancakes and pies among other pleasing provisions. “I have always wanted to make the Pantry feel more like you were coming to someone’s home rather than a restaurant,” Patti says. Take a trip over and you will see how true it is. Located at 2485 Dewey Ave., Rochester, NY or call 585-621-2010.
The Purple Painted Lady – Most people have heard about their top seller, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® or their Annual Barn Sale in Palmyra, but The Purple Painted Lady is so much more. Owner, Tricia, has made each of her four locations unique enough that you will want to visit them all before long. The main store is located at 77 W Main St., Macedon, NY 14502 and is a magically delightful place with gifts for every beautiful soul. For those of you on the far east side, visit The Savvy Chic (also awesome in its own right) at 1 West Genesee St., Baldwinsville, NY 13027 where Tricia stocks the Annie Sloan line and some other goodies. On the west side, the same goes for the double booth right as you enter the building at The Shops on West Ridge (number 11 on our list). The newest location in Village Gate, Rochester also includes a space for Tricia’s second passion, helping fellow artists. Here you will find not only a shopping experience but an offering of workshops and gallery type shows. Check out the event listings HERE. Gift certificates are also available in any denomination. Call 585-750-6056.
Record Archive – “Record Archive has been a music & entertainment destination in Rochester since 1975. Specializing in vintage vinyl our expansive store also includes all of the latest music releases as well as unique gifts & toys, vintage clothing & furniture, t-shirts, souvenirs, 1000’s of movies, audio equipment, two live music stages, event space, and much more!” Located at 33 1/3 Rockwood St., Rochester, NY 14610 or call 585- 244-1210.