I get it. Shopping via web browser from the comfort of wherever you’re seated at any given moment is rather convenient. Also, when you’re shopping for far-flung friends and family, it’s much simpler to have gifts shipped directly to their destination. Sometimes the online merchant offers special gift wrap or messages to add a personal touch too. With a few taps of fingers on keyboard, mouse or touchscreen, your holiday shopping is complete.
Online shopping can be another avenue to allocating a portion of your holiday budget to local, independent retailers, food artisans, hand crafted items and businesses, if you know where to look on the interwebs. Since I’m all about enabling (in the most positive way) shopping locally, I’ve put together a few suggestions for your Cyber Monday (or any day of the week) shopping consideration:
~For tasty things eatable and drinkable~
Larry’s Beans is a Raleigh-based coffee roaster sourcing only 100% fair trade organic coffee beans and recently entered the cold brew coffee scene (read about a recent cupping event held at the bean plant on the Raleigh What’s Up blog here). It’s a “cinch” to gift a coffee subscription via Larry’s Beans. Just select a roast preference and Larry’s takes care of the monthly shipment.
Muddy Dog Roasting Co.‘s facility can be found in Morrisville and the people behind the coffee roaster regularly sell at a couple of area farmers’ markets. A unique pepper cask-aged Sumatra Lintong coffee has been very popular and most easily accessible via online order. If your intended gift recipient prefers tea, I’m a big fan of their organic Masala Chai.
Durham is home to at least two coffee roasters that sell beans online (as well as in local shops). Counter Culture Coffee donates $1 for every pound sold of its Holiday Blend to a project that benefits the communities from which they source the coffee beans. For flavored coffee fans, Bean Traders online shop lists 32 tasty treats (and remember they’re participating in Shop Independent Durham Week – stop in a nearby store to get that deal).
Sometimes nothing is more comforting than good ol’ PB&J. Any grown up would be delighted to receive a special shipment of seasonal jams from Durham’s This and That Jam via a six-month or one-year subscription (or a jar or two of the currently available flavor treat). Pair that jam with a jar of Big Spoon Roasters‘ Peanut Cashew Butter, or Peanut Pecan Butter, or straight up Peanut Butter, and your lucky gift recipient will have the makings of some super sandwiches.
There’s a lot of Italy in a little jar of Nello’s Sauce based in Raleigh. I find it’s the perfect tomato sauce for pasta, pizza or any recipe that calls for a good sauce as a base. Fortunately, there are large jars available for giving too. In the future, look for a new Nello’s sauce to make its debut.
If your doggie likes tasty nibbles in his/her Christmas stocking, my pup gives four paws up to Chew Monster‘s treats. Made with spent whole grains sourced from Durham’s Triangle Brewing Co., flavored with peanut butter, these treats please pooches and their sustainability-conscious parents.
~For fans of the written word in bound form~
Books (especially cookbooks) frequently appear on my family’s wish list and even if I can’t make it to my local independent book seller’s physical location, I know I can always order the book I seek via the shop’s website. Just enter the book title or author in the search field to start your local online book shopping with the Regulator Bookshop in Durham, Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh or Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. If you don’t need the books shipped, you can arrange to pick up your order in store (once it has arrived) as your schedule allows.
~For the mindful body~
Raleigh resident, Tracey Gurley makes delicious smelling bath and body products in her home studio, and even paints the art work that appears on the product labels. All Tracey Gurley Bath & Body products contain natural ingredients (many products are vegan friendly too) and some bar soaps are infused with locally brewed beer from Durham’s Fullsteam brewery and Wake Forest’s White Street Brewing Co. You can see her latest creations on her Facebook page for a sneak peek at what will be available. Her seasonal Peppermint bar & lip therapy combo would make a lovely stocking stuffer. Today only, online orders are 15% off using the voucher code “cybermonday”.
I recently visited the JustNeem “kitchen” in downtown Cary and learned more about this Certified “B” Corporation’s mission that began from the founder’s desire to help people living in the arid and impoverished area of Mauritania, West Africa. The Neem tree thrives in the current sub-Saharan environment of the region and its leaves and seeds are processed into the powders and oils that are components in the body care products JustNeem sells. For Cyber Monday, online orders will receive 15% off all products with Coupon Code “CYBER15”.
Pleasant aromas soothe the soul and the scented soy candles from EV Gifts would please anyone that enjoys lingering moments of aromatherapy. Consider the mental relaxation invoked by scents like Fresh Cut Grass, Fresh Fig, Hazelnut Coffee or Birthday Cake. Purchase individual candles or subscribe to a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly subscription to keep the good smells coming, while supporting an organization employing young men & women with developmental disabilities (read more about Chapel Hill based Extraordinary Ventures here).
~For the curious cook~
Have someone on your gift list who enjoys (or would like to enjoy) cooking and/or mixing it up at home? During “Shop Independent Durham Week” (Nov. 24th – Dec. 2nd), Durham Spirits Co. classes are 25% off. Browse the class calendar schedule for upcoming courses and purchase the gift of a culinary lesson today (or any time through Dec. 2nd).
~For avid artisan & craft fans~
Hopefully, you’ve created your online account at The Makery since their launch a couple of months back. If so, you’ve been receiving weekly emails with information about the pretty products crafted by independent NC designers & artists. Cyber Monday marks the launch of the Holiday Shops at The Makery. So you’ve signed up, right?
I’m sure there are several suggestions you could add to this list too, so please feel free to share via a comment on this post. As I see special Cyber Monday deals from locals on Twitter I’ll be retweeting those items. So follow on Twitter for even more local online shopping options.