Here at Tourism Brantford, we love to explore and promote local shopping. This year we want to share some of our Christmas gift recommendations that you can find in town. This holiday season, consider supporting locally owned businesses and the community members who live, work, and play right here in Brantford.
Ela Stypa Jones, Tourism Marketing and Services Assistant, recommends The Olive Oil Company as the “foodie’s dream come true.” She says their products made great hostess gifts, or that special addition to your holiday meal. Her favourites are the peach white balsamic vinegar, the blueberry balsamic vinegar (on vanilla ice cream), and Herbs de Provence extra virgin olive oil over freshly grilled vegetables. For those hard-to-buy-for people, consider purchasing a gift certificate for a date night at a local restaurant. Alex Pluck, Tourism Counsellor, thinks gift cards for On The Lam, Healthy Rabbit, Blue Dog (they have great coffee and tea stocking stuffers, too!), The Sherwood Restaurant, The Sociable Kitchen + Tavern, GameTime Eatery or Entertainment or The Bent King are all great places for a yummy date night.
When shopping for babies, Tourism staff members also adore Itzy Bitzy Glitzy. Kara Davey, Tourism Information Coordinator, says "Amie is on-top of trends for kids and willing to make custom, personalized orders – and quickly – for your special little ones." Natalie Walker, Tourism Counsellor, thinks that they have the cutest baby and children’s accessories to make sure your little ones are trending “on point.”
For holiday treats, Kara's go-to is Sweet Bakery, which is popular with the entire Tourism staff (especially their carrot cake cupcakes!) Nicole Drake, Manager, Tourism and Marketing, suggests Chocolate Sensations for Christmas indulgences, and says that their chocolate covered Oreos make the best stocking stuffers. Their peanut butter cups were recognized in the Ontario Tourism magazine as a “must taste.” Natalie agrees, saying their homemade sponge toffee is “quite simply, to die for.”
If you’re looking to give the gift of handmade décor, Kara recommends Real Design Co. Owned by identical twins, Reanne and Alainna, they make everything from custom coat hooks to rustic wooden ladders for hanging cozy blankets. For that one-of-a-kind, locally made gift, Alex recommends Oakhill Urban Market as a great location to shop at Christmas time, too.
Sara Munroe, Arts and Culture Coordinator loves to give and receive consumable gifts for the holidays. She especially likes locally made bath products, like the bubble bars made by Wylde Rose Handmade Soaps and the coconut oil bath bombs made by Something Sweet. Kara agrees, and adds that her toddler loves the bath bombs that come with “surprises” in them – like Paw Patrol figurines or Shopkins. These also make a great stocking stuffer!
Our Tourism Information Coordinator, Kara Davey, says her favourite store in Brantford is Serenity Country Candles. “I absolutely love their deliciously scented, hand-poured candles, seasonal décor, and their selection of adorable baby items.” She said she often brings candles as hostess gifts in lieu of wine. For other easy hostess gifts, Sara stocks up on hand soaps from Bath and Body Works at Lynden Park Mall, and cute ornaments that are always a great deal at Winners.
For a luxurious experience, what about a gift card for a spa retreat right here in Brantford? Natalie loves Grand Wellness Centre. “It’s the perfect location for an indulgent girls retreat over the holidays!” Alex recommends Nu-U Float Studio – you can purchase passes to experience a float in their salt-water tanks, and they offer great yoga and Pilates classes, too.
If you're a gift giver who likes sending (or going with) a loved one on an experience, our staff loves kicking back at Bell City Brewing Company. Their small-batch, all-natural, delicious beers are award-winning local favourites and make for a memorable night out. What about the sports fan in your life? Look no further than Brant Sports Excellence, located on Fairview Drive. Kara's husband is an avid sports fan, and finds all his sporting good needs at this local shop. They carry a large assortment of sporting goods, including hockey, baseball, soccer equipment and team uniforms. They also do embroidery, screen print and heat transfer for your custom gift orders.
Brantford has a healthy selection of stores that meet all our shopping needs and what's better than finding the perfect gift AND supporting local businesses? Did we forget to mention one of your favourite locally-owned shops or restaurants? Leave a note in the comments section!
Bell City Brewing Company
#9-51 Woodyat Dive, Brantford
156 Market Street, Brantford
Blue Dog Coffee Roasters
199 Brant Avenue, Brantford
Brant Sports Excellence
415 Fairview Drive, Brantford
155 Lynden Road, Brantford
Grand Wellness Centre
202 Grand River Avenue, Brantford
105 Brant Avenue, Brantford
Itzy Bitzy Glitzy
440 Colborne Street, Brantford
Lynden Park Mall
84 Lynden Road, Brantford
Nu-U Float Studio
200 Grand River Avenue, Brantford
Oakhill Urban Market
649 Colborne Street West, Brantford
Real Design Co.
Serenity Country Candles
44 Holme Street, Brantford
403 Fairview Drive, Brantford
The Olive Oil Company
358 King George Road, Brantford
Wylde Rose Handmade Soaps
27 & 29 Darling Street, Brantford