Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Small Business Saturday: Lexington Guide

This Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday is the annual "Small Business Saturday,"  where everyone is encouraged to "shop small" and support as many local businesses as possible in your local community.  This is a wonderful opportunity to get some of your Christmas shopping done early, support local business, or even show around out-of-town family or friends who are in for the holiday weekend!  I plan on making a day of it and supporting all my favorite local shops, restaurants, and businesses.  Local business has really started booming here in Lexington and there are SO many great places to check out. I had a really hard time narrowing it down and not making this the longest post ever!  Here's my top ten personal favorites:

1. Street Scene (obviously)

Even though I work here, I really do think it's the perfect place for unique gifts that you won't find anywhere else.  We have tons of gift items in right now to celebrate Kentucky such as KY for KY merchandise, KY state necklaces, locally made jewelry, tons of authentic vintage Kentucky memorbilia, and even our exclusive KY needlepoint pillows and "Somebody in Lexington Loves Me" shirts.  We also have tons of fun ornaments, winter scarves and hats, perfumes and colognes, and retro candy that are all perfect for stocking stuffers or small gifts!

2.  Coffee Times

Our lovely neighbor is the perfect place to grab a warm beverage and a bite to eat before starting your day around town!  They also have lots of cute new gifts like mugs, jewelry, and of course, coffee! Don't forget to check out their adorable ready made gift baskets, and they can gift wrap in store as well!

3. Feather Your Nest Antiques

Feather Your Nest has always been my favorite antique store in Lexington and they just celebrated 13 years of business!  There is such an eclectic mix of items from primitives to antiques to vintage, furniture to housewares to clothing and accessories.  Every booth is very different and unique from the next, which gives the store a special charm.  You can also sip on coffee from Coffee Times while you shop!  I love to shop there for vintage Christmas decor and ornaments!

4. The Bluegrass Barkery

We can't forget about our favorite four-legged friends!  The Bluegrass Barkery has tons of treats, toys, and accessories for your pet!  My dogs love to visit and pick out their own treats! They are also great with helping advise and accommodate any allergies or issues your dog might be having with their food or diet.

5. Limestone Blue

The perfect place for lunch or dinner, located right downtown on limestone!  They have delicious sandwiches, salads, pizza, and a mac and cheese of the day! Everything I've had here has been delicious from the appetizers to brunch to dinners. I love that all their food is served on mismatched vintage plates! It's also a very casual and laid-back atmosphere that's perfect for chatting and relaxing with friends or family.

6. The Mousetrap

My favorite place to grab lunch and shop for food gifts!  I love their sandwiches, pimento cheese, and loaded potato salad.  They have the best selection of dips, spreads, crackers, and cheese to make easy appetizers or gift baskets for holiday parties and entertaining.  They also have a wide array of  unique kitchen and cooking utensils and accessories, making it the perfect gift spot for anyone who loves the kitchen!  

7. Hillenmeyer's Christmas Shop

This little treasure is located in the parking lot of the Landsdowne shops right in front of the Fresh Market.  They have the most gorgeous greenery, wreaths, and trees to decorate your home for the holidays.  Fresh greenery is always something I splurge on for decorating and this place has the most beautiful arrangements and displays.  I would buy one of everything if I could!

8. Spalding's Bakery

I can't go without mentioning my favorite food, donuts, and my favorite donut place in Lexington, Spalding's.  They know me by name here and I am definitely a (far too) regular customer!  The owners are always super friendly and helpful and besides having the best donuts, they also have adorable old-fashioned cakes and cookies that always tempt me as well.

9. Barrel House Distillery

Stop by Barrel House Distillery for a tour,tasting, and shopping right near downtown Lexington.  This is a great activity to do with out-of-town friends or family that won't take up you whole day and is right down the road!  They also have a gift shop where you can stock up on all their products (Oak Kentucky Rum, Pure Blue Vodka, and Devil John Moonshine) and merchandise for holiday gift giving.  I love the rustic, industrial feel of the space and everyone there is very personable, friendly, and informative.  Stop by on Saturday between 11 and 3 pm for tours and tastings (they start at 11:15; 12:15; 1:15; and 2:15).  Tours and tastings are also available Wednesday through Friday and on Sunday (check their website for specific information).

10. The Kentucky Theatre

This will always be one of my favorite places in Lexington.  I love to look at old pictures of downtown Lexington with rows of department stores, groceries, drug stores and classic neon signage.  So much of that has disappeared today, and while we may have preserved some of the buildings themselves, the businesses that house them are mostly just various offices or government buildings.  The Kentucky Theatre is special though because it's pretty much just the same inside and out as it was 50 or so years ago, and it takes you back to a time when going to a movie was a special event.  They have the best old fashioned concession stand where you can get anything from Ale-8 to popcorn, beer and wine, to candy and cookies.  I love to see movies here and I especially love when they have their classic movie showings (they always have some special ones at Christmas too!)

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