Small Business Saturday Shopping Guide

Supporting our local small businesses, whether they be adorable boutiques, a coffee spot or favorite bakery, has never been more critical than it has been this year. Many of these businesses were forced to shut down, adapt and maneuver through new restrictions, cleaning requirements and much more. So, I’ve been trying to support my favorite spots as much as possible, whether it’s an extra $20 into the tip jar, or opting to spend a little more money at a boutique vs. going to a bigger box store. Luckily for you, I’ve put together a shopping guide to help support local Cleveland businesses this Small Business Saturday (November 28th) and throughout the holiday season!

Brewella’s is a neighborhood favorite for us because it’s so close to home and delivers delicious treats, like crepes, and always have incredible seasonal menus — I’m anxiously awaiting their Christmas menu to drop! Brewella’s is also home to an incredible vibe with lots of fun and unique collectibles available for purchase. When in doubt, a gift-card is always a great stocking stuffer and easy way to support local.

Home for the Holidays. This pop-up shop always makes a splash each year — and this year you can even shop online and do curbside pick-up! Home for the Holidays curates local vendors and goodies into one place, making it a shop small, shop on steroids. And they’re stocked with gifts for everyone including your furry friends. My personal fave is finding hand painted Cleveland-themed ornaments!

Meatboxlocal brings local, Ohio farmed meats to your front door. This is a great gift that you can ship to friends and family you might not be seeing this season. With a variety of beef and chicken options, this is the perfect way to stay stocked on those meats – while ordering from the comfort of your own home. Plus, the meat is hormone free, grass-fed with free deliveries made weekly within a 50-mile radius from CLE.

Two Cafe & Boutique is truly a treat, for more than one reason! First, it employs individuals with exceptionalities to help bridge them into local workforce. Two, its cafe is farm-to-fork, serving breakfast and lunch with seasonal menus and the freshest ingredients. Three, the boutique sources lines that are for a cause while supporting other businesses in the US. The boutique is also the perfect spot for that hard to get person, a show stopper gift and stocking stuffers.

I’ve been shopping at Lovely Paperie & Gifts and sister store Babycakes Children’s Boutique this entire pandemic — even more than previous years. Why? When I’ve popped in-store to shop, it’s never crowded like big box stores, making this a place I feel safe shopping at! Both of these stores offer special keepsakes, thoughtful gifts and the perfect card for any milestone, holiday or just because. Plus nationwide shipping, in-store or curbside pick-up are available!

Besides finding the perfect gift at any of these spots, grabbing a gift card is another super easy way to instantly support your favorite small biz, and gifting your favorite spot to your favorite people! I’m planning on grabbing smaller amount gift cards from a few other favorite local spots to gift to friends/family and stuff stockings like Nature’s Oasis, Milo & Me, and Mitchell’s Ice Cream. I’m also hoping to shop a few new local spots this year that I’ve been following on Instagram!

And if you’re shopping in person this season, don’t forget your mask, hand sanitizer and a little extra space to those shopping around you!

Latest Obsessions 09.20 – Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes

If you’ve been reading along, you may have seen my mom’s 60th birthday at the cabin in the woods! And one of my favorite parts that I still can’t stop obsessing over are the amazing cakes we ordered from our go-to local bakery; Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes also known as KEC. Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes is quickly becoming a household name in the CLE area, and it’s for a variety of reasons from her celebration of national holidays, like Harry Potter Day to having custom holiday menus and just a variety of delicious every day sweets available, you really can’t go wrong.

Let’s talk about her Party Cake Collection first. With a newly expanded collection of new party cake flavors — these are easy to order and fun to make a statement for any occasion. Whether you’re rocking a pink theme, in need of a smash cake or want something for a milestone birthday – these cakes are gorgeous and also allow you to add personal touches with birthday candles or a cake topper. Our go-to is the Reese party cake, it has layers of peanut butter and chocolate cake and a crispy crunchy peanut butter layer that is just so yummy. For my 30th we were able to get the Macaron Sprinkle (see below) aka a more delicious spin on funfetti cake, plus with KEC’s staple macaron’s on top. The next one we want to order is the Cookie Dough one, um YUM! Rule of thumb for ordering cakes from KEC, always try to plan at least a month out if not more — extra for busy seasons/holidays.

Next up is her Buttercream Cake Collection. This is another variety of cake designs that fit a number of special occasions and themes! We first tried her buttercream cake collection for our wedding — and we ordered a hand painted floral cake as B and I’s cut cake with a chocolate fudge flavor. Honestly it was so easy, because we picked the size, colors and example from one I saw on her instagram and then I got a special cake topper that personalized it more for our special day. The best part? We were able to order a mini recreation of our cake for our 1st anniversary! For my mom’s birthday we got the Retro Dot cake with a Vanilla Blackberry flavor. There are endless possibilities with the buttercream collection from colors to sizes and flavors!

Every other delicious treat. This is a loaded section, loaded of sweet, deliciousness. On top of making incredible cakes — KEC also offers a variety of cupcake and macaron flavors, cookie dough, cakesicles, cookies, and chocolate covered oreos. Getting a sleeve of macarons is always a nice party/hostess gift to bring for sampling with friends – or honestly just a date night at home – as you can get a box of 6 or 12! Another reason I like to go into the store to order my cakes is so I can grab a treat or two like a gigantic salted chocolate chip cookie or pick up the newest macaron flavors!

Holiday Menus. We recently took advantage and jumped on the train of ordering off last year’s Thanksgiving menu, and got an incredible spice cake (pictured below, in the middle) to bring home for the family! It was gorgeous, delicious and a fun piece to bring to our family feast. I unfortunately missed out on ordering off the Christmas menu — because you must order fast, as KEC only offers a limited number of orders for the holiday menus. I’m excited to see what she has to offer this year — one benefit of following her on social is getting the latest updates and info on when the menus are going to drop!

Ever since we got our wedding cake from Kelsey Elizabeth, it’s become a sentimental and go-to spot for special occasions and big birthdays — and also has me wanting and planning for our next cake, or another sweet treat! I mean you don’t always need a reason to order a delicious cake right?!

Local Love – National Donut Day

The world needs a little happiness right now, and I think we can start small with some delicious local dones! In honor of National Donut Day, I wanted to highlight our go-to gourmet donut shop, Brewnuts. Not to mention, it’s hard not to smile and swoon over the bright, beachy and pink decor that makes Brewnuts, even if it’s just to get donuts to-go.Brewnuts(1)
Brewnuts has been able to continue to serve the great City of Cleveland even during hard times like COVID-19 and this past weeks BLM movements; they’re always a sound voice and ally for the entire community. The husband and wife duo breathe Cleveland which is evident in all that they do. Since food places had to transition to take out only, or close in mid-March, Brewnuts jumped right on board. They embraced the new guidelines including spacing out their waiting line with pink tape and sharing the latest updates through their Instagram.

Brewnuts offers a delicious weekly or bi-weekly rotating menu featuring the most decadent flavors that make you want to go every single week! You can also always count on them for pop culture themed dones, they’re latest? A Tiger King themed done. When social outings and events were a thing, Brewnuts always hosted fun themed parties to coordinate with their dones or just to support and celebrate fun Cleveland thingsBrewnuts(2)
So, let’s get back to the main event – National Donut Day! Brewnuts of course has an incredible line up to celebrate National Donut Day featuring their top 12 fan favorite flavors: Cookie Dough Cheesecake Filled, Key Lime Pie Filled, Vegan Maple Cream Stick, Vegan Peanut Butter Oreo, Champagne Gummy Bear, Banana Golden Graham Nutella, Cake Batter Frosted, Cereal Milk + Fruity Pebbles, Funfetti Buttermilk Bar, Strawberry Sprinkle, Classic Glazed and Maple Bacon.

Um, YUM!

We also went there last week because they had a few must-have flavors including my favorite animal cracker fry cake and B wanted the brownie sea salt caramel. We also got Strawberry Shortcake and Vegan Blue Razz Lemonade. Our pro-tip especially with the take out options, and if you’re planning to go over the weekend, make sure to go early like when they first open — that way you can make sure to get your pick of flavors and maybe even avoid waiting in a longer line!
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Brewnuts is the perfect spot to bring friends or family who may be visiting from out of town, even if it’s for take out! The donuts are big enough to share, but also not too big to finish one yourself, no shame! Brewnuts is our go-to post-race spot and is the perfect spot for a little celebration or a night cap.  Also you must follow Brewnuts on Instagram so you can swoon over their dones and get the latest scoop on menu updates and even when they’re sold out for the day!

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Local Love – Mother’s Day Edition

Hey CLE Bees! If you’re in need of some last minute Mother’s Day gifts, I have a few local faves that are perfect, while offering limited human interaction and most importantly something sweet that mom will love — even if you’re racing against the clock! Psst. Just in case you forgot, Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 10th.

Lovely Paperie & Gifts in Rocky River, Ohio. This is always one of my favorite go-to spots for a special card or gift — and Kate the owner has definitely adapted with times to make sure everyone can still gift the perfect gift with that Lovely Paperie touch anyone who frequents has come to know and love. Kate teamed up with a few other local vendors and created a number of Mother’s Day Gift Sets — she’s offering shipping, curbside pick-up and even local porch drop offs! We were able to ship and pick up to spoil our momma’s and it was so easy. Also, you can still shop online for all other occasions from cards, to gifts or even something for you — so be sure to check-out Lovely online for those birthday celebrations, anniversaries and other special occasions that always pop-up! Shop Lovely Here. LovelyPaperie_MothersDay
Images courtesy of Lovely Paperie & Gifts and Emily Millay Photography

Boundary & Thorn in Lakewood, Ohio. I’ve shared lots of love for B&T on the Bee Life and Lucy the owner and creator has the perfect Mother’s Day cards. She is also selling her inventory made easy thanks to her Instagram Stories you can shop directly on there and she is also offering porch pick-ups in Lakewood! Looking for something more than a card? Lucy also has beautiful letter prints, her Happiest Hour cocktail prints, Kitchen Punnies and botanical pieces, make sure to check out her Instagram and website to shop!
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Images courtesy of Boundary & Thorn

Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream. I’ve been so excited to see some local favorites opening back up and offering online ordering and takeout items, especially Mitchell’s! This is the perfect way to surprise mom with an ice cream party at home, tote and all, while still being able to pick out all of mom’s favorite flavors. As long as you order by 4pm, you’ll be able to pick-up the very next day — so this is an easy fix if you haven’t been able to figure out a surprise for mom yet or are craving some homemade ice cream! Shop Mitchell’s Ice Cream here.
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Image credit: Mitchell’s Ice Cream

Mother’s Day Cupcake Bouquet by A Cookie & a Cupcake. This local bakery is offering another sweet surprise, that I also think would pair nicely with a card and ice cream – it’s a Mother’s Day half dozen cupcake bouquet. Flavors include red velvet, chocolate and vanilla — plus they’re beautifully decorated with floral designs and colors! These are just $21, available to order if you call-in and you can also order through Grubhub or UberEats! Weekly Cupcake Kits are also available for curbside pick-up or drop-off through select food delivery services and with different themes each week! Order and shop here.
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Images courtesy of A Cookie & A Cupcake

Although we may be social distancing and not spending Mother’s Day with our mom’s this year like we have in previous year’s there are so many awesome local shops that could use our support during this tough time, while still making Mom feel special and giving her a sweet treat for her special day! Happy Mother’s Day!

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Local Love: Home for the Holidays Pop-Up Shop

Looking to shop local this holiday season? Look no further — the Home for the Holidays Pop-up Shop is back! Going into it’s fourth year open, it’s found various homes in the neighborhood over the years.  And this pop-up shop supports all things local, by sourcing gems from small business makers in one place!

The best part is you’re not only supporting one local business you’re supporting 40! Home for the Holidays has a variety of gift options for everyone on your list, from baby, to dog mom, to husband or dad, coworkers, and of course your bestie.  Gifts include home goods, local snacks, honey, skincare, christmas themed, barware, and local gear, Home for the Holidays is truly a one stop shop!

With sections throughout the store it’s easy to navigate based on whoever you may be shopping for.  I personally gravitated to the pet section where there was a mix of goodies for your favorite furry friend, like toys and treats and then treats for mom like dog-themed candles and dog mom wine glasses!  And if you’re a human mom, or have a few sweet babes in your life you’ll be trying to decide between some adorable nursery or baby decor from lovefrombrooklyn or handcrafted blankets from Unsalted.
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Moving on to the men in your life. With plenty of amazing hand crafted options like CLE themed beer steins or leather coasters, key chains and valet trays from William & James Leather Co. (William & James also has some pretty amazing earrings available at Home for the Holidays shop, too!) You can also snag a Great Lakes Brewery bottle opener made from actual beer taps.  There are local tees, sweatshirts and winter gear with all his favorite local teams that make for a home run gift.

Speaking of jewelry, beyond unique one of a kind pieces from William & James — there are also copper and ceramic Ohio state necklaces, inspirational bangles and bold earrings that will truly make a statement.  There are also customizable pieces for a more personalized gift and even better stocking stuffer!
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HomeHolidays-beelife(4)To kick off my holiday shopping I stopped in to grab a few items and get inspired for more gifts, the best part is they are continually restocking and adding in new pieces. I grabbed a few handmade ornaments from GGDorothy Art, one of a Cleveland sky line (for us!) and then an Indians ornament for my aunties (shhh! it’s not Christmas yet).  I also grabbed a fun NYE card for a dear friend, a tea towel from Tart Boutique and sweet baby bows from lovefrombrooklyn.  I can’t wait to head back in the coming week to grab a few more goodies and see what new items are in stock at the shop!
HomeHolidays-beelife(1)Home for the Holidays is open Thursday – Sunday until December 23rd, so make sure to plan your trip for any and all of your holiday shopping, last minute gifts and something truly unique for your favorite people.  So if you stop in be sure to say hey to Maureen, the awesome owner behind Home for the Holidays, she is so sweet and hospitable!

Stay up to date with the latest from Home for the Holidays on Instagram and Facebook.

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