Looking for a permaculture-inspired gift for the holidays? We’ve put together this gift guide featuring small, locally owned businesses so that we can all shop local this holiday season–and beyond!
It’s always a good idea to shop local, but now more than ever we need to vote with our dollars for the businesses we want to see in our community. Companies like Amazon and Walmart have seen billions of dollars of increased sales during the pandemic, while close to 100,000 businesses in the U.S. have closed for good. Let’s each do our part to help keep small businesses in our community thriving!
Note: Some shops are offering curbside pickup or delivery in addition or in lieu of in-person shopping. Please visit the website or call them for updated store hours and current COVID protocols.
For the Gardener & Homesteader
Homeless Garden Project Store
1338 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
For local, handmade gifts that give back to the community, shop the Homeless Garden Project Store. “Our products are handmade by trainees in our program who are experiencing homelessness from produce and flowers grown on our organic farm in Santa Cruz. Shop a wide selection of all-natural bath & body products, organic foods & beverages (including the best ever strawberry jam!), hand-dipped beeswax candles & so much more!” They also feature local artisans and have gift cards. Shop online or in-store.
Mountain Feed & Farm Supply
9550 Hwy. 9, Ben Lomond, CA 95005
This gem of a store has so many items that would make wonderful gifts! They’ve got everything a homesteader might need, including items for canning, cheese making, fermentation, farm supply, nursery, organic gardening, beekeeping, animal feed, holiday decor, and more! It’s also a great place to find materials for creating your own handmade gifts. Shopping is currently in-store, and gift cards can be purchased online.
Monument Lumber & Hardware
2111 Freedom Blvd, Freedom, CA 95019
If you’ve got someone on your list who loves DIY home/farm projects, Monument Lumber is a great locally owned choice for a new tool set. They also sell lumber, building materials, and more, so they also have materials for a DIY gift–like a treehouse or playhouse for the kids! You can request a quote over the phone, or visit them in person to shop their selection.
Santa Cruz Permaculture
Santa Cruz Permaculture provides community development, land stewardship, holistic education, and eco-social design services for a thriving, just and sustainable world. We offer permaculture courses and programs, design services, and more! Gift certificates are available.
For the Plant (Medicine) Lover
The English Herbalist in Santa Cruz (Paula Grainger)
Paula offers consultations, herbalism classes (sometimes through Santa Cruz Permaculture!), has two books for sale, and sells and ships handmade small batch skincare through her Etsy shop.
She’s also got an awesome DIY fire cider herb-infused vinegar recipe that you can use yourself and/or make as a gift. Fire cider is “a blend of warming spices and herbs usually made with Apple Cider Vinegar which have traditionally been used in wintertime to boost immunity and ward off colds and viruses.” And you can support more local businesses by purchasing ingredients for the fire cider from the Food Bin & Herb Room and/or Staff of Life. Quite a fitting gift for wintertime during a pandemic!
Food Bin & Herb Room
1130 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
If you’ve never been to this duo of tiny shops at the corner of Mission and Laurel in Santa Cruz, you are missing out on a true Santa Cruz experience! The Food Bin carries various grocery items, including a great selection of bulk foods. It’s a good spot to pick up holiday meal ingredients and stocking stuffer treats. The Herb Room next door carries natural body care products (including bulk options), bulk herbs and teas, gifts, bottles and jars, and more. You could create a self-care package, a custom tea blend, or choose something from their selection of unique gifts. In-store shopping and curbside pickup available.
For the Zero Waster
For those who seek natural, plant-based ingredients in their skincare: “Anato crafts exquisite products that nurture your body and cultivate care for the planet. Responsibly sourced from trees, we make your skin glow while our forests grow.” Their packaging is also free of single-use plastics, and they host workshops on a variety of topics. Gift cards are available, and you can get 10% off your purchase by signing up for their newsletter.
101 Capitola Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
“Ethos is a low-waste living shop located in Santa Cruz, California, providing products, resources, specialty recycling and more. With a focus on local makers and artists, we host workshops and events to build community.” They offer pickup, local bike delivery, and onsite shopping by appointment.
The Footprint Shop
1349 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060 (located inside Barretini)
They’ve got zero waste products for your home, self-care, travel, kids and babies, pets, and more! Pick out individual items or select from one of their pre-packaged gift boxes. Visit the Footprint Shop online or in-person.
For the Foodie–and for your Holiday Meals
Santa Cruz Permaculture Hoshigaki
Hoshigaki is one of the tastiest ways to enjoy persimmons. One of our customers explains why: “They are delicious with cheese, chopped up in a trail mix…or just by themselves. And they’re an awesome way to get some extra nutrients into your diet as the seasons change and local fruit isn’t as readily available.” A rarity known as “the Kobe beef of fruit,” these delicacies are organically grown and dried in Santa Cruz County. They make a great gift or addition to your holiday dessert table. Order online for pickup at India Joze or Shanty Shack, and in early December, find us selling these delicious, healthy treats at farmers markets in Santa Cruz!
Various locations throughout the county
“Our family of five farmers’ markets showcases the best in regional organic produce, pasture-raised meats, eggs and dairy, sustainably-harvested seafoods and artisan-made goods. Purchasing your food through the area’s farmers’ markets ensures that you are getting the freshest, healthiest and tastiest foods while supporting local jobs, increasing local spending and promoting the region’s strong farming tradition.” Find ingredients for your holiday meals and tasty homemade presents, and discover unique, locally made artisan gifts.
418 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Our friends at India Joze serve up delicious food: “Embracing the cuisines of the Mediterranean, MidEast, India and SouthEast Asia, we wok a fresh and sometimes intense line to vegetarian, poultry, seafood and meat dishes, and unusual desserts, using many organic ingredients.” Purchase a Joze Bux gift certificate ($100 value for $80) through their online ordering page, or order food online for pickup–and while you’re there, pick up some Hoshigaki!
Local Restaurants, Cafes, & Grocers
Check out our blog post featuring organic and local food and drinks for even more places to get ingredients, meals, gifts, or gift cards.
For the Book Worm
Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
With online ordering, curbside pickup, in store shopping, and delivery, there’s no reason not to buy books on your gift list from Bookshop Santa Cruz! Some of our favorite titles that you can order from them online include Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway, and Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Brad Lancaster.
For the Hop Head
Shanty Shack Brewing
138 Fern St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Brewed in Santa Cruz, Shanty Shack offers a wide variety of their own delicious beers, wines and ciders from other wineries/breweries, and kombucha. They have a socially distanced outdoor patio, pick up through their drive-through, or you can have beer shipped to your home. You can also order gift cards on their website. (This is another local spot where you can pick up your order of Hoshigaki, too!)
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
402 Ingalls St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
With a motto like “Think Organic. Drink Organic,” we had to include this local brewery on our list! You can order online for curbside pickup or delivery. In addition to their tasty beers, apparel, frisbees!, gift cards, and other merchandise, they also sell ciders, wines, hard frescos, hard kombucha, and food from other local producers.
For the Artist or Art Collector
303 Potrero St. #1, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Make a DIY leather gift, or purchase some leather and leatherworking supplies for an artistic person on your holiday gift list. You can also order leather through their eBay page.
142 River Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
From kids art supplies to professional quality art materials, Lenz Arts offers the largest selection of fine art supplies and the oldest custom frame shop on the Central Coast. Whether you purchase supplies to create something or wrap art supplies up for the recipient, the gift giving possibilities at this shop are endless! Curbside pickup and in-store shopping is available.
Artisans & agency
1368 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
This lovely little shop in downtown Santa Cruz “carries a wide selection of the best of American made, local artwork and design inspired items.” Gift cards available online. They have an online store with curbside pickup and shipping available, too.
Other Locally Owned Businesses Recommended by Our Community
- Creative Cultures
- Dig Gardens
- Locally owned bike shops (we’ve got too many to even list!)
- Mini Mint
- Mutari Chocolate
- The Farm Bakery, Gifts, & Cafe
- The Garden Company
- The Philosopher’s Stoneground Craft Nut Butters
- Radius Gallery (Tannery Arts Center)
- Sylvan Music
- Wylder Space
- Visit our Instagram page and click on the “Shop Small” pinned story to see even more.
Other Ways to Shop Small(er than Amazon)
If you’re in search of a specific gift and can’t find it locally, start by searching online for the company that makes the gift before going to Amazon. More often than not, you’ll be able to find the product on the company’s direct website for the same or similar price. Most shops (especially this time of year) also offer discount codes for signing up for their newsletter, which will likely get you to the same price as shopping on Amazon. Even if you have to pay a bit more, though, it’s worth it if you’re wanting to boycott Amazon for any of the many reasons to do so.
Here are some more resources to shop small when you can’t shop local:
- Amazon Alternatives (The Good Trade)
- Ethical Alternatives to Amazon (Threshold)
- List of Black-owned independent bookstores throughout the U.S.
Where are you shopping small?
Did we forget to include your favorite local shop? Please let us know via email or on Instagram, and we’ll share your recommendations to our Instagram Stories! Be sure to follow us and check out our pinned Instagram story “Shop Small” to see these updates.