For our Spend Locally series, we reached out to some people whom you may know from our articles to see where they are shopping this holiday season and what gifts they might like to receive. Let’s be honest: Our goal is to show you how you can use your gift-giving dollars to focus on saving local businesses and jobs!
The ELPS School Board gives an A+ to these businesses:
East Lansing Public Schools Board of Education Treasurer Kath Edsall told ELi that, “Anyone who knows me knows I love, love, love sweets.” Where does she go to get something for that sweet tooth? Mitten Raised in Brookfield Plaza. They offer not only amazing donuts, cookies, and cakes but also kits for home baking and decorating.
ELPS School Board Secretary Chris Martin is also thinking about the food scene in East Lansing. In pre-pandemic times, he told ELi, his family spent a lot of time around the holidays eating at Crunchy’s.
“We have been known to pull our kids there in a sled on snowy days when we don’t want to cook at home,” he told ELi.
Although Martin and his family won’t be dining indoors at restaurants this season, Martin said that they “have already purchased plenty of takeout, gift cards, and Crunchy’s merchandise to tide us over.”
Erin Graham, who will soon finish her term as the ELPS School Board President, said her family is partial to the Sultan’s Feast from Sultan’s, and she recommends a gift card there as a delightful holiday present.
“The owners of Sultan’s are a wonderful East Lansing family,” Graham told ELi. “They regularly give back to the community and, during these challenging times, they have personally delivered Sultan’s cuisine to nurses and others who work on the frontline with COVID patients.”
“Your taste buds will thank you,” Graham said of ordering from Sultan’s.
Some of your City Council members have multiple suggestions at the ready:
For food, Council member Dana Watson recommends a cobb salad and growler from Jolly Pumpkin for the adults, telling ELi that, “The manager knows his brews and helps with suggestions based on your tastes.” She has also purchased a few cigars as gifts from Puff Puff Tobacco. For the younger crowd, she has taken her daughters to Poke Lab for sushi bowls.
Council member Lisa Babcock called ELi to share her shopping list with us. For “her better half,” she plans to purchase a headlamp from Moosejaw to accommodate during the winter all those walks they have been taking. She might also pick up a few stocking stuffers for him and something for her nephew – a Michigan Tech graduate who enjoyed the great outdoors in the U.P. – while she is there.
Her sisters love to sew, so she will also be making a pit stop at Seams, run by her colleague Mayor Pro Tem Jessy Gregg.
For the art lovers in her life, Babcock will be doing some curbside pickup purchased from the MSU Broad Art Lab and signing a few people up for the monthly classes the Broad Art Museum offers. For the man in her life who is creative in the kitchen, she is planning on a gift card to Campbell’s Market. And, if he doesn’t use the gift soon, she might use it to get herself some tiramisu.
Babcock also enjoys wandering Student Book Store after the students have left town to pick up those classic works of literature and the other odds and ends SBS has to offer.
She also has ideas for the people who have everything, such as floral arrangements from B/A Florist or Petra Flowers. Babcock, whose father was a founding member of the local food bank, also suggested making a donation to a local charity in someone’s honor.
Babcock also told ELi about a locally-purchased Christmas gift she will be receiving: an engagement ring from Sundance Jewelers.
The ELi team is also practicing what it preaches and spending locally this holiday season:
Sam Hosey, the President of ELi’s Board of Directors, is a huge fan of Juice Nation and frequents that business with his family often. A gift card there would be a wonderful gift. Hosey highly recommends the banana nut bread, Go Green smoothies, and charcoal lemonade.
ELi’s Managing Editor Emily Joan Elliott made a purchase at Seams for her partner after communicating back and forth with owner Jessy Gregg.
Emily Joan Elliott was lucky enough to do some of her Christmas shopping after speaking to Council member Babcock. She stopped in the Broad Art Museum, which is offering steep discounts on many of the items in their gift shop. The best part? Many of the items are made by local Michigan artists and artisans.
Her favorite purchase there was a pair of earrings made by a collective of artists in Detroit who support survivors of relationship and sexual violence.
ELi’s Publisher Alice Dreger likes to keep her family stocked in Moosejaw headlamps for a different reason from Lisa Babcock: her family discovered during the great BWL power outage of Winter Solstice 2013 that the headlamps are incredibly useful not only for power outages, but also for grilling outdoors on dark Michigan winter evenings.
Dreger also loves to shop at Clever Clover, where they have great posters that are often inexpensive enough to function as fancy wrapping paper for the most special gifts, like the good single malt she’ll get her spouse at one of the local spirits purveyors (Jonna’s, On the Rocks, Tom’s, Spartan Spirits – she notes there are so many good locally-owned options here!).
She’ll be going to Campbell’s to put together baskets for her foodie friends. Options include Droscha’s local syrup, great Michigan beers, special cheeses, and those deadly-good corn chips from Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory. Right now, Campbell’s also has luscious little rosemary bushes.
For the people in her life who are (a) runners, (b) would-be runners, (c) fans of NPR’s Peter Sagal, (d) going through a miserable divorce, or (e) some combo of those, she’ll be getting autographed copies of Sagal’s memoir, The Incomplete Book of Running – a gift that this year benefits the local business/job provider that is ELi!
Would you like to share your shop-local gift list with us? Contact us today!
Make sure ELi can continue to support you local community in 2021!