Small Business Saturday? Cyber Monday? Shop Ithaca.

You might have taken advantage of Black Friday sales, and be gearing up for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals. We simply suggest shopping Ithaca.

This time of year, it’s easy to lose track of the local businesses that do a great job of keeping dollars in the community, whether it’s hiring local staff, buying from local producers themselves, or advertising in local media outlets. It’s easy to see a sale online and snap it up. Let’s take a moment to think about the local choices, instead.

As a local media outlet, we rely on advertising dollars to allow us to keep publishing 14850 Magazine, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary with a community event. And we admit it: we love doing business with our friends and neighbors who do business with us rather than sending all of their ad dollars out of town.

Sunny Days, on the corner of Cayuga and Green Streets in Downtown Ithaca.

Sunny Days, on the corner of Cayuga and Green Streets in Downtown Ithaca.

There may be no better example of a local merchant than Sunny Days of Ithaca. This Downtown Ithaca shop just off the Commons sells Ithaca souvenirs, Ithaca snacks, Ithaca crafts, and countless cute, clever, or creative items from around the Finger Lakes. They have handmade winterwear, calendars, books, artwork, and plenty of gifts for family, friends, or just for yourself.

Got kids on the shopping list? Just off the opposite corner of the Ithaca Commons is Comics for Collectors, a comics, science fiction, game, and hobby shop with new and vintage comic books and graphic novels, magazines, toys to go along with the latest blockbuster superhero and sci-fi movies, card games, and more.

Triphammer Wines & Spirits does a fine job representing not only a worldwide variety of wines and spirits, but also the bounty of the Finger Lakes, featuring the area’s great vineyards and distilleries. Free weekly wine tastings and free monthly whisky tastings make it easier to decide what to buy. (Or harder, if you enjoy everything!)

Taller, rather than wider, cheese cases free up floor space at the just-remodeled Ithaca Coffee Company. 14850 Photo by Mark H. Anbinder.

Right next door at the Triphammer Marketplace, or downtown at the Gateway Commons, Ithaca Coffee Company has locally roasted coffee, fine teas, gourmet cheeses and spices, candy and snacks, and an impressive array of coffee and tea gadgets and gizmos, as well as craft beer — to fill a growler as a gift or to enjoy as a break from shopping. This fall’s store remodel at the Triphammer location includes a new, dedicated gift basket station.

Speaking of coffee, our friends at Collegetown Bagels and Ithaca Bakery must be gearing up for the release of the 2018 Eco Mug. Give one of these travel mugs to a friend with a serious coffee habit and they’ll enjoy unlimited refills of brewed coffee or tea at no charge, and discounts on prepared espresso drinks, throughout the year.

Visit the source, and taste locally crafted wines at Barry Family Cellars, offering free tastings and free tote bags while supplies last on Small Business Saturday. Or treat a fan of baked goods with a selection of bake-at-home scone mix from the Carriage House Cafe.

You may need to bundle up, but the Ithaca Farmers Market is worth a visit in late fall! 14850 file photo.

You may need to bundle up, but the Ithaca Farmers Market is worth a visit in late fall! 14850 file photo.

Grab some fresh local fruit, wines, cider, crafts, or meats at the Ithaca Farmers Market, still open for just one more Sunday this season, this weekend, and Saturdays at Steamboat Landing through December 16th. They’re returning to the Space at GreenStar for indoor market Saturdays in January through March this winter, as well.

Throw a holiday party for your office or plan a dinner party with your friends and choose a local caterer like Bickering Twins to help out or take over the whole menu.

In Center Ithaca, visit Breathe for fashionable, wearable clothes for women of all shapes and sizes. Wearable art takes many forms, and we’re fans of the Jewelbox, a handcrafted jewelry store in Ithaca’s west end, not least because of their support for the SPCA of Tompkins County. They donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of their “buddy tags,” pet-themed jewelry bearing the SPCA logo.

What about gift certificates? The Ithaca Farmers Market and all of the above-mentioned merchants have gift certificates or gift cards available, but so do many of our favorite eateries. Luna Inspired Street Food, The Rook, Agava, Jack’s Collegetown Grill, Mix, Rulloff’s, Ciao, the BoatYard Grill, and Papa John’s all offer future food represented in a way that’s easy to insert in an envelope and give as a gift. Restaurant.com offers gift certificates to a few local eateries at a discount.

We understand, and we sometimes shop online or at national retailers for our families and homes. But we do our best to not just talk about local businesses in 14850 Magazine, but also pay them a visit and leave some of our locally earned dollars behind. Won’t you join us?

Are we forgetting any local businesses that make a point of spending their advertising dollars locally? Feel free to let us know in the comments or get in touch.

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