Erin Schoen Marsh
You Will Shop Better in Toledo
Updated: Nov 18, 2019
A guide to shopping locally in Toledo
I love love love the holidays, but I am tired of the overflow of crappy plastic toys bought from Amazon. At 4 and 6, my kids have more than enough toys to entertain them for days, so this year I have made a goal to shop locally and sustainably as much as possible. NO...MORE...JUNK!
I’ve heard many folks echo these same sentiments, so here is a list of some local places to buy holiday presents this year. I know I’m missing many small businesses, so please comment below or send me a message so I can update this list.
Boochy Mama has the best kombucha around--store versions can’t even compare--but the brick-and-mortar store has more than just kombucha these days. Choose from CBD products, expertly produced tinctures, fire cider tonic, sage, essential oils, and more.
If you’re interested in any of the Ayurvedic tips I’ve been posting, many of the kombucha mixtures and tinctures are geared toward certain doshas. I use the Allergies Away and Power Flora tinctures daily, as well as the Daily Immunity for the kids. “Love your mama” and support this soon-to-be mama, Stacey Jurich, by shopping at Boochy Mama. Boochymama.com
This is a vague category because we now have too many great coffee shops to narrow it down to just one. Buy coffee beans or gift certificates from any of these locally-owned and delicious small businesses: Sip Coffee, Black Kite Coffee, Maddie & Bella Coffee Roasters, or The Bard's Coffee, or Iron Bean Coffee.
Handmade Toledo is the one-stop-shop for coworker and teacher gifts! Spend as little as $5 per gift--or as much as your pocketbook allows--for handmade, local gifts that support local makers. This place has just about everything: soap, lotions, toys, artwork, purses, hats, scarves, and unique gifts you can’t find anywhere else. HandmadeToledo.com
HARMONY IN LIFE
If you are searching for holistic items, Harmony in Life is where you need to go. Located in an unassuming building in downtown Sylvania next to Element 112, sisters Gale and Sue own Harmony. They offer services, such as reiki, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, and yoga, and every “hippy” product you can imagine: Himalayan rock salt lamps, handmade jewelry, soaps, essential oils, crystals, stones...you name it. Harmonyinlifecenter.com
Last year the kids received an Imagination Station Toledo (IST) family membership for Christmas, and the kids pretty much ask to go to IST every weekend, rain or shine.
Besides the gift of membership, Science 2 Go, located in IST, has educational toys, games, puzzles, jewelry and more. So basically buying a toy from Science 2 Go makes our kids smarter AND we support our local Imagination Station. Win win. ImaginationStationToledo.org
If you’re in the market for Toledo apparel, Jupmode is it. The classic “You will do better in Toledo” shirt is my personal favorite, but they have plenty of other fun options.
Warning: their women’s sizes run crazy small (they are actually junior sizes), so if buying for a female, size up at least 2. Or do what I do and buy the unisex tanks, which are my favorite for exercising (as you may have noticed if you’ve ever seen my Instagram, @the.yogi.writer). Jupmode.com
The FIRST Metroparks Toledo store will be inside the Wildwood Manor House and available online shortly. The Metroparks gives us so much, from beautiful outdoor spaces to free activities, and asks for so little in return. So let’s “get outside” ourselves and buy some swag! I’m looking forward to seeing what they carry at the brand new retail store. Metroparkstoledo.com
PLANTS AND FLOWERS
If my husband received a new plant every holiday, I’m pretty sure he’d be in heaven. He is the plant aficionado in our family, and his favorite stores for plants include Whiteford Greenhouse, Hoen’s Garden Center, and Bensell. Based on what he’s searching for, he visits one over the other, but Whiteford Greenhouse, which has been owned by a Toledo family for 45 years, is his most frequented spot.
If you’re looking for flower arrangements, we love Beautiful Blooms by Jen. Jen used to be a schoolteacher, and she worked her butt off to save money to follow her dream: opening a flower shop. Who doesn’t want to support that dream?
TICKLE BUG JEWELRY
Lisa Tremblay, a fellow Sylvania mama, started Tickle Bug Jewelry back in 2014 as a way to work creatively while still staying home with her three boys. She creates personalized, hand-stamped pieces of jewelry for an affordable price. Lisa is a one-woman show, making all of her own jewelry, planning marketing strategies, taking her own photos, handling social media, and interacting with customers. She’s as local and small business as they come! TickleBugJewelry.com
“Say what?” you might be questioning, but this is a fun idea for kids: the Library just came out with new library cards, so you could buy your child a book and include his/her very own Library card!
If you want to buy a book, consider supporting these local authors: Kristin Winovich, author of Koobville, and Aya Khali, author of The Arabic Quilt. Both are available on Amazon, but you are still supporting local.
Toledo Spirits is our first Toledo distillery, and for the liquor-lover in your life, anything from here will be sure to please. My personal favorite is Heart of Glass Strawberry vodka. Thanks to Matt Freeman, I’ve been “behind the scenes,” and they literally dump barrels of strawberries into the vodka. So good.
Other “meaningfully-sourced craft spirits” that are crowd pleasers include Heart of Gold Vodka, Maumee Moonshine, Orange Tiger Liquor, East Side Gin, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Toledo Spirits swag, made by JupMode, is for sale, too. Toledospirits.com
A local, privately-owned small business, Wellaroma was founded by a Perrysburg mama. Ingredients are shipped straight to her and she prepares and bottles her own mixtures. She is even available for consultations to mix the perfect combination for you and whatever ailments you might be facing. We use Cold & Flu Away (safe for kids) whenever sickness is in the air, and her Soothing Roller is my go-to for use in final relaxation at the end of my yoga classes. Wellaroma.com
Athleisure wear is all the rage these days (and what I wear 95% of the time), and Yogaja Shop is the only place to buy name brand clothes like Alo, Beyond Yoga, Free People, Bra30 locally and still support a small business. Plus, they have great sales where they sell clothes at-cost, so make sure to check the back room.
They also carry environmentally-friendly and sustainable products like reusable metal straws, produce bags, totes, and more. Find yoga mats, including BMat and Jade, for sale here as well. Yogaja.Shop
You know I’d put this one on the list! Buying a gift certificate to a yoga studio--whether it’s Yogaja or somewhere else--supports a local business and its teachers. But most importantly, yoga and meditation have so many proven physical and mental boons: yoga can decrease stress, anxiety and inflammation; improve heart health, sleep quality, flexibility, balance, strength, breathing and quality of life; fight depression, chronic pain, and migraines; and promote healthy eating habits.
If you don’t live anywhere near Cricket West, shoot me a message and I’d be happy to recommend a studio closer to you. I’ve taught at or visited just about every yoga studio in town!
Yogaja Yoga sells gift cards online and in The Yogaja Shop in Cricket West (see website above for hours). Yogajayoga.com
OTHER RECOMMENDED TOLEDO BUSINESSES
Thanks to my readers for the following recommendations: Carruth Studios, Tony Packo’s (a Toledo classic!), Glass City Candle Company, animal shelters for collars, apparel and that holiday puppy, Three Girlz Urban Living, and Packer Creek Pottery.