The 'Nice' List: Reader Recommendations for Shopping Local in 2021 | Holiday Gift Guide | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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The 'Nice' List: Reader Recommendations for Shopping Local in 2021

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Making a list, checking it twice? If the results of our Gift Local Giveaway are any indication, Vermonters are overwhelmingly not naughty — they’re nice! By that, we mean that they plan to shop local this holiday season. From state-imposed shutdowns to staffing shortages to supply chain snafus, the pandemic has challenged Vermont’s small businesses. In support of retailers’ important role in keeping our downtowns vibrant and the local economy strong, we polled Vermonters on their favorite independently owned stores. Their top answers made it into the Nice List — our community-curated shopping directory.

The survey results made our hearts swell three sizes. More than 1,100 Vermonters got vocal about gifting local, casting 14,383 votes for the stores they love to support. Fifty-eight percent of these voters pledged to buy at least three gifts locally — and 26 percent promised to buy all their gifts close to home.

If you also want to put a bow on it, Green Mountain-style, check the shopping recs on these pages. Looking for a new snowboard for the downhill demon in your life? How about a high-tech gadget for the lovable geek? Want to throw your fur baby a bone? For all these gifts and more, you’ll find superlative selections here.

Vermont Federal Credit Union awarded $500 in shop-local bucks to Grace Iasilli of Burlington, the winner of our giveaway. She’s chosen to redeem the cash at two of her favorite retailers: Common Deer and Kiss the Cook.

Grace Iasilli - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Grace Iasilli
“Both of these stores not only offer a great selection of quality products and support local makers/businesses, but I’ve also always had amazing service anytime I’ve stopped in either place,” Iasilli said.

“I love Vermont and love supporting all of our local small businesses,” she added. “The past (almost) two years have been insane, and I can’t even imagine being a small business owner throughout all of this. Whether it’s spreading the ‘gift local’ message by word of mouth or actually spending money, I want to support in any and every way I can!”


Arts & Entertainment Gifts

Gifts for vinyl lovers

Autumn Records
Winooski, autumnrecordsvt.com

Buch Spieler Records
Montpelier, buchspielerrecords.com

Burlington Records
Burlington, burlingtonrecords.com

Pure Pop Records
Burlington, purepoprecords.com

ReSOURCE
Barre, Burlington, Hyde Park, Williston; resourcevt.org

Gifts for keeping little ones occupied

ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
Burlington, echovermont.org

Homeport
Burlington, homeportonline.com

Jamie Two Coats' Toy Shop
Shelburne, facebook.com/jamietwocoats

Phoenix Books
Burlington, Essex Junction, Rutland, phoenixbooks.biz

Woodbury Mountain Toys
Montpelier, woodburymountaintoys.com

Gifts for getting crafty

April Cornell
Burlington, aprilcornell.com

The Drawing Board
Montpelier, drawingboardvt.com

Must Love Yarn
Shelburne, mustloveyarn.com

ReSOURCE
Barre, Burlington, Hyde Park, Williston; resourcevt.org

Vermont Art Supply
Burlington, vermontartsupply.com

Gifts for bookworms

Bear Pond Books
Montpelier, bearpondbooks.com

Bridgeside Books
Waterbury, bridgesidebooks.com

Crow Bookshop
Burlington, crowbooks.com

The Flying Pig Bookstore
Shelburne, flyingpigbooks.com

Phoenix Books
Burlington, Essex Junction, Rutland; phoenixbooks.biz

Gifts for the musically inclined

Ellis Music
Bethel, ellismusic.com

GuitarSam
Montpelier, guitarsam.com

Junktiques Collective
Burlington, junktiques.net

Randolin Music Instruments
Burlington, randolin.com

Vermont Violins
South Burlington; West Lebanon, N.H.; vermontviolins.com

Gifts for geeking out

Computers for Change
Burlington, computersforchange.com

Green Mountain Camera
South Burlington, gmcamera.com

LeZot Camera
Burlington, lezotcameras.com

ReSOURCE
Barre, Burlington, Hyde Park, Williston; resourcevt.org

Small Dog Electronics
Burlington, shop.smalldog.com

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Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

Gifts for fashionistas

Bailey Road
Montpelier, baileyroadvt.com

ECCO
Burlington, eccoclothesboutique.com

Outdoor Gear Exchange
Burlington, gearx.com

Salaam Clothing
Montpelier, salaamclothing.com

Stella Mae
Burlington, stella-mae.com

Gifts for thrifters

Dirt Chic
Burlington, facebook.com/dirtchicvt

Old Gold
Burlington, facebook.com/oldgoldvt

Outdoor Gear Exchange
Burlington, gearx.com

Plato's Closet
Williston, platoscloset.com

Style Encore
Williston, style-encore.com

Gifts for the dude who needs new duds

Burton
Burlington, burton.com

Lenny's Shoe & Apparel
Barre; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; St. Albans; Williston; lennyshoe.com

Outdoor Gear Exchange
Burlington, gearx.com

Patagonia Burlington
Burlington, patagoniaburlington.com

The Vermont Flannel Company
Burlington, East Barre, Ferrisburgh, Johnson, Woodstock; vermontflannel.com

Gifts for someone who is a real gem

Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery
Burlington, froghollow.org

Jennifer Kahn Jewelry
Burlington, jenniferkahnjewelry.com

Katie's Jewels
Montpelier, katiesjewels.com

Tradewinds
Burlington, tradewindsvt.com

Zinnia
Burlington, zinniastores.com

Gifts for growing and stylish kids

Boho Baby
Williston, bohobabyvt.com

Lenny's Shoe & Apparel
Barre; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; St. Albans; Williston; lennyshoe.com

Little Citizen
Burlington, littlecitizen.co

Once Upon a Child
Williston, onceuponachildwilliston.com

Outdoor Gear Exchange
Burlington, gearx.com

Zutano Outlet Store
Montpelier, facebook.com/zutanooutletstore

Gifts for putting your best foot forward

Danform Shoes
Burlington, Colchester, Shelburne, St. Albans; danformshoesvt.com

Dear Lucy
Burlington, dearlucy.com

Lenny's Shoe & Apparel
Barre; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; St. Albans; Williston; lennyshoe.com

Outdoor Gear Exchange
Burlington, gearx.com

Stella Mae
Burlington, stella-mae.com

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Outdoors & Recreation Gifts

Gifts for skiers and riders

Alpine Shop
South Burlington, alpineshopvt.com

Burton
Burlington, burton.com

Onion River Outdoors
Montpelier, onionriver.com

Outdoor Gear Exchange
Burlington, gearx.com

Skirack
Burlington, skirack.com

Gifts for outdoor enthusiasts

Alpine Shop
South Burlington, alpineshopvt.com

Lenny's Shoe & Apparel
Barre; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; St. Albans; Williston; lennyshoe.com

Outdoor Gear Exchange
Burlington, gearx.com

Patagonia Burlington
Burlington, patagoniaburlington.com

Skirack
Burlington, skirack.com

Gifts for wheely good people

Earl's Cyclery and Fitness
South Burlington, earlsbikes.com

North Star Sports
Burlington, northstarsportsvt.com

Old Spokes Home
Burlington, oldspokeshome.com

Outdoor Gear Exchange
Burlington, gearx.com

Skirack
Burlington, skirack.com

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Beauty & Body Gifts

Gifts for self-care

City Market, Onion River Co-op
Burlington, citymarket.coop

Lunaroma Aromatic Apothecary
Burlington, lunaroma.com

Mirror Mirror
Burlington, Stowe; mirrormirrorvt.com

Pure Energy Apothecary
Williston, pureenergybody.com

Ursa Major
Waterbury, ursamajorvt.com

Gifts for people who are, like, super chill

Bern Gallery
Burlington, berngallery.com

Garcia's Tobacco Shop
Burlington, garciastobaccoshop.com

Green State Gardener
Burlington, greenstategardener.com

Monarch & the Milkweed
Burlington, monarchandthemilkweed.com

Pepper Lee CBD
Burlington, pepperleecbd.com

Upstate Elevator Supply Co.
Burlington, upstateelevator.com

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Home & Garden Gifts

Gifts for the home

Barge Canal Market
Burlington, bargecanalmarketvt.com

Capital Kitchen
Montpelier, capitalkitchenvt.com

Common Deer
Burlington, commondeer.com

Gardener's Supply Company
Burlington; Lebanon, N.H.; Williston; gardeners.com

Homeport
Burlington, homeportonline.com

Kiss the Cook
Burlington, kissthecook.net

Gifts for gardeners

Claussen's Florist, Greenhouse & Perennial Farm
Colchester, claussens.com

Gardener's Supply Company
Burlington; Lebanon, N.H.; Williston; gardeners.com

Guy's Farm and Yard
Montpelier, Morrisville, St. Albans, Williston; guysfarmandyard.com

Red Wagon Plants
Hinesburg, redwagonplants.com

Sam Mazza's Farm Market
Colchester, sammazzafarms.com

Gifts for antique lovers

Anjou & the Little Pear
Burlington, anjouvt.com

Barge Canal Market
Burlington, bargecanalmarketvt.com

Five Corners Antiques
Essex Junction, 5cornersantiques.com

ReSOURCE
Barre, Burlington, Hyde Park, Williston; resourcevt.org

Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace
Burlington, vintageinspired.net

Gifts for animal lovers

Guy's Farm and Yard
Montpelier, Morrisville, St. Albans, Williston; guysfarmandyard.com

Houndstooth
Burlington, houndstoothvt.com

The Pet Advantage
South Burlington, thepetadvantage.com

Pet Food Warehouse
Shelburne, South Burlington; pfwvt.com

The Quirky Pet
Montpelier, thequirkypet.com

Gifts for art collectors

Artisans Hand Craft Gallery
Montpelier, artisanshand.com

Common Deer
Burlington, commondeer.com

Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery
Burlington, froghollow.org

Thirty-odd
Burlington, thirtyodd.com

Vermont Gift Barn
South Burlington, vermontgiftbarn.com