Here it comes - the holiday season. The turkey is barely digested, when we start to think about SHOPPING! I’ve never have gotten into the Black Friday frenzy though I’ve seen the television news clips filmed at the big box stores. No tryptophan residue apparent there; it looks more like a contact sport. Stampedes, crowds, waiting lines, aggressive shoppers, and harried clerks do not look like my idea of a good time - particularly on a recently very full stomach. On the other hand, if we wait until Saturday - a mere day later, a relaxed shopping excursion in a small community sounds appealing. Entertaining and productive, it can be very rewarding as well!
Small Business Saturday began as an American shopping holiday in November 2010, to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize and support smaller local businesses. Since its initial US success, it has been adopted in the United Kingdom as well. According to USA Today for every dollar spent in a local, small business, 68 cents remains in that community, compared to 43 cents if spent at a chain - even if there is a local store. The worst case scenario is online shopping, Cyber Monday, which finds no money staying local. By shopping small, 68 cents out of every dollar will be working and recirculated to strengthen that community, bolster schools and safety, fund street and sidewalk repair, and more. In addition, dollars spent locally help to sustain a retail business that we may want to ensure is there for our future convenience and needs. I sincerely am behind this idea. Therefore, let’s think outside the big box and head for a community that is shopping small on November 28th - Ticonderoga.
Merely One Event
Small Business Saturday is a part of the 6th Annual Ticonderoga Area North Country Christmas. This 10-day event is filled with holiday activities and celebrations and coordinated by the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce. Over 2-dozen local small businesses have registered to participate on Small Business Saturday. The individual businesses are offering a variety of discounts, promotions, customer gifts, and specials throughout that day. Let me give you a small sampling, or preview, of what you may find around Ticonderoga on Small Business Saturday.
Sugar & Spice
Anyone who has ever shopped Sugar & Spice Country Shoppe at 98 Montcalm Street knows they are in for a treat during every visit. This delightful shop offers country primitives, toys, decorations, gifts, antiques and collectibles, and even smells like a holiday adventure. When I stopped in recently, Robin McGrath, owner, was in transition mode: changing out Halloween and autumn-related decorations, to Christmas holiday décor and items. Nevertheless, she took the time to talk me through her plans for Small Business Saturday, which are still bubbling in her head.
“We will have refreshments and certainly discounts," she said. "Possibly a surprise discount at check-out. But, there could be other special treats that take place.” Robin suggested we follow the Sugar & Spice Country Shoppe on Facebook to keep updated on all this great shop - which is celebrating its 8th anniversary - has to offer!
Libby's Bakery and Cafe
Nearby, also on Montcalm Street, I spotted a young customer outside Libby’s Bakery and Café enjoying a fresh and scrumptious looking cupcake. Libby’s will be offering 10% off all day on November 28th. Their pastry case, displaying a wide variety of treats, freshly baked pies, breads, cheeses, and more, was captivating. Have a look:
A bit further west on Montcalm, I stopped in to meet with Brandee Goodness, proprietor, at Trendy Threads Consignment Boutique. I was amazed at the selection inside this shop. On Small Business Saturday she will be offering 50% off storewide! (Excluding the Gingersnap Jewelry.) I had to see what this jewelry was all about, the name intrigued me.
As it turns out these Gingersnap creations are adorable and incredibly versatile, allowing you to customize your own piece. There is a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets, key chains and more, to serve as the setting that easily accepts the “snap.” Then there are a gazillion choices of interchangeable snaps that clip right on. The snaps come in every color, or combination imaginable, as well as different symbols, and design styles.
Many had a good deal of bling, if that’s your preference. All were incredibly affordable, most settings within $10-15, and the snaps at $4.95. I can’t believe I only bought one! I’ve included a picture here to give you an idea, but Brandee advised she has much more Gingersnap inventory coming in in time for the holidays and Small Business Saturday. I suspect these items will move very quickly since each piece can be so unique and personally adapted to suit the individual. Great gifts!
Time for Lunch
When it’s time for lunch, note that several dining establishments and eateries have registered to participate in the Small Business Saturday initiative. Shoppers will have a hard time making decisions about where to eat. Bodette’s Barbeque at 133 Montcalm Street, across from the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum and the entrance to Bicentennial Park, is offering a hot sandwich with gravy along with a choice of a side for only $8.95. If having difficulty picking a side, I can tell you their coleslaw is delicious.
Burleigh Luncheonette, 103 Montcalm Street, will be offering a variety of lunch specials at great prices.
Keith’s Market, at 109 Montcalm Street, will have 10% off all day with a buy 2, get 1 free on subs. Taking home a few subs for dinner may be a great idea, particularly if you’ve shopped all day!
If you prefer to simply sit down and have a good dinner after your shopping adventure you may want to head for the Wagon Wheel Restaurant, at 1065 Wicker Street. There you can enjoy a prime rib dinner starting at $15.95. Remember to enter your receipt to win a $25 Wagon Wheel gift card.
I intend to give you more details about the entire North Country Christmas event as we get closer, but plan on live entertainment, Holiday Hay Rides, more shopping and dining promotions, demonstrations, and of course special events for the children - including a visit from Santa.
In related ADK news: 'Tis the season - for great deals!