Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why Choose Holiday Gifts Made on Cape Cod?

After Thanksgiving, we turn our attention to holiday gifts. Many people come to Wellfleet during Oysterfest to go Christmas-shopping in mid-October. In December 2010, I suggested local businesses that are fairly well known. This year I decided to mention small businesses here on Cape Cod, perhaps a bit more obscure but all deserving our support. I discovered most of them at Oysterfest.

First off, how about some winter warmth from Sandspit Alpacas, located right here in Wellfleet? I admired adorable furry animals on their new Web site and learned Chez Sven shares an address with this fledgling farm at Old King’s Highway (494), a perfect summer destination for folks with kids. Think 100% yarns from local animals, rovings, hand-felted soaps, as well as warm socks, gloves, hats, etc. Nancy Flanagan will be at the Preservation Hall holiday bizarre on Dec. 10th or visit her farm store. (For more information, call 508 349 7585.)

Those of you who loved Jade Huber’s chocolate oysters should know that the chocolates are back, hand-crafted by a new owner in Marstons’ Mills and now available online at Wellfleet Candy Company. New this fall: the Dark Chocolate Oyster with banana rum caramel filling not only offers chocolate heaven but also sends one dollar to Horizon Relief, a fund to aid Gulf Coast oystermen.

Another local sweetie is Chris Kelley, who runs Sweet Baking on Old Chequessett Neck Road, pictured here with boy-friend Carleton. Sweet Baking has no Web site, but the chocolate bombes, sold at Chocolate Sparrow, win raves. Chris created the magnificent gingerbread house I photographed several years ago for this blog and is now "kicking into gingerbread-gear." Contact her at sweetbaking AT (Sweet Baking will be at the Prez. Hall holiday fair.)

Or, how about Summersoaps, in Barnstable? They are 100% natural with essential oils. A box of four, your choice of scents, costs $29.

Anya's Herbals are powerful blends of healing herbs and botanicals. Anya donates 10% of all profits to organizations that work to preserve the environment or on human justice issues. She sells herbal teas, amazing body lotion, and a full range of aromatic body care products, all created in S. Wellfleet.

For a present that lasts, choose a hand-crafted copper watering can for bonsai plants from Copper Craft of Wellfleet, a steal at $45.

Another artist whom I discovered recently, is lovely Nicole St. Pierre. I was not the only person at Oysterfest to fall for her work. Over the one October weekend in Wellfleet, Nicole sold a total of 29 hats! You can see her recycled wool creations at the Foundry Show in Pawtucket, RI. (See December dates listed on Web site). Sven bought me the blue beauty, to the left, second from the top.

A second millinery company present at Oysterfest was Look at Me Designs, which offers original texting gloves and scarves as well headgear. Tiffany Brown and Melanie Peddle use recycled materials. Again, each item is a one-of-kind creation. They are based in Plainville.

If you run a small business on the Outer Cape and would like to be included in this post, please let me know or share your products and Web site in Comments.

So, what are you waiting for? Time to Christmas-shop. It's hard to make a living off-season on Cape Cod. Please support the local small businesses mentioned above...