The Saturday after Thanksgiving was officially declared Small Business Saturday this year. Readers of the North Forty News know that every day is the right time to shop at businesses close to home. We’ve provided a small sample of the terrific holiday gifts for anyone on your list available from local retailers; be sure to take time to stop by and check out the inventory — as well as some of the festive decorations — in person soon.
Customers are looking for practical gifts this year, according to Cathy Thompson at LaPorte Hardware. So she has supplemented her selection of small appliances and specialty tools with a new assortment of the one thing on everyone’s wish list: batteries, in shapes and sizes to power all the new toys and electronic gadgets under the tree. LaPorte Hardware also offers a collection of small gifts, including crystal dishes and boxed candy, for under $20.
Poudre Valley Co-op
There might not be any holiday gift more practical than a wrench set. Adam Harras, sales associate at Poudre Valley Co-op, says the Craftsman line offers different combinations of both socket and dog-bone wrenches, starting under $20, that are always popular stocking stuffers. LED flashlights have been selling well this year, too, as have jeans for work and play.
Poudre Pet and Feed
It just wouldn’t be a Christmas photo op without your furry friends decked out in a pair of doggie antlers or a jingle-bell collar, and both are as popular as ever this season, according to Poudre Pet and Feed General Manager Josh Bruening. The three Poudre Feed locations also offer pet treats packaged for giving as well as stuffed toys for cats and dogs and supplies for small mammals and horses, in all price ranges.
Then there are the wild birds, and the people who love them. Ranch-Way Feeds manufactures a variety of seed blends for feeding our feathered friends through the winter, available at retailers throughout the region or at the mill on Willow Street, the oldest continuously operating business in Fort Collins. Owner Bonnie Szidon has added “a tiny little gift shop” in a corner of the warehouse and decorated it for the season. There you can browse a selection of dog biscuits, cat food, pooper scoopers and other practical and delightful items for the pet owner to fit any budget.
Fort Collins Nursery
Even in the dead of winter, gardeners dream of spring. In addition to the always-popular holiday wreaths, poinsettias, amaryllis and narcissus bulbs ready to bloom and sparkly ornaments ready for the tree, Fort Collins Nursery Garden Manager Cortney Moore suggested giving a set of hand-tuned Woodstock wind chimes, available in prices ranging from $15 to $80. She added that fairy gardens, either in do-it-yourself kits starting at about $30 or designed by nursery staff for between $50 and $100, are great gifts for older children or anyone who wants to bring the garden indoors this winter.
Between the two Fort Collins locations, you’ll be able to find something for everyone at Jax. Whether you want to outfit the family in Ariat jeans and Frye boots, or your horse in a colorful saddle pad and Sedona halter, Marketing Manager Shannon White says the Ranch and Home store on Highway 287 has what you are looking for this season. The kitchen and home department at Jax Mercantile on North College Avenue also offers affordable gift options from Nubamboo dishtowels to the Camerons Stovetop Smoker as well as all things outdoor, like the solar-powered cellphone/tablet charger.
The big news in Wellington this season is that Proper Time is now the exclusive retailer of Pandora jewelry between Fort Collins and Cheyenne. If someone on your list has already started her charm bracelet, Proper Time’s owners Peter and Diana Pronko can help you select the perfect memento, beginning at about $30. They can also help you get that special someone started on her charmed life with bracelets, necklaces and earrings from Pandora.
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch in Fort Collins offers accessories for your home and wardrobe with a Southwestern accent. Owner Joe Stephens, who buys direct from artisans in the pueblos and on the reservations, suggested giving an authentic silver necklace and earring set this holiday season. His collection includes items as small as Zuni fetishes and as large as Navajo rugs, all handmade in the U.S.
The Chocolate Rose
And for those who can be challenging to buy for, why not a gift certificate? At The Chocolate Rose in Wellington, owner Sally Nelson sells certificates in any amount that can be used either for items from the menu, including specialty coffees and homemade desserts, or items from the gift shop, including bagged coffees and teas.
Western Ridge Resort
A gift card in any amount to the Western Ridge Resort in Livermore can introduce that special someone to a wonderful new place or treat him or her to an old favorite. Owner Cheryl Franz serves up a full menu in the Big Red Barn, breakfast, lunch and dinner, homemade and cooked to order. Western Ridge will be closed from Christmas Eve until mid-January, but a gift card never expires.