Bay Awesome 2020 TBay Top 20 Holiday Gift List

’Tis the season to start thinking about Christmas shopping. Cue the carols!! But, like most things in 2020, the way you’ll check everyone off your gift list is bound to be a little bit different this year, as long-standing holiday shopping traditions are being put to the test. Now I know you might think it’s easier to go online and Amazon Prime it, but this year, more than ever,  it’s super important to SUPPORT LOCAL. Shopping at home and in your local shops, not only benefits the community, entrepreneurs, talented artisans and local families, but you’re also going to find the most awesome gifts, many of which are handmade with local love.

From local gift boxes full of goodies, items right from the farm, Thunder Bay experiences and gifts that give back, local shopping starts now! Because after all, nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. 

(Most photography by David Zahodnik of DZ Photography)

*All items listed are available for purchase online. 

1. Rose Valley Lodge Weekend Getaway

If you’re wanting to surprise that special someone with a romantic winter escape, Rose Valley Lodge is a dreamy destination that really comes alive during these colder, snowy months.

Established in 1909, the lodge is on 400 snow-covered acres of pin-drop-quiet, where you can disconnect and truly relax. Transformed into a winter wonderland this time of year, the charming country-style location in South Gillies is comparable to something out of a postcard.

The beautiful landscape is the perfect setting for a getaway. Featuring two secluded cabins, Rose Valley Lodge offers exceptional accommodations that come complete with a cloud-soft bed, wood burning stove and stacks of wood ready to be burned to keep warm. With no TV or internet, it’s a place to visit when you truly want to unplug, transporting you to the simpler days. Instead, spend time soaking in the jacuzzi, walking the trails, relaxing in the cutest treehouse, or visiting all of the farm critters (make sure to Hi, to horses Dream, Rih, Sabah and Boog for me). The property has no shortage of winter activities for you and your partner to enjoy… that is, if you can peel yourself away from the cozy interior of your log cabin.

Other indulgences during a full getaway package include excellent fine dining at a candlelit table for two, and breakfast the next morning.  Expect cuisine with a European flare as owner Markus Hofmann is originally from Switzerland and trained as a Swiss Hotelier. 

 “It’s rustic glamping with awesome european style food. A chance to revive your tastebuds and regenerate your soul.”

rosevalleylodge.com 

@rosevalleyrestaurant

2. Ungalli Clothing Co. Flannels

While there are certain shirts that can be worn year-round, there’s no shirt that exemplifies winter and Canadian style quite like the perfect flannel shirt. Whether you find yourself outdoors or are more inclined to stroll to Sunday brunch, there’s definitely a place (or several)  in your wardrobe for a flannel shirt.

Ungalli’s new flannel shirt line brings tradition with some updates for today’s modern wearer. With its classic cut, warm and comfortable fabric paired with functionality and toughness, Ungalli flannels are designed and made in Canada, out of 100% cotton. This means they will biodegrade and return to the earth when you’re done loving them.  I’d say you should pick up one in each of colours: Grey & black buffalo plaid, and burgundy & black buffalo plaid. Available in unisex sizing XS to XXL.

“Flannels are a huge staple in many Canadian’s wardrobes, so they should be made here at home- not overseas. There’s not much you can’t do in a great checkered shirt! It’s  great gift for anyone on your list.”- Hailey Hollinsworth, Ungalli Clothing Co. 

Available online at: ungalli.com or in-store at the Ungalli Collective located at 16 Cumberland St. South.

@ungalliclothingco

3. Cedar Sauna and Rentals

Take some hints from the Finns for this holiday experience. Know someone that doesn’t dig Jack Frost? What better way to combat the freezing cold of winter than with the heat of a cozy sauna!

Cedar Sauna and Rentals can warm you up and help beat the stress of the holidays, while keeping you healthy and happy during the coldest months of the year. The new pop-up business was started by a pair of local entrepreneurs and best buds, Leo St-Cyr and Ryan Christian.

Born out of a love for sauna culture, the Cedar Sauna and Rentals crew is  focusing on the health benefits, but also the overall experience. The rental service allows you to enjoy a luxurious and relaxing sauna from the comforts of your own home, bringing custom built saunas right into your backyard. Gift a rental of the very popular birdhouse sauna (shaped like…you guessed it… a birdhouse) or the more traditional barrel sauna, both made of Western red cedar. They even supply the wood.

Life is golden when you have a sauna to melt the stress away! It’s no wonder that in Finland—having a sauna is as necessary as having a refrigerator. Weekend rental pricing is $250, Friday to Sunday. And if you’re feeling really generous, you can gift someone their very own custom sauna for $10K.

cedarsaunaandrentals.com

4. Corbett Creek Farm Local Holiday Box

Christmas at the farm is when all the dreaming happens. The Corbett Creek fam gathers over coffee and a warm fire, and cuddles up to plan the season ahead—what animals they want to raise, veggies they will grow, and the fun collaborations they can create, including the contents of their annual holiday gift box.

Located in Murillo, Corbett Creek Farm is a pasture-raised pork and grass-fed beef farm owned and operated by Jon and Aly Wood, who are dedicated to producing high quality products while promoting regenerative agriculture. Each year they create a local holiday box, curated to  make entertaining fun and easy over the holiday season.

“The box includes delicious meat to build meals around, as well as beautiful local products to make the occasion special.”

First, the meat: Featuring some amazing cuts of pastured pork including a holiday ham for your table, Aly explains that the farm’s meat is “healthy, tasty, and raised in a sustainable and ethical manner. This is farm-to-table at it’s finest, with meat that was raised on pasture 20km from your plate.” 

Second, the goods: “Beautiful Thunder Bay products from local makers that share our attention to quality and detail”. This includes two bowls that are handmade by Lara from Sweet Earth Ceramics (which sell out in her shops in a matter of minutes), bake-at-home cinnamon buns by Swell Bakery, along with BubbleOhs soap, that uses lard from Corbett Creek Farm’s pork in their product-  “a great step in trying to use as much of our animals as possible. ”

“Each year we try and pick new businesses that take pride in creating local, beautiful and ethical products, and we couldn’t be more excited for this year’s additions.” All of these goodies will come to you in a 2020 reusable tote.  The box will be available for purchase at www.corbettcreekfarm.com on November 18th.  UPDATE: SOLD OUT. 

@corbettcreekfarm

5. Lady Jane Earrings- Beans + Bobbles Design Co.

The perfect way to say thank you to the special gals in your life! These earrings celebrate women and all of our curves, shapes and sizes. The Lady Jane earrings are true masterpieces invoking feelings of warmth, sensuality, beauty and grace. Available this holiday season in Speckled Ivory, Blush Pink, Black Suede and Emerald Green, creator Julie MacCoy says she also hopes they bring a sense of confidence to all those that wear them.

Beans + Bobbles Design Co. is a collection of handcrafted small-batch earrings that make a statement. The Lady Jane earrings are made from Polymer clay and stainless steel hypoallergenic components. Each piece is cut out, sanded, drilled and assembled by hand.

“I have so many strong women in my life that have helped me grow, who have been my biggest supporters,  and this is really a thank you to them. I wanted to make these earrings to empower women. It’s about feeling good in your own skin, while lifting each other up. Women helping women to grow in business, in life, and  relationships.”

The Lady Jane earrings will be available for Craft Revival on November 22nd and 29th via www.beansbobblesdesignco.com. They can also be purchased at the Waxxed Candle Co. shop. 

@beansbobblesdesign

If you are looking for other Holiday bling, Thunder Bay now has its very own accessory. Handmade in Niagara, The Loop has customized cuff bracelets made of aluminium that are eco-friendly and hypo-allergenic. Each cuff is customized with Thunder Bay love. You can either gift the Sunrise Sleeping Giant Cuff or I heart TBAY Cuff. A stamp that commemorates the amalgamation of Port Arther and Fort William is engraved on the inside. Expect them in the store the week of November 23rd. 

6. Pretty Fly Co.

Since opening in August, Pretty Fly Co. has also become widely popular as a one-stop-shop for gifting, no matter the occasion. With an eclectic mix of products that are as unique as the Bay & Algoma District the shop is a part of, the modern general store is the perfect place to browse all things cool this holiday season, for anyone on your gift list.

Owner, Ida-Maria Cirillo wanted to curate a collection that was comprised of “pretty fly” items that you normally couldn’t get in Thunder Bay- and I think she achieved just that. Due to the  assortment of high-quality and unique products sourced locally, nationally and internationally, the store appeals to the tastes of all its shoppers. The shelves are packed with a mishmash of home goods and gifts, including beauty and wellness products, jewelry, clothing, socks, and snacks.

“When shoppers come into my store I want them to feel like they’re visiting an art gallery or a sensory museum. Everything is bright, everything smells good, there are many textures and things to see. I want to create a space of inclusivity. I have heard the space makes people feel calm, happy and relaxed when they visit and I’m absolutely overjoyed hearing that (even though Chico barks at them).” Chico is the store’s security dog.

A notable brand sold in-store includes Well Kept of Vancouver, BC. Their safety razor kits are a fantastic gift. The company focuses on reducing their ecological footprint and are doing so by making safety razors (the type we remember our grandfathers using) to replace plastic ones that we throw out every year (over 1 billion in the USA alone). The other brand Pretty Fly is excited to bring to Thunder Bay is Wolf Circus, a woman owned jewelry company that is also from Vancouver. I personally recommend the locally inspired pennants, and if you are looking for fun items for stocking stuffers, Pretty Fly has you covered: reusable bags, bath salts, candy, chocolate… the list goes on.

Ida-Maria’s tip for shopping this holiday season- come early! Pretty Fly is located at 198 1/2 Algoma Street.

www.pretty-fly.ca    @prettyfly_co

7. Thunder Bay Maps
Vintage Prints- Tolone Art

A gift that will send you back in time. Teacher, Caterina Tolone fell upon an interesting find while doing research for a class project this past year. Searching for information on the history of Thunder Bay’s theatres, she discovered old vintage maps of our city’s past: Fort William and Port Arthur.

Seeing the significance in the treasures from the 1930’s and 40’s instantly, she digitally restored them and wanted to share them with the rest of the city.  Looking at the maps you can easily compare roads of the past and present, and each tells a story of how quickly things have change. 

“A lot of my art has to with Thunder Bay, my environment and where I come from. Prints like this are very inspiring to me. They are informative, and offer a glimpse into the past with their bold graphic appeal, which makes them so interesting to look at.”

As a compliment to the maps, you can also gift a matching tie, scarf or luggage tag.  The vintage pieces are guaranteed great conversation pieces and a way to show love for our city.  Also be sure to check out Tolone Art’s original paintings, prints, chiffon scarves, Sleeping Giant greeting cards and ultra plush blankets.

They are available online at toloneart.com. You can also email: tolone.art@gmail.com or send Caterina a message via her social accounts to order.

@toloneart

TBay Neighbourhood Print- Pulp + Paper

From historic, to modern. The TBay Neighbourhood Map is designed so you can point out your childhood stomping ground, your current hood – of just claim your favourite side of town. So what is yours? PA for or FW?

Available in 11×14 and 16×20 prints during the Virtual Craft Revival starting November 22. 

pulpcreativeshop.ca

@pulpandpapercreative

8. Gift-Worthy Sweets

There’s a lot to enjoy about the holiday season, but one of the best parts of all the festivities is the SWEET TREATS! Surprise and delight friends, family and those special someones with fresh baked gourmet holiday cookies and fudge.

Santa’s Reindeer Cookie Set- Soul Cookie

Soul Cookie sugar cookies are guaranteed to make a yummy gift!! The only challenge will be keeping yourself from gobbling them up before you give them away.  In March 2020, Shannon Maloney was sent to work from home due to COVID-19. After one two many banana breads and a shortage of yeast, she saw an online sugar cookie class being offered in April. The rest really is history.

“My small business started ‘by accident’ when I posted a set of cookies I made online and a friend messaged and asked if I would take an order. Baking things and making people happy is what fills my bucket and feeds my soul.”

Inspired by Thunder Bay’s infamous ‘Persian’, the Reindeer Cookie Set features all nine of Santa’s reindeer on cinnamon roll sugar cookies with a raspberry royal icing. $5 from each purchase will support Isthmus – Thunder Bay, a charity that provides reliable access to food for children on weekends. Each cookie set is $32. Orders close on December 1st, and can be placed by visiting: http://tiny.cc/soulcookiechristmas

@soulcookietbay

Sprucedale Farms Fudge Holiday Sampler

Fudge is just one of those desserts that people can never seem to get enough of. And for good reason! It’s silky and creamy and oh-so-addictive. The only thing you really have to do, is figure out which flavour to give but that’s where the Sprucedale Farm’s Fudge Holiday Sampler Gift Box comes in! No decisions necessary.

Perfect for the indecisive amongst us, the Sampler Gift Box is exactly what you need. This is a great gift, as it allows the recipient to indulge in eight samples of fudge. Sprucedale Farms offers 75 flavours of fudge and is always trying something new. Savour the season with the below yummy flavours. There’s something for everyone to love.

  • Eggnog and spiced rum
  • Hot chocolate
  • Cafe peppermint mocha
  • Chocolate candy cane
  • Coffee and baileys
  • Triple chocolate
  • Maple walnut
  • Salted caramel
  • Butter pecan

Sprucedale Farm’s fudge is a taste of home made with high quality ingredients (local whenever possible). “My goal with my fudge is full flavour not over the top sweet. I am frequently told by people that they don’t like fudge because it’s too sweet and then they try mine and change their mind.”

Sprucedale Farms Fudge is available at the Country Market Store, Authentique Gift Shop, Green Acre Variety and online at Superior Seasons. You can also message for a special order.

@sprucedealefarmsgillies

9. Rose N Crantz Roasting Co’s Coffee Subscription

We all have that one person in our life who cannot function without their coffee, so why not give that ‘Cup of Joe’ a whole new meaning. Rose N Crantz Roasting Co’s Coffee Subscription is the perfect way to make sure they never run out of coffee again, and perhaps inspire a new appreciation about the coffee in their life. You can customize an at-home experience according to their favourite variety of RnCRC coffee, the amount of coffee, and the delivery frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly).

Rose N Crantz Roasting Co was founded in 2013, and specializes in helping coffee enthusiasts “love the coffee you drink and drink the coffee you love”. The team roasts each week to ensure the freshest options possible.

“A coffee subscription is a practical and thoughtful gift, perfect for pretty much anyone who makes coffee at home on a regular basis, has a busy schedule, or just plain loves coffee!”

Compliment your gift with some coffee gear like a grinder.  The number one thing to invest in first is a good grinder, according to RnCRC Founder Jamie Nichols. His advice for coffee drinkers:

“If you are going to drink your coffee- drink your coffee black. If you get used to drinking Rose N Crantz coffee black, you will actually notice a sweetness to it. I enjoy coffee in very small amounts, in very small cups, where the temperature is just right. Fresh ground, fresh brewed. 18 minutes is usually the standard to drink your coffee.”

Rose N Crantz Roasting Co is currently offering free home delivery of coffee subscriptions within Thunder Bay city limits. For details visit: www.rnccoffee.ca  Contact the team directly to arrange a certificate for the recipient.

@rnccoffee

10. Puzzle- North Shore Puzzles

Are you puzzled about what to get some of your friends and family? Look no further. This past summer,  a Thunder Bay couple created North Shore Puzzle Company. They offer unique 250 or 500 piece jig-saw puzzles showcasing recognizable Thunder Bay landscapes and landmarks including the Sea Lion, Silver Islet and High Falls. The duo can also create a customized puzzle, using a photo you supply (so thoughtful!). Everything from the puzzle, to the puzzle box, is manufactured right in their shop.

“Our puzzles make great Christmas gifts because they are a fun family activity to do around the holidays and into the winter months. What makes our puzzles special is you get to put together a picture of a local landscape that you know and love!”

My advice, when doing these puzzles- start with the outer edge and compliment it with a bottle of wine. Like any good puzzle, there is definitely a level of difficulty 🙂

http://www.northshorepuzzles.ca

@northshorepuzzles

11. Holiday Markets
A Collective Christmas

After a year, which has left many of us lacking in cheer, here’s a chance to get some festive joy back into your life! A Collective Christmas is being cautiously presented by Ungalli Clothing Co, kraft and Red Lion Smokehouse. It will be held in reserved mini-sessions* on November 26th,December 3rd and 10th. Ten different local artisans and vendors will be featured per market and will be strategically spaced out throughout the Red Lion and the Ungalli Collective building, which will allow people plenty of room to ensure they maintain social distancing.

This event is now  SOLD OUT. However, stay tuned for a fun holiday giveaway with the opportunity to win a table for you and your besties/family from your social bubble. ***UPDATE: Unfortunately this event has been cancelled but stay tuned for a fun Christmas Collective kraft box that will be available for purchase along with a vendors shopping list. 

Virtual Craft Revival

Over the years Christmas markets have really evolved into an essential staple for the holiday season in Thunder Bay, so if you don’t have the opportunity to get to one in person or just prefer to shop from home, you can visit the grandest of them all… and right from the comforts of your own living room.

This year Craft Revival is being hosted virtually, with a MASSIVE online shopping portal that will go live November 22nd until December 6th. It will feature over 140 of your favourite Craft Revival artisans from all across Northwestern Ontario, that will all be organized by category which makes shopping EASY peasy!

Use the coupon code: CR2020 to activate a free delivery of all of your items to Eaton’s. Then you can conveniently pickup all of your purchases on the same day at the same place, at a very vintage themed location. (And yes, I said Eaton’s. Remember Eaton’s!! The department store at Red River Rd and Court St… that operated during the golden age of retail! Stay tuned for a very AWESOME announcement over the holidays about this former Thunder Bay shopping hotspot).

thecraftrevival.com

12. Cheekbone Beauty

Gifting made beautiful. Cheekbone Beauty has become known for making a statement and shows just how powerful makeup can be. The Indigenous-owned cosmetics brand was created by 2019 Chatelaine Woman of the Year, Jennifer Harper, who also turned heads when she recently turned down her big deal on Dragon’s Den.

Cheekbone Beauty aims to make Indigenous youth feel seen in the beauty community. Ten percent of sales from the Canadian-made, cruelty-free cosmetics line go to Shannen’s Dream, a campaign that advocates for better education for First Nations children.

Products are exclusively sold in Thunder Bay at Ritual Skin Co. Along with the brand’s beauty staples, you can find their top selling liquid lipsticks that are named after inspiring Indigenous woman like Olympian and speaker Waneek Horn-Miller, activist Sarain Fox, former Mrs. Universe Ashley Callingbull and singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Ritual Skin Co. is also carrying Cheekbone Beauty’s limited-edition holiday lipstick trio that is in collaboration with celebrated Métis visual artist, Christi Belcourt. The lipsticks are all housed in a custom-designed gift box decorated with Belcourt’s signature floral motif, meant to evoke customary Métis beadwork designs.

“At Cheekbone Beauty we share Christi Belcourt’s same zaagi’idiwin (or mutual love) for Indigenous youth. Learning we both are creating places using colour where our youth feel seen and heard. Helping them see the beauty in their reflections. We share a strong appreciation for all of creation. We are overjoyed to have this opportunity to work with an Iconic Indigenous artist.” – Jenn Harper, Founder Cheekbone Beauty

@cheekbonebeauty  @ritualskinco

13. Red Lion Smokehouse Cooking Classes

Give the gift of making cooking memories. Whether you’re shopping for your brother who still doesn’t know how to fry an egg, or your partner who really wants to take their cooking to the next level (we could only wish ;)), nothing compares to observing a seasoned professional do what they love and do best. The Red Lion Smokehouse cooking classes are a great way to satisfy your culinary curiosities, build a skill or two, and share in the love of cooking with good company.

Each class runs between three to four hours taking place on Sundays in January and February. Lead by Red Lion’s Michelin-trained Chef John Murray, you will try your hand at creating pub classics, including the cornbread and Scotch Egg, a traditional British dish.

“The classes are essentially a real intimate sneak peak into our kitchen. At the same time, each dish can easily be replicated in an at home setting.”

Guests will enjoy a cocktail at the bar while they get their creative juices flowing, and then get suited up for the kitchen and prep. During the class, you will get to try everything you cook, so Chef Murray recommends all participants show up hungry.

Cooking class at Redlion Smokehouse is $100 per person and you can book groups of two to six guests. Call Red Lion Smokehouse to reserve your class (807) 286-0045.  

@redlionsmokehouse

14. Westfort Vintage Matching Tees- Westfort Productions

What’s cuter than a dad and his little ones in matching shirts!?  If you’re looking for a gift for the dad in your life — or maybe one from the kids— look no further than one of these adorable matching shirts. Get the matchy-matchy gift from Westfort Productions that will leave him reminiscing about growing up in the Thunder Bay neighbourhood.

Each shirt features an iconic Westfort location that is meaningful to the Westfort Productions crew and basically anyone and everyone who has spent time in the hotspot locations. 

“From summers swimming at Heath Pool, to telling secrets to a best friend on the Brown St Bridge, or a date for sliders at Coney Island, these shirts capture our greatest memories of Westfort. Plus we’ve heard that putting on one of these shirts instantly makes you 15% more ‘Westfort’ which is never a bad thing.”

www.westfortproductions.com/goods

@westfortproductions

15. Seasons in the Country

The perfect mixture of darling holiday decor, and a modern twist on holiday classic. Welcome to Christmas AKA Seasons in the Country! Walking into this gorgeous shop that is tucked away on the winding Highway 130, you’ll be struck by the all of the awesome Christmas items and locally crafted products. Unique ornaments hang from every corner of the shop, while display cases are stacked with so many gift options including candles, ceramics, wood works, metal designs, knits and more—a variety of earthy and sparkling items.

The seasonal shop celebrates local artisans and their craft, this year sourcing products and work from over 50 locals. Complimented by hand tied wreaths and winter foliage containers, fresh cut balsam, spruce and cedar fill the neighbouring greenhouse with their fragrance.  The wreaths hanging on doors with festive invitation- it’s definitely a celebration of winter and the holiday season.

Inspired by surrounding nature and local crafters, owner and creator Karen Crewe originally opened the business back in 2001 in a section of her garage. She taught herself to create a holiday wreath, and before she knew it, was making them for family, friends and neighbours. She’s now in her 19th season at the shop.

“The shop is a magical place during the holiday season. There is something for everyone and an opportunity to display creativity.  I welcome all artisans.”

For 2020, Season’s in the Country is offering scheduled shopping parties on Wednesday and Sunday. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are walk-in days.  Five people can be in the shop at a time, but Karen says you can expect an outdoor fire to stay warm while you wait. The Christmas shop is located at 338 Hwy 130.

www.seasonsinthecountry.net

@seasons_in_the_country

16. Glerups- J.B. Evans Fashions & Footwear

From farm to foot, this gift will make someone’s feet very happy. Crafted using 100% natural wool, Glerups are 100% awesome. After a day of adulting, there’s really nothing more soul-pleasing than sliding into a comfy pair of warm, comfy slippers.

These beauties are meant to be worn sockless, but bonus, they don’t get funky as the wool breathes very well and actually wicks moisture. The more you wear them, the more they mould to your foot shape, and after a while will realllllly start to grow on you. The result is a shoe that feels like you’re walking on air.

The traditional, super-cozy Scandinavian house shoe is available in three models: ankle boot (great for winter), low shoe, and open heel (ideal for year-round use), and available with either a calfskin leather or rubber sole.

NSTP Snapback Black Bear- North Standard Trading Post

While visiting J.B. Evans Fashions & Footwear you should also check out items from North Standard Trading Post. It’s a a collection of lifestyle goods that’s best known for their mascot bear, and quality of products that aim to last the test of time.

Andrew Moro of J.B. Evans explains that the Thunder Bay shop has worked with the owners of NSTP before the Canadian company even came to be, as the creators started out as sales reps for other brands they carried. “We love the NSTP brand because it is unique, Canadian, and owned by a great, small family in Toronto.”

jbevans.ca  @jbevanstbay

17. Lake Superior Board- Paddy O’Boards

There’s something about wood that’s just so homey. These butcher blocks created by Paddy O’Boards will definitely make you feel at home, as they are individually handcrafted in the shape of our favourite (and the world’s greatest) lake. The Lake Superior boards are created by local Patrick O’Connor, who is truly a master of the craft,  involved in woodworking for over 35 years.

Made of hardwood, it’s a combination of maple, oak, cherry and birch using a food safe adhesive and finished with a Watco butcher block finish.The board is also very versatile. You can slice, dice, chop, serve, and entertain with the uniquely-designed chopping block. Not to mention an awesome way to simply spruce up your kitchen décor. I personally love it for charcuterie at camp.

Check out paddyoboards.comor head to Sweet North, Cheese Encounter, or Sleeping Giant Brewing Co to pick one up with your fav shop brand. I also recommend the perfect coffee scoop available at Sweet North. 

@paddyoboards

18. Waxxed Candle Co.

Stay lit this holiday season… but don’t forget to trim your wick. Guys, if you’re looking for a place where you can basically buy anything on the shelf for the lady in your life, this is the no fail zone. It’s no secret, most gals love candles!!! Waxxed Candle Co is the latest shop to open in the downtown Waterfront District, and it not only looks good, but smells divine.

Created by fun-loving Aussie, Kate Strange, who you might remember from last year’s gift list (kraft box co-founder), Waxxed Candle Co creates hand-poured candle goodness, with fun and yummy candles for every season. And I know I personally look forward to the holidays for SEASONAL SCENTS!

Tree Farm,  Egg Nog, Sweet Plum, Cranberry Woods, After Eight and my all-time fav Gingerbread … fire up one of these holiday candles to make your days extra special, as they all bring feelings of comfort and magic in your own home. Scents just emanating from the cheerful little flames.

Since starting her little biz (that isn’t so little anymore), Kate has made over 10,000 candles, which I definitely think is some sort of record! Especially given, they are each individually hand poured. “I am still blown away with the local love in Thunder Bay,” Kate told me, as she reminisced about a past time when she used to make candles in her kitchen, while debating with her fiancé about buying boxes of wax…nervous that they wouldn’t use it all. Now she orders pallets and it isn’t uncommon to run out.

Kate can’t keep the 100% coconut wax candles on the shelves!!  Personally, I know that despite the number of candles I have, I still manage to convince myself I need a new scent every time I visit the shop. (Which is often.)  If you’re gifting a candle pair it with one of the kraft boxes- Holiday Box, YAE Box or the Naked Box, or a hat from Knits by Nat who you can usually find knitting away in the back of the shop, watching Law and Order.

The Waxxed Candle Co Shop is located at 16 Cumberland St North. Just look for the pink door!

Photos by Maria Maria

www.waxxedcandleco.com

@waxxedcandle.co_

19. Cups for a Cause

Feel good about this season’s shopping!  Isn’t it nice when you can find a gift that does a little something extra? You can pay it forward twice when you give your loved one a charitable gift. From providing meals, supporting local farms and helping the environment, these cups give back this holiday season. Let’s raise our mugs to that!

Roots to Harvest Local Food Fund Mug

When you gift this enamel Roots to Harvest local food mug, $15 goes directly to help build the organization’s Local Food Resiliency Fund. The fund ensures that Roots to Harvest can support local food producers, harvesters, hunters, fishers and farmers by purchasing their food to include in their community meals and  food markets. The fund also supports low-income community members to have the best access to healthy food while also supporting our local food economy. Available for purchase at the Roots to Harvest shop located at 450 Fort William Rd. 

rootstoharvest.org

@rootstoharvest

Taste of Home- Festive Fundraiser Gift Basket by EcoSuperior

I think you will agree the the taste of coffee is simply better out a beautiful ceramic mug, especially one that looks like this.The Taste of Home Basket in support of EcoSuperior, truly embodies its mission of  “building a healthy future for people and the planet”. It includes the Lake Superior Home mug created by Sunshine Pottery. The one of a kind, hand crafted cups were made on the shores of the world’s largest fresh water lake, and inspires connection.

The basket also includes Boreal Forest Tea (foraged locally and best steeped in Lake Superior water),  two organic cotton reusable tea bags, and a gift card for EcoSuperior, all in a paper EcoSuperior bag.

The gift basket helps support and maintain EcoSuperior’s environmental programming in Thunder Bay. They are available for purchase online. ecosuperior.org

@ecosuperior

20. Eaten & Told: German Christmas Market Bundle

Christmas in traditional German towns and the snow-frosted Alps, is the stuff of storybooks.  Twinkling markets full of Yuletide delights and towering Christmas trees, gingerbread, Glühwein and carol singers.

Eaten & Told connects people to places through food, curated product bundles and culinary events, in hopes that people get to experience things a little differently from their everyday lives, all through storytelling and their senses. 

The German Christmas Market Bundle highlights the traditional German Christmas Market experience through the tastes you would typically encounter wandering the stalls and the many snacks on offer. The bundle includes drinking chocolate from Austria, mulling spices to make your very own Glühwein or spiced apple cider at home, a set of mugs, candied nuts, German cookies baked by Sweet North Bakery and stories to guide you through the market experience.

 “The bundles are a way for people to travel through food with a selection of curated quality products from these places. Every bundle is an experience that comes to life through the stories of the producers and the artisans I highlight,” shares creator Melissa Gagné . “I wanted to give people a way to travel through taste and story without having to leave their homes.”

Smaller versions of the Nordic Bundle will also be available that will include coffee beans from Sweden, liquorice from Denmark, and chocolate from Norway. The bundles can be ordered at www.eatenandtold.com

@eatenandtold

BONUS: Westermann Creative Winter Scenes Card Set

To go with all your gifts, you definitely need a card. The Westermann Creative Winter Scenes Card Set features six beautifully illustrated Tbay scenes, created by Lisa Westermann. Each card captures the wintertime and holiday season, like skating at Prince Arthur’s Landing, and skiing at Mount Baldy. Fun little detail- Lisa included her family in the Bay & Algoma window shopping scene. See if you can spot them! 

Be sure to check out the Wasterman Art’s customized Christmas ornaments, Thunder Bay magnets and stickers. It’s a fun way to give a local touch to any of your gifts. 

www.westermanncreative.com

Thank you for shopping local this holiday season. Supporting local can also include liking and sharing small businesses, creators, and artisans social media posts, following their accounts, sharing about their products with your friends, or even creating your own post. Spread the local love this holiday season.

Happy shopping & stay safe.

#BayAwesome xo

About the author

Amanda Bay

Amanda is a PR Gal from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. She is a self-proclaimed news junkie, hot yoga addict, and above all else, a young professional. Amanda has been navigating the media world for over 14 years. With a background in journalism, she began her career in broadcasting as a Radio Personality and News Director , and then moved into the role of Photojournalist and Television News Anchor. Joining the Firedog Communications team back in 2009, she now lives and breathes to create a reaction as the Director of Communications and PR.

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