For the last few years, Small Business Saturday has been part of the holiday shopping season. It’s a refreshing change from Black Friday and Cyber Monday since it encourages consumers to visit small brick and mortar stores. Despite being a corporation-made holiday, it’s a good reminder to shop local and support your communities.
For example, this year, I went to Just Jersey in Morristown, which carries a wide range of local designers and manufacturers. The food selection was particularly great with sea salt by Cape May Sea Salt Co., freshly roasted coffee by Asbury Park Roastery, and local honey by The Bare Bee Apiary.
Cape May Sea Salt Co. offers locally sourced and harvested salt for cooking and dining. The salt is hand-harvested using traditional methods with water from the Atlantic Ocean, sourced at select locations in South Jersey. From there, it’s delivered to the green house at Windy Acres Farms, which has been outfitted to a modern salt house. At the salt house, water evaporates in a multistage process to the point of crystallization. The result is flaky salt that comes packaged in pouches and attractive tins. I personally like the tin, since you can keep it on your dining table, and reuse it. The taste of the salt is quite strong and the right amount is a very personal choice. This way your family or guests can decide how much they want to use.
At Just Jersey, the next product that caught my eye was coffee by Asbury Park Roastery. The store carried their unique Just Jersey blend made with organic, fair-trade beans. The coffee is roasted in small batches, right before shipping and comes in a compostable bag, which means it is really fresh and flavorful. Another great holiday gift for local residents is the New Jersey Seasonal Food Guide by Jessica Haas Design. It helps you eat in season and looks great in any kitchen. And last, no holiday would be complete without some tea with locally sourced honey. The Bare Bee Apiary is a small production apiary located in historic New Vernon, New Jersey. All hives are managed without chemicals and the honey is never heated or treated. The jars have a cute logo where the wings on the bee mirror the letter B of the name.
Regardless where you live, it's great to support neighborhood businesses and shop local.