Small Business Saturday 2020 Local Gift Guide


With Small Business Saturday coming up this weekend on the 28th, our local businesses need our support to stay open in the face of the ongoing pandemic this year more than ever before. Considering dropping the big box behemoths and instead uplift your neighbors and community by shopping around town for everyone on your holiday gift-giving list. Here are a few local gems with in-store, curbside, and online shopping options available that we’re sure will impress your loved ones… and remember to treat yourself, too. ‘Tis the season!


Good Scents


The Lucky Honeybee
The Heights, 487 Palisade Ave

The gift shop features eco-friendly gifts and goods, including candles, soaps, and apothecary products made by local and regional artists and crafters. The Lucky Honeybee will be offering 10% off merchandise on Black Friday through Sunday. Plus, the first 20 customers each day will receive a surprise goodie bag.

Gift idea: The Jersey City Candle Collection features three different jarred candles with hyper-local scent references inspired by the industrial roots of Jersey City – Pencil Shavings, Tobacco Leaf, and Soap Mill. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, a 501 (c) 3 dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting the architectural, cultural, and environmental heritage of Jersey City. $24 per 11 oz. candle.


Taproot Organics 
Bergan-Lafayette, 511 Communipaw Ave

Taproot Organics features aesthetically pleasing, handcrafted soaps, scrubs, and CBD products for humans and their pets. They have everything you and everyone on your gift list need to support beard, body, face and hair hygiene with beautifully hand-crafted bar soap, beard balms, body butter, and more. Taproot offers a 20% discount on products every Tuesday and is open for online sales and curbside pick up seven days a week.

Gift idea: For CBD lovers, the DREAMSTATE gift set is an easy-to-gift boxed bundle of a nice mix of vegan hemp products, including a joint therapy balm, massage oil, dream cream, bar soap, and preroll for $60. Or pick up the Craft Beer 4 Bar Soap Bundle for the brew-lover in your life, crafted from local New Jersey Beer Company beer for $40.


Sweets for the Sweet


Milk Sugar Love Creamery
Hamilton Park, 19 McWilliams Pl
The Heights, 394 Palisade Ave

The owner of Milk Sugar Love, Emma Taylor, has always been passionate about the ice cream she grew up with at the Jersey Shore and wanted to bring some of that boardwalk authenticity to her home in Jersey City. Her handcrafted small-batch ice cream and frozen treats use all-natural and organic ingredients and make the perfect gift for loved ones with a high-quality sweet tooth. The Hamilton Park location is open for pickup and delivery only for orders placed online. The Heights location will reopen on Friday, November 27 at 1 p.m. just in time for Small Shop Saturday.

Gift idea: If you really want to blow the mind of a sugar lover during the holidays, pick up The Fruity Pebble Mac Daddy ice cream cake, which features ice cream sandwiched between two massive, 8” macarons then rolled through Fruity Pebbles, for $40. Or go with a few of the much more reasonably sized versions for $6.


Lee Sims Chocolates 
McGinley Square, 743 Bergen Ave

Lee Sims Chocolates has been owned and operated by the same family for over 40 years in their same old-school, charming storefront on Bergen Ave. The sweet shop with the distinctive red and white awning offers everything you’d expect to see in a candy store, like dipped bon bons, caramels, nonpareils, peanut butter cups, and just about anything you can imagine chocolate-covered: pretzels, bananas, strawberries, apples, marshmallows, Oreos, and more. The iconic business has been a community staple here and in their second store in Staten Island, and recently gained national attention after being featured in the NY Times for its resilience in the face of COVID.

Gift idea: Lee Sims made it easy with their Holiday Gift Pyramids that feature a mix of gourmet chocolates, cookies, roasted nuts, and other treats boxed, pre-wrapped, and tied up with a big red bow. Just choose your size and have it shipped anywhere in the U.S. Pyramids range from $31.95 to $150.


For [Plant] Parents 


Hazel Baby & Kids
Downtown, 199 Montgomery St
Hamilton Park, 17 McWilliams Pl

Buy the best for all the new quarantine babies in your life! Hazel Baby & Kids is a sustainable and eco-friendly family-owned boutique offering toys, clothes, gear, bath products, and nursery necessities and décor. On Small Shop Saturday, Hazel Baby & Kids is hosting a pop up with Needle and Stitch Co. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at their flagship store to add embroidered three letter initials, four letter names or rainbows on items purchased from the shop.  


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hazel Baby & Kids (@hazelbabystore)

Gift ideas: Check out the New York and New Jersey collection and instill Jersey pride in baby from the jump with an organic hardwood cherry NJ State Rattle by Bannor Toys for $24 along with the Good Night New Jersey children’s book for $9.95.


Tia Planta 
Hamilton Park, 135 Erie St

Shayla Cabrera loves plants and loves helping others be the best plant parents they can be at Tia Planta through consulting, styling, and shopping. Although you may recognize Tia Planta from pop ups around the city, there is now a new, dedicated space to visit and shop. The grand opening of the new space is on Small Shop Saturday with a limit of two customers in the store at a time, so be sure to book an appointment or shop online before stopping in.

Gift idea: Start your loved ones down a successful green path by gifting them a Plant Parenting SOS Consultation. For $65, Shayla will teach budding plant parents over Zoom all they need to know about raising healthy plants at home and provide them with a written expert guide and 20% off coupon for a new plant purchase.


Mind and Body


Word Bookstores 
Downtown, 123 Newark Ave

With everyone spending a lot more time at home wishing we could be transported to a distant, less stressful place, many of us have turned to books to escape for a little while. Independent community bookstore Word has been helping stave off boredom and fear throughout the pandemic with an amazing selection of books and knowledgeable staff who always steer you in the right direction. Just ask them for tips on what to buy your loved ones for the holidays and you’re sure to walk out with a paper bag full of new favorites.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by WORD Bookstores (@wordbookstores)

Gift ideas: Word has put together their own book shopping gift guide full of bestsellers and hidden gems to make it easy to shop for your beloved bookworm


Jane DO 
Downtown, 172 Newark Avenue (outdoor class location)

Jane DO is a fitness brand started by two former Radio City Rockettes focused on uplifting women to become the most powerful versions of themselves through comprehensive cross training, aerobics, strength, and flexibility classes with locations in Jersey City and NYC. Currently, with the studio closed, they offer virtual livestream classes and outdoor classes with one week free to start. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jane DO (@janedo)

Gift ideas: Take advantage of the “BFS” sale happening over the Black Friday weekend to gift loved ones classes or gift cards to a future Jane DO class: Friday – up to 50% off all merchandise, Saturday – 20% off all gift cards, Monday – 20% off all class packs.


Craft Brews


Jersey City is home to amazing craft beer and liquor loved both locally and nationally. Departed Soles, who offers inventive beer flavors with gluten-free options, was the first modern brewery in Jersey City, while 902 Brewing recently opened their taproom in Bergen-Lafayette with an impressive rooftop down the street from their gin, whisky, and vodka distillery neighbor, Corgi Spirits. All three are open for on-site pours and curbside pick-ups, and are sure to impress any craft beer or liquor lover (read: lovable snob) on your list.

Gift ideas: Stop in and grab a few cans from Departed Soles’ and 902’s revolving beer menus, and a bottle of Earl Grey Gin from Corgi for next-level hot toddies.

902 Brewing 
Bergen-Lafayette, 101 Pacific Ave
902 brewery
PATH Pale Ale, Coffee Crumb Cake Breakfast Stout, Holiday Cream Ale, Small Batch Imperial Chocolate Marshmallow Milk Stout, Juicy City NEIPA, NJIPA, Kviek IPA, Hard Kombucha, Lemon Lime Gold Coast Seltzer, My Way NEIPA, Chilltown Pilsner Lager, Small Batch Cinnamon Coffee Porter, & Black Dynomite Black IPA available at 902Brewery


Departed Soles Brewing Company 
Powerhouse Arts District, 150 Bay St #2a


Corgi Spirits 
Bergen-Lafayette, 1 Distillery Dr


The Grind General Store 
Bergen-Lafayette, 293 Suydam Ave

Best known for their popular flagship coffee shop, The Grind Shop, the owners branched out a few blocks down the road and opened The Grind General Store right next to the Liberty State Park Light Rail stop in September 2020. There, locals can find a curated mix of produce, vegan products, groceries, beverages, and general home goods that makes it the perfect neighborhood quick-stop for snacks and necessities. 

Gift ideas: After grabbing milk and eggs for yourself, pick up a 12 oz bag of Grind coffee blend for $15, a Supreme Grind coffee mug for $25, and a Jersey City vs Everybody tote bag for $15 for a great DIY gift pack.


Local Indie Makers


There is also a treasure trove of small, independent makers in Jersey City without a physical storefront to support this holiday season. Just to name a few:

  • Anna Mae of Anna Mae Creates is a theater costume professional who sews children’s clothes, stockings, masks, and tote bags. 50% of proceeds of her RBG printed tote are donated to Planned Parenthood.
  • Aish Gupta of Spellbathing is a burn survivor who crafts hand-made skincare products, including clay masks, bath bombs, and bath salts from natural ingredients meant to help calm and refresh skin.
  • Laura Lew of Tchotchkes for Change creates handmade pins, clips, keychains, and more and donates all proceeds to local charities. Currently she is raising money for The Flow Initiative, a Jersey City-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect all girls, women, and menstruators from a lack of access to period products while erasing the stigma, shame and humiliation associated with period poverty.
  • Sam Cagman of Bloom with Sam is a yoga and reiki instructor who crafts soy, reiki-infused candles with ingredients like lavender and herbs to help relieve stress and clear negativity as well as offers tarot card readings. 
  • Jefapants is a mother and local daughter team creating Ruth Bader Ginsberg sweatshirts and totes with all proceeds donated to charity. Currently they are raising funds for the Democratic Georgia Senate Run-off, and then the Malala Fund after. 
  • On December 12, stop by The Hive Goods and Deep Space Gallery from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the Holiday Bazaar featuring vendors from many of the above listed and other local, indie JC businesses who are creating unique, one-of-a-kind gifts to fit everyone on your list.


Check out our 2019 Small Shop Saturday guide for even more amazing small businesses to support now and all year round!