Ready or not, the holiday season is here, with the trifecta of big shopping days Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday kicking off this weekend. Sure, Small Business Saturday may not create the frenzy as the other two, but for many, that’s part of the day’s charm. Aimed at boosting sales for local independent shops, the day gives smaller mom-and-pop stores a chance to shine and garner focused community support.
Small Business Saturday received a boost in popularity with the sponsorship of American Express in 2010, offering a rebate for cardholders who spend $10+ on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Also, the American Express site and the Small Business Saturday Facebook page offer promotional tips (use hashtag #Shopsmall and #SmallBizSat on social media, for example) and other resources to help promote the day.
Below we’ve placed a spotlight on a few shops and attractions around the Twin Cities that could use your support this Small Business Saturday and all year long! We invite you to add your favorites in the comment section.
Related articles and blogs:
Have you heard about the new 24-hour diner in Minneapolis? The shop, located on northern end of Eat Street corridor on Nicollet Ave. & 15th St., made its long-awaited debut in September of this year. Shop owners Sam Turner and Dion Coker, (who also own Muffin Top Café next door) applied for a 24-hour license which was approved Sept 23.
On Nov. 7, the shop’s doors opened at 6 a.m. and haven’t closed since. “It was a little emotional, because we never have to shut our open signs off again” recalls Mitchell Anywaush, Nicollet Diner Front of House Manager. “This place means a lot to us. It’s kind of our second home. We want to see it strive and survive… many of us who work here are a part of the community” he said.
The Nicollet Diner is LGBT-owned and open to anyone seeking quality food in an old-fashioned diner with a modern-day twist. The shop’s favorites are the hot sandwiches, like the open-faced meatloaf sandwich, and malts! For a limited time the shop is offering a free $5 bonus gift card with $25 gift card purchase. You can get your bonus balance on a separate card or add it to one you’re purchasing. Check the Facebook page for more news, deals and updates throughout the holiday season.
1428 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis MN; 612-399-MALT (6258)
Honorable mention: Muffin Top Café 1424 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis; 612-315-5946
Photos courtesy of The Nicollet Diner Facebook Page & Paige Elliott
“I hope our shop helps to show that there are many avenues of fashion and they are all enjoyable. But Western wear is among the most fun!” says Glenn Wetterlund, owner of Cool Clear Water in Minneapolis. Wetterlund’s colorful shop, which opened four months ago, specializes in “Rockabilly Olio,” an interesting and eclectic mix of vintage Western wear and musical instruments.
This weekend, the store is offering 15 percent off merchandise for patrons who post a photo of themselves on social media with an item purchased from the store. The discount is offered completely on the “honor system,” says store representative J.J. McDonald. Just tell the cashier that you’ll post a photo of your purchase and mention the store, and enjoy 15 percent off your merchandise. Check the Facebook page for more news and updates.
1900 Johnson St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-788-4299
Tuesday – Thursday: 11 am – 7 pm
Friday: 11 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 5 pm
Sunday: Noon – 4 pm
Mondays (appointment only)
Photos by J.J McDonald, courtesy of Cool Clear Water Facebook page
Are you in need of floral arrangements this holiday season? Consider Bouquets by Carolyn (BBC) on Selby Ave. & Milton St. in Saint Paul. BBC has been a staple in the neighborhood along Selby Avenue for 25 years, catering to a wide range of floral arrangements for weddings and funerals, as well as church services and seasonal needs.
Established in 1990 by Carolyn Smaller, BBC was the first African-American woman owned floral business in Saint Paul. Smaller stumbled upon the business by way of a community class in decorating. “My neighbor and I decided to take a class in decorating,” says Smaller. “I ended up loving it and she hated it,” she said with a laugh. Smaller was encouraged by her late husband to open her shop after being laid off from her job. The shop began with artificial floral designs and expanded to fresh flowers and live plants after a year in business. Today the shop sells gifts, cards, pillows and both artificial and fresh plants and floral arrangements.
BBC is offering a 10 percent discount on floral arrangements this holiday season. Call 651-487-8122 to place an order or visit the website.
920 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul; 651-487-8122
Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 6 pm
Friday & Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Honorable mention: Golden Thyme Coffee, 921 Selby Ave, St Paul; 651-645-1340
Photos courtesy of Bouquets by Carolyn & Paige Elliott
For Small Business Saturday, Regla De Oro Art Gallery is offering a free ornament with purchase (while supplies last). The gallery is offering another opportunity to support local artists on Sunday with a Holiday Trunk Show featuring artists: Beth Soll (Glass Jewelry), Christine Basina (Jewelry), Nina Guertin (Ceramic Angels), Nicole Amaris & Megan Longo (WreckCycled Accessories), to name a few. 10 percent of all sales will be donated to Springboard for The Arts.
2743 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis
Small Business Saturday Promotion – Nov. 29: 11 am – 8 pm
Local Artist Holiday Trunk Show: Sun – Nov. 30: 11 am – 3 pm
Over 100 small businesses will gather in one cozy location, literally a one-stop shopping hub for your Small Business Saturday needs. Bring your nonperishable food items for donations to Neighborhood House. The festivities include music from Eclectic Entertainment’s DJ E, and a visit from Santa for the kids!
179 Robie St. in St. Paul
9:30 am – 2:30 pm
New Twin Cities Holiday Markets:
Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul are venturing into the European Christmas Market festivities this season, offering a great opportunity to support local artisans and food vendors on Small Business Saturday. Details below.
This weekend, the West 7th Place corridor near Rice Park in Saint Paul will kick off the holiday season with a three-day European Christmas Market. The market will feature European inspired food, delicacies and seasonal beers, and feature handmade goods from local crafters, artisans and food vendors. Find that the perfect locally-made gift in a festive and charming holiday atmosphere. Free admission.
European Christmas Market Hours: Nov. 28: 2 pm – 9 pm; Nov. 29: 10 am – 9 pm; Nov. 30: 10 am – 3 pm
The Holidazzle Village featuring the Minneapolis Holiday Market replaces the Holidazzle parade which ran its last colorful course last year. This year, the Holidazzle Village offers revelers a chance to take in the open-air sounds, sights and tastes of the holiday season along Nicollet Mall. The European-style market features 30 booths of handmade crafts, food and other goodies by local and international artists, craftspeople and vendors. The village is free but there’s a one-time $3 to $6 fee for the market, good for the admission for the entire season. Check the Facebook page for updates. Download a free Metro pass to the market (Saturdays).
Holidazzle Village Hours: 3 pm – 8 pm
Nov. 28: Opening Night Fireworks at 6:30pm 29, 30
Dec. 6, 7: Glass Blowing Demonstrations beginning at 3:30 pm
Dec. 13-14: Dog Sledding Exhibitions beginning at 3:30 pm
Dec. 20-21: Ice Skating on Nicollet Mall beginning at 3 pm
Minneapolis Holiday Market Hours: Open Daily, Nov. 28 – Dec. 24: 11 am – 6 pm
Visit BuyLocalTwinCities.com and the Arts Mob Twin Cities’ Facebook page for more opportunities to support local businesses and artists. Use the comment section to let us know about more great local shops, deals and events!
Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.