Wondering how to shop local and support our wonderful small businesses without violating the COVID-19 shelter in place orders? We were, too! We want to keep as much money flowing through our local economy, so remember your favorite local businesses when you buy gifts and essentials. Most of these places allow online ordering with either local delivery or curbside-ish pickup.
If you’re sending gifts to faraway family, it is
just nearly as easy to have our local shops fulfill their wishes! Keep your money in our community when possible. It makes a real difference.
Please leave more ideas in the comments.
East Bay Toys & Crafts
Artist & Craftsman, Berkeley. Artist & Craftsman has a lovely assortment of chalk, paint, clay, sketch books, canvasses, and trinkets. Shop online for Artist & Craftsman supplies.
Bricks & Minifigs, Concord. Bricks & Minifigs is shipping LEGO sets and pieces to your home. Pair the new bricks with inspiration from LEGO Masters, the TV show, for hours of playtime. Shop online with Bricks & Minifigs Concord >
Color Me Mine, Alameda. Color Me Mine Alameda has created to-go kits. Select the pottery pieces you want and up to 6 colors (or choose SURPRISE ME for 8 colors). Return items to the shop for firing. Schedule Color Me Mine to-go >
Five Little Monkeys, multiple Need a fun surprise to liven up the day and pull your kids’ attention from fighting and screens? Five Little Monkeys is a community-based toy store with unique, high quality toys in six Bay Area locations. New products added every day.
FLAX Art & Design, Oakland. FLAX Art & Design lets you order online for all FLAX’ kids goodies like books, face paint, craft supplies, clay, easels, and lots more! Pick local delivery, in-store shopping, or curbside pickup.
Games of Berkeley. Telegraph’s giant game store is fully stocked with chess sets, trading cards, strategy games, stuffies, and lots more. They’ve been super nice to me back-and-forth strategizing about my children’s wishlists. Shop Games of Berkeley >
HANDS-ON! Berkeley. HANDS-ON! has created dozens of at-home STEM kits that can be used individually or for groups of scientists. Read all about the science experiment kits or shop from home on their website >
Mischief, Oakland. Oakland’s Mischief is known for local crafts, workshops and gathering with friends. They also have fun crafts for kids (and the parents who really need to unwind at the end of a day!). Shop Mischief online.
Mr. Mopps Toy Shop & Book Shop, Berkeley. Reopened at the beginning of December with online ordering and pick up at the storefront. Shop Mr. Mopps >
Twirl, Alameda. Twirl Alameda has created age-appropriate crafty kits for a week’s worth of creative fun for little ones. Delivery fees are included. $10 surcharge outside of Alameda. Order a Twirl craft kit >
A Verb for Keeping Warm, Oakland. North Oakland’s A Verb for Keeping Warm is encouraging us to stay home and shop online for their gorgeous handmade craft items. Knit, embroider, dye, and sew. Shop A Verb for Keeping Warm online >
Create a magical outing: Hire the Christmas Pedicab to bike you through your local errands down a particular shopping zone.
Whenever possible, buy your books from your neighborhood book store. If you prefer ebooks, check out Libro.fm. Libro.fm makes it possible for you to buy audiobooks through your favorite independent book shop. Most of these great places can offer curbside pickup, helpful advice, or national delivery. Just ask!
- Books on B is Hayward’s hometown bookstore. Buy from Books on B >
- Books, Inc. is the West’s oldest independent bookseller. Shop Books, Inc >
- A Great Good Place for Books! is Montclair’s beloved bookstore, Shop A Great Good Place for Books >
- East Bay Booksellers, Oakland is open for business. Shop East Bay Booksellers on College Ave. >
- Moe’s Books, Berkeley has books and some cute branded items. Buy from Moe’s Books on Telegraph >
- Mrs. Dalloway’s. Buy now from Order from Mrs. Dalloway’s in Elmwood >
- Pegasus Books is Berkeley & Oakland’s indie bookstore. Shop Pegasus Bookstore >
- Walden Pond Books in Oakland is open every day. Order from Walden Pond on Grand Ave. >
- Local comic book shops need love too.
Gifts of Food: Snacks and Drinks
Coffee and Spice
- Farley’s East has gone beyond coffee to create some gorgeous Oakland-themed food gift boxes. They also create a rotating menu of dinner favorites so a gift card would always be welcome.
- Oaktown Spice Shop continues to level up their offerings with spices, teas, and creative gift collections. Order for at-the-door pickup or delivery.
- Nest of Comforts, Berkeley creates special tea service gift packages among other items.
Snacks and Treats
- Local Food Adventures has five Bay Area love gift boxes including some for bakers and barbecuers.
- Umami Mart in Oakland celebrates food, drinks, and Japanese culture with some incredible combination packages.
- There are beautiful and tasty chocolates just waiting to come to your house at The Xocolate Bar. I found some dearly priced hot cocoa bombs there and hope we are worthy.
- Order a quarantine care package of delicious pastries, cookies, dessert, and quick bread mini loaf for East Bay delivery. Order from Batch Pastries >
Wine and Beer
- Free local delivery from Berkeley winery, Donkey & Goat winery.
- Vintage Berkeley and Solano Cellars, local wine shops, are offering home delivery.
- Fieldwork Brewing on Gilman is shipping beers throughout California.
- Temescal Brewing has cans, bottles, and crowlers for pickup or delivery.
Meals for now or later
- Check any of your favorite East Bay restaurant for a gift card. Easy and so appreciated!
- These restaurants offer large family meal bundles as carry-out and have a special place in my heart.
All the rest: Art, clothing, jewelry, greenery, items for your home!
ACCI Gallery, N. Berkeley. Find special arts and crafts for unique presents. Shop for ceramics, fine art, and more. Shop ACCI >
Abrams Claghorn Shop, Albany. Offering in-person appointments and online shopping for special items from more than 70 local makers. Shop Abrams Claghorn >
Cotton Basics. Made in Oakland and sold in three retail shops around the Bay Area, you can go online for basic clothes for women, men, and kids including onesies and cute screen prints. Shop Cotton Basics >
Brother and Sisters Flower Shop, Oakland. Grand Lake’s plant shop offers whimsical and unique items for pickup or delivery. I fell in love with the Uncle Pedro planter while browsing. Shop Brother and Sisters Flowers >
Fern’s Garden, Berkeley. Fern’s Garden on Solano offers gifty items (nightlights, wind chimes, masks, jewelry) individually and in gift boxes. I found adorable surprises for my tween and teen nieces here. Shop Fern’s Garden >
GoldenBug Kids and GoldenBug Shoes. The Fourth Street boutique and most adorable place in Rockridge for shoes are online with shoes, clothing, and gifts for children. Not sure if you need something adorable right now? Consider a gift card. Shop online with new items added every day at goldenbugkids.com
Grove Street Kids, Berkeley. The Grove Street Kids & Women’s Resale Boutique in N. Berkeley is a shop with new and gently used children’s clothing, shoes & accessories for newborn to size 10 as well as women’s and maternity wear. Find the best clothes at the best prices at grovestreetkids.square.site >
Lesley Evers, Oakland. We love Oakland-based Lesley Evers’ beautiful print dresses, masks, and totes for the special mom or grandma on your list. Lesley recently introduced note cards, too. Shop online with Lesley Evers >
Morningtide Shop, Albany. Morningtide includes thoughtfully curated apparel, ceramics, jewelry, and other unique gifts. Shop small at Morningtide >
Oaklandish, Oakland. Nearly every piece of artistic merchandise is a love letter to the Oakland area. Spend your money and your love keeping it Oakland. Find special collaborations with local artists and teams. Buy gifts from Oaklandish >
Paraiso Plant Studio, Berkeley. This WOC-owned business stocks rare plants alongside adorable air plant holders with a wide selection available for California delivery or pickup. Shop Paraiso Plant Studio >
Philippa Roberts Jewelry, Oakland. Shop for lovely jewelry, accessories, and home items online or in many California locations. Shop Philippa Roberts >
Rocket Reuse, Alameda Alameda’s Rocket Reuse is selling used books, DVDs, CDs, and even clothes with strict safety measures within Alameda. Browse via Rocket Reuse virtual shelves on Facebook >
Honorable Mention: You can find anything for anyone at Urban Indigo in Oakland, but you can’t shop online. Browse & make a plan >
Please leave more ideas in the comments.
Thank you to Whitney, Carol, Julie, and Julia for sharing some of their favorite local places to shop with me!