The Bronx Holiday Shopping Challenge!

Thanksgiving is just barely over and here we are already rushing to think about the holiday season. I literally just took down my Halloween decorations yesterday. I would’ve left them up, but having sugar skulls plastered on my window in November, just came across as kinda creepy.

This year, I started to think a lot about the original mission of this blog — to highlight our borough’s hidden gems and encourage Bronxites to have pride in their borough. I get a lot of PR emails about this event and that product, some of it is really cool, but I had to make a decision. Let me preface this by saying that I have a problem, I am super cheap, I LOVE free things. I always have. So, it’s really hard to say no to a free dinner and open bar somewhere in Brooklyn (hiss! boo!) or to try out some free product from some company that has absolutely nothing to do with the Bronx. But, I saw myself starting to drift away from my original mission and realized I needed to refocus. Get back to basics.

To really do this and put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, I decided that this holiday season, I’m going to shop local. Like really, truly, local. Not “Hey, I shopped at the Target in Throggs Neck, all my holiday shopping is done!” (Although, who doesn’t love Target? )

So here are the parameters:

  1. I must buy from a local, independent business.
  2. Holiday fairs are acceptable, so is Etsy.
  3. The goal is to buy for everyone on my list, which right now is at 15, though, I am probably forgetting some people.

Small Business Saturday is tomorrow and the Bronx Museum’s Holiday Fair is December 12 & 13th so I’m going to start with those and see how I go. I’ll do an update after the fair to keep you guys abreast of my progress. Please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook.

Make Everyday Small Business Saturday at these Bronx Businesses

Since I participated in #BlackoutFriday, I thought about how not spending any money at these mega corporations was great and all, but was really just a short-term solution.

Today being Small Business Saturday, I thought about how much more impact it’d have to simply shop local and support small businesses. To maximize this impact, we need to make a conscious decision to do this. While the opening of the Bay Plaza Mall is great and all, we must remember that small businesses are what give character to our neighborhoods (in addition of course to jobs and being an integral part of our economy) and make them communities.

So, check out this list I compiled of some Bronx small businesses you can support year round:

Bella Bath and Body Boutique –  Organic hair and body products, delicious smelling candles, and oils for your home. Check out the post I wrote on them a while back !

Brew Coffeehouse – Their chai lattes and s’more cookies are to die for! Plus, they carry soy milk which is awesome for the lactose intolerant folks out there like myself.

Whoopies Miniature Desserts – I sampled some of their desserts during Bronx Fashion Week. Delicious and cute!

Conti’s Pastry Shoppe – Serving up handmade pastries and desserts since 1921!

Bronx Baking Co. – You guys, they have bacon pretzels! Among other varieties, of course.

Bronx Beer Hall – Beer. Karaoke.Trivia nights. Awesome food. Awesome crowd. It’s in a food market for christ’s sake! It doesn’t get much better than this.

Gun Hill Brewery – The Bronx’s first brewery in decades. They also host yoga classes

Wonder Lee – Creative and stylish bow ties made from  materials like Legos and comics.

What businesses would you add to this list? Comment below with the links and I’ll add them!

Let’s help Bronx bakery, CakeItEasy, win $250,000!

Local family-owned bakery, CakeItEasy has applied for a $250,000 grant from Chase’s Mission Main Street grant program and they need our help! They need 250 online votes in order to be eligible for the grant.

How can you help? It’s simple! Follow this link  and cast your vote via Facebook Connect. You have until November 15, 2013 so get those votes in!

From CakeItEasy:

“CakeItEasy is a family owned and run business who are striving to grow and expand. Receiving this grant would be an unbelievable opportunity to make our quality homemade from scratch sweet treats more readily available to our current and future customers” said Monica Meola, Owner.

“A cupcake is a whole celebration that fits in your hand”

CakeItEasy provides personal service and attention to detail. Monica and the CakeItEasy team create the cakes and cupcakes that are the topic of conversation at every special event! CakeItEasy offers free delivery service in the Bronx and we will deliver to the other boroughs for a small fee. CakeItEasy is proud to be a “from scratch” bakery. Since we are a custom order bakery, we can devote the time to making your cake one of a kind sweet. You will not find mass produced cakes here! Give us a try, you will not be disappointed.

Please note that all orders are freshly baked to order from scratch using our own recipes and natural ingredients – positively no packaged baking mixes!

We are a company whose goal is to give the best products and service to our customers!


We look forward to making your event one to remember!