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Shop Richmond: support local businesses this holiday season

on November 24, 2011

This holiday season, skip the crowds on Black Friday and support your local businesses on Small Business Saturday. From clothing boutiques to handmade artwork, we’ve got some suggestions for the perfect Christmas gift, with a touch of Richmond.

1. Catahoula Coffee
gourmet coffee

A well-known coffee establishment throughout the Bay, Catahoula’s gourmet roast is sure to tantalize your loved ones’ taste buds. It has won “Best of the Bay” awards two years in a row, in 2010 and 2011. Owner Timber Manhart, a gentle giant with a talent for making a delicious roast, will recommend the Lola Blend, because “She’s so sweet!”

Head on over to its North & East neighborhood shop and get a pound of Ricky’s Buzz Blend or a stronger roast, the Rwanda Bourbon. While you’re there, treat yourself to a Mexi-Mocha – it’s their signature drink! Find it at: 12472 San Pablo Ave. Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. – 3p.m.

2. Richmond Spokes
bicycles & gear

The Spokeshop Bike Lounge opened its doors in October, offering bicycles, accessories and bike repair on a sliding scale. Visitors to the newly renovated space on Harbour Way are greeted by mellow wood floors, bright biking murals, and a welcoming community vibe.

Richmond Spokeshop is a great place to get bicycles and accessories for your bike-savvy loved ones.

This holiday season, the Spokeshop has your biking basics covered: kids’ and adult bikes, lights, and locks. A holiday gift package, including a full tune-up and a set of lights, will run you $65. Those in search of a creative way to give for the holidays can sponsor a family in the Spokeshop’s family bike collective. And on Dec. 17 and 18, the bike shop will host a Holiday Bazaar, featuring local artists and craftspeople. Find it at: 322 Harbour Way #5 Hours:Tuesday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.

3. Joanne’s Boutique
women’s clothing

Joanne’s Boutique has been on Macdonald Ave. since 1950, through booming times and recessions. “We are here to serve everybody,” said the owner, Joanne King. They sell dresses, suits, hats, jewelry, purses and hosiery. King stresses impeccable customer service, offering individualized attention and advice to her customers.

It’s through this one-on-one interaction that King has gotten to know her customers through generations. “Adults come here remembering coming in on their Grandmother’s arms,” said Lorri Bialkin, who has been the manager for over 20 years. Find it at: 1011 MacDonald Ave. Hours: 10:15 am – 5:30 pm every day but Sundays.

4. Lucky Handicrafits
worldwide products

Shopping for a world traveler or adventure addict on a budget has never been easier. Lucky Handicrafts Company has wholesale wares from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. “Through the items and articles, you can learn more and enjoy the native cultures of the concerned countries,” according to the store website.

You can find everything in their warehouse from unique stocking stuffers like belly dancing costumes and decorative swords to larger gifts such as wood statues and ornate cabinets. And, because everything is direct from the source, the prices are unbeatable — hand carved drums are listed at just $5 each and painted masks go for as little as $10. Lucky Handicrafts lists most of its inventory at Find it at: 1212 California Ave. in San Pablo. Hours: By appointment.

5. The Art Lounge

unique gifts

Point Richmond’s The Art Lounge is a one-of-a-kind boutique lined with handmade jewelry, funky nick-knacks and unique gift ideas. Owner Kathy Scott personally crafts all the jewelry, including earrings made from coral and freshwater pearls, as well as a collection of glass sun catchers. In addition, The Art Lounge rents a variety of vintage mannequin heads for all occasions. As Scott says, “The Art Lounge is not your typical gift store.” Find it at: 145 Park Place, Point Richmond. Hours: Opens at 11 a.m.

6. Cohn-Stone Studios
blown-glass artwork

Cohn-Stone Studios, which makes blown-glass artworks that are sold worldwide, will open the doors to its Richmond gallery for six days in December. Molly Stone and her partner Michael Cohn make “very unique and special hand blown glass ornaments, sculptural pieces, paperweights, vases, glass pumpkins, one of a kind works of art, all at affordable prices,” in their Richmond studio, according to Stone. The works of art sell at specialty shops, art galleries and museum shops across the country, including the store at the de Young Fine Arts Museums in San Francisco.

“We do unique art pieces that are collected around the world. We’re in lots of museum collections, and here’s where they’re made – right here in Richmond,” Stone said. Find it at: 560 South 31st Street, Richmond; Hours: The gallery will open its doors to the public for shopping Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 16-18 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day (not open on Small Business Saturday).

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Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.

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