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Matt Wastradowski | 11/18/2020 | Events
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Small Business Saturday and Holiday Shopping in the Willamette Valley

Holiday shopping season is fast approaching—so as you’re making your list (and checking it twice), keep in mind that the Willamette Valley, a vast agricultural region stitched together with small towns and quaint Main Streets offers cozy boutiques, artisan vendors, and the diverse culinary flavors.

And even if you can’t make it into your favorite store for Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, consider ordering online (where available) or purchasing a gift card for future use; many outlets offer contactless or curbside pick-up for an easier shopping experience, as well. Whatever your shopping experience looks like this year, it goes a long way toward supporting local businesses and keeping our communities as safe as possible while COVID-19 continues to spread.

Here’s where to go—and what to grab—around the Willamette Valley this holiday season.

Chapters Books and Coffee sells used and new titles, along with coffee from roasters in the Willamette Valley and Portland.

Surrounded by vineyards in seemingly every direction, the communities of Carlton, McMinnville, Dundee, and Newberg offer plenty of small-town charm in a region where creativity isn’t solely the domain of area winemakers.

Carlton might be home to myriad wineries—but perhaps its most unique tasting room is Republic of Jam, which serves a variety of house-made jams and mustards, cocktail syrups, fruit ketchups, relishes, and more. (In all, the store boasts more than 350 seasonal flavors.) If you're struggling with ideas for that hard-to-shop-for cousin, stop by NW Food & Gifts in downtown McMinnville; since 2008, NW Food & Gifts has specialized in locally made goods (like T-shirts and soaps from more than 90 artists and crafters), gourmet food (like chocolates, mustards, and jams from area purveyors), and a curated selection of the Willamette Valley's finest wines. And in Newberg, Chapters Books and Coffee sells new and used books spanning a variety of genres alongside coffee from several local roasters.

Sure, Oregon’s Mount Hood Territory largely comprises, well, Mount Hood and the surrounding territory. But it also fans out beyond the mountain’s southern slopes and into the Willamette Valley below—comprising communities like Canby, Molalla, Aurora, and Wilsonville in the Greater Portland area.

Who doesn't love the gift of flowers? Wilsonville's Petal Patch Flowers & Gifts specializes in colorful bouquets, enchanting centerpieces, holiday wreaths, and other floral offerings. And in Molalla, The Rustic Shed sells classic farmhouse-style decor—some handmade, some straight from actual farms—and offers DIY workshops for crafting your own signs, art pieces, and more. And Aurora is home to world-class antique shopping, with more than a dozen antique stores, galleries, and specialty shops around town; in particular, South End Antique Mall stands out for hosting nearly antique 30 vendors who share more than 16,000 square feet of shopping space.

Second Chance Books is a popular (and packed) book shop in the heart of Independence.

The region around Salem, the capital of Oregon, is home to many small towns and Main Streets that provide unique shopping experiences.

Salem’s walkable downtown, with easy (and free) parking, has become a bustling hub of retail activity. For more than 40 years, The Bike Peddler has kept cyclists on the roads in and around Salem with repairs, parts, rentals, and sales. Nearby, One Fair World prides itself on being a fair-trade, not-for-profit retailer that sells hand-crafted home decor, accessories, jewelry, musical instruments, and a wide variety of food products (including coffee, chocolate, cocoa, and tea). And for the chef on your list, consider stopping by Willamette Valley Kitchen Co.—which carries a hand-picked selection of useful and unique kitchen tools, including high-quality gear from local makers.

Nearby, downtown Woodburn is a hub of Latino culture in the Willamette Valley, with North Front Street boasting several shops and food stores—including La Azteca, which specializes in spices, produce, and meats common to Mexican cooking.

In Silverton, a charming community known for its murals and walkable downtown core, Somewhere in Time specializes in vintage furniture, jewelry, movies, books, clothing, antiques, and more.

And the historic community of Independence, nestled along the banks of the Willamette River, teems with fun and curious shops. Melting Pot Candy specializes in satisfying your sweet tooth, while bookworms love Second Chance Books for its large selection of used titles.

Downtown Albany is home to many shops and small businesses. (Photo by Joey Hamilton Photography)

Albany is home to three historic home districts to drive through before heading downtown for shopping at local retailers.

The Natty Dresser is Albany's only full-service menswear shop, with a constantly changing selection of hats, shoes, neckties, socks, belts, gifts, and more. Nearby, the Oak Creek Collection is filled with products from local vendors and creators—like home decor, signs, posters, jewelry, clothing, books, gifts, and more. And Brick Circuit enchants kids of all ages with new and used LEGO sets, collectible and build-your-own minifigs, and individual LEGO bricks and pieces.

In addition to its many shops, downtown Corvallis is home more than a dozen murals that are part of the Corvallis Mural Project. (Photo by Alison Smith)

Corvallis is home to a riverfront downtown brimming with a variety of fun shops that appeal to everyone in the family.

And nowhere is that truer than at Animal Crackers Pet Supply, a locally owned pet store that strives to provide only the best foods for your furry companion; the store’s selection of kibble, canned food, and frozen food is free of corn, wheat, soy, and other byproducts. And since 1972, The Toy Factory has sold toys, books, games, and puzzles to kids of all ages in the heart of downtown. And ReStyle boasts a curated selection of decor items, clothing and accessories, gifts, plants, and more for the chic home.

(And if you need some fresh air, stroll the scenic Corvallis Mural Trail between shops.)

Euphoria Chocolate Company has been hand-crafting its truffles, chocolates, and more in Eugene since 1980. (Photo courtesy of Joey Hamilton Photography)

Eugene, the urban hub of the South Willamette Valley, has a walkable downtown filled with bookstores, clothing boutiques, and shops specializing in sustainable products. 

Caddis Fly Angling Shop is popular with anglers on the nearby McKenzie River—and has been selling tackle, specialty flies, tying materials, and tools for more than 40 years. Down to Earth Home and Garden, meanwhile, is a celebrated home and garden supply store—carrying organic gardening products, kitchen wares, glass, plants, and more. And J. Michaels Books—a Eugene fixture since 1975—has earned acclaim for its curated selection of new, used, and rare titles. (No wonder Huffington Post named it one of the 50 best indie bookstores in the United States.) And away from downtown, Euphoria Chocolate Company sells its hand-dipped truffles, artisan chocolates, and other sweets—all small batch, and all sourced from local ingredients whenever possible. 

For a true small-town experience, enjoy the Main Street vibes of Springfield, Cottage Grove, and Creswell. The Bookmine, in downtown Cottage Grove, specializes in used, rare, and out-of-print titles—but also supports area artisans and crafters by selling locally made soaps, candles, and plants. And for a bit of fashionable flair, the woman-owned Celeste Watch Company crafts a variety of colorful and captivating watches and timepieces.

As the state enters a freeze on indoor dining and wine tasting, takeout remains an option for fueling your shopping experience. Oregon2Go is a great tool to find the best takeout and delivery options. Many retailers are offering online purchases with shipping or curbside pickup if you’re nearby. During the freeze, wine tasting rooms cannot offer tastings, but don’t forget to pick up your favorite wines for your holiday dinners.

PHONE: 866.548.5018
EMAIL: info@oregonwinecountry.org
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