It’s getting close to Christmas and you still can’t find that special gift for that special someone. You’re looking for something unique and not something from a chain store or shopping mall. Well, look no further! These five locally owned and -operated product stores in Central Massachusetts are well worth venturing out for.
Nashoba Winery – Bolton, MA
Photo: Nashoba Wine via Facebook
Nashoba Valley Winery is one of the ultimate wine destinations on the East Coast and offers grape wines, micro-brewed beers, Port-style wines, ice wines, fortified wines, fruit distillates and a Sparkling Apple Wine. In 2002, Nashoba expanded their retail Wine Shoppe, where you can now purchase most of its wines and liquors. At the shoppe, you can also find plenty of other gift items, such as locally made arts, crafts, jams and jellies.
Visit the Winery and have a tasting while you shop and try for yourself. Nashoba Winery offers a tasting bar for $5.00 where you can taste 5 wines and receive a complimentary glass. My suggestions are to try the Blueberry Merlot, Chardonnay & Strawberry Rhubarb Fruit wine. For info on hours and directions, click here.
Dragonflies – Hudson, MA
Photo: Hand-made clothing at Dragonflies
Are your kids in love with American Girl Dolls? Well, this store is full of hand-made doll clothes that will fit any doll of that size.
The store’s owner, Diane Mulherin, started making clothes for her daughter’s American Girl Doll years ago and it grew into the business she has today, which opened just over a year and a half ago on Main Street in Hudson.
Diane makes all of the doll clothes herself, as well as clothing for children; fleece ponchos are some of her most popular items for kids and are perfect for winter weather.
She also sells doll accessories, like wooden beds, made by local artisans. Dragonflies beautifully boxes up the items all set for you to gift wrap, too!
Located at 83 Main Street in Hudson, MA, hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Silver Buffalo – Berlin, MA
In business since 1988, the Silver Buffalo Gallery started as a small family enterprise and has remained one for more than 20 years. Today, the Silver Buffalo is one of New England’s premiere destinations for handcrafted art, jewelry and much more from award-winning Native American and local artisans.
The gallery is best known for boasting an extensive jewelry selection, with especially notable silver and Native American works. Pendleton blankets, Native American-style flutes, pottery and artifacts are just a few of the other items that can be found at the Silver Buffalo Gallery!
The jewelry you will find here is outstanding, with pieces you can’t find anywhere else. It is all very stylish and unique, well worth making a visit to Berlin.
Photo: Jewelry from The Silver Buffalo
Mole Hollow Candles – Sturbridge, MA
Not only does Mole Hollow craft some of the finest candles in Massachusetts but they have a unique style, too.
The Mole Hollow Taper Candles, which come in scented and unscented tapers, are set apart by their Spun Finish, a distinctive patterning that resembles the crisscrossed texture of spun sugar or linen fabrics. This patterning is unique to Mole Hollow products, created with custom wax blends and the ways in the craftspeople dip the taper candles.
Visit their Factory Store, which is located at 208 Charlton Road (Route 20) in Sturbridge, MA, where you’ll find the full line of Mole Hollow products, gifts, candle accessories and factory seconds at a discount from their regular prices. Winter hours are Monday though Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and closed on Sunday.
Photo: Mole Hollow Candles via Facebook
Harvard Sweet Boutique – Hudson, MA
Photo: Harvard Sweet Boutique Yule Logs via Facebook
I would not consider many bakeries, destinations, but this one takes the cake!
Don’t be fooled when you walk up to this bakery located in a strip mall on a back street in Hudson. The minute you walk into the store you are awed by its hip, Paris patisserie-style bakeshop décor and the treats that await you there!
Harvard Sweet Boutique offers a unique variety of sweets that include many gluten-free and low-carb favorites. On my last visit, I bought some “candy cane peppermint meringues” which were new to the offerings.
Perfect details go into everything from the Harvard Sweet Boutique from taste to presentation to packaging. Everything is made here at their bakery on location.
The Sweet Boutique offers everything from custom cakes, cookies and French pastries to bread, coffees, soups and salads. The only thing missing is a little café to sit and enjoy. It’s so pretty; I just want to stay here to eat my treats!
Harvard Sweet Boutique is located at 25 South Street in Hudson, MA. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 9:00am until 5:00pm.
Lysa Miller is a Massachusetts-based writer whose work covers notable local businesses around the state. Follow her on Twitter @LadyBugzInc.