Five Tips to Help You Shop Small Businesses in Detroit This Holiday Season

Happy Holidays! Shopping small is a great way to find unique holiday gifts for family and friends. I’m sharing five helpful tips on how to shop at Detroit small businesses during the pandemic. Today’s blog post is sponsored by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). Click here to learn more about DEGC’s work in Detroit!

Five Tips to Shop Detroit Small Businesses This Holiday Season

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? I decided to start my gift shopping a little early this year so I’m not waiting until the last minute to get my family and friends their gifts. Sometimes I get so busy with the kids that I lose track of time.

Next thing I know, Christmas is just a few days away and I still have to mail gifts to my parents and finish getting presents for the kids. Not this year, though! I’m making it a point to get a little done each week so I don’t feel rushed and my loved ones receive their gifts on time. 

Five Tips to Shop Detroit Small Businesses This Holiday Season (children's gifts at Little High Flyers in Detroit)
I found a few holiday gifts for the kids at Little High Flyers in Detroit.

GIFT IDEA: Stop by Little High Flyers in the Cass Corridor of Detroit for unique, children’s holiday gifts. The women-owned business features slow fashion products, children’s books, and home decor art pieces for kids.

Last week, Travis and I did some holiday shopping in Detroit. We stopped by small businesses in the Cass Corridor, Corktown, Midtown, and New Center. Of course, holiday shopping this year is a little different from last year. Because of the pandemic, there are important safety precautions everyone has to follow, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. 

Now more than ever, Detroit small businesses need our support. The pandemic has greatly affected many local businesses, forcing some business owners to reduce their staff or temporarily close. According to a September Yelp report, restaurants and retailers have been the hardest hit industries. That’s why I’m making it a personal goal to buy the majority of my holiday gifts at local businesses in Detroit. 


Mom and baby holiday shopping at Little High Flyers in Detroit
My sweet Zaya helped me pick out holiday gifts at Little High Flyers in Detroit. 😉

Do you plan on shopping at Detroit small businesses this holiday season? Here are a few holiday shopping tips to help you with shopping small in Detroit during the pandemic.

1. Curbside pickup. Many local businesses are offering curbside pickup, including retailers. You can even request curbside service for ordering coffee. When we started our day to go holiday shopping, we first stopped at Narrow Way Cafe. Located on Livernois Avenue in Detroit, the cafe offers in-person and curbside service. 

GIFT IDEA: Narrow Way Cafe & Shop has a monthly “Stress-Free Java Club.” Purchasing a monthly coffee subscription for a friend or loved one would make a great holiday gift for a coffee lover! For a $19.99 monthly fee, will ship a 12 oz. bag of coffee to the address of your choice. You can read more about the details of the java club here.

A woman holding coffee and a smoothie at Narrow Way Café in Detroit
Coffee, smoothie, and chocolate croissant at Narrow Way Café in Detroit

2. Online shopping. Many Detroit small businesses are also offering online shopping. This is another helpful way to shop for holiday gifts if you aren’t able to make it to a local restaurant or retailer.

3. Gift cards. Purchasing gift cards for yourself or a loved one is another way you can help support small businesses in Detroit. Bon Bon Bon, for instance, offers gift cards in increments of $30, $60, and $90. We visited the popular chocolate shop with the kids and they loved Bon Bon Bon’s chocolate treats! 

GIFT IDEA: Bon Bon Bon chocolates would also make a great stocking stuffer! 

Two children at Bon Bon Bon Detroit in Midtown
Bon Bon Bon offers safe holiday shopping. The kids loved picking out chocolate treats!
Five Tips to Shop Detroit Small Businesses This Holiday Season (chocolates from Bon Bon Bon in Detroit)

4. Double-check business hours. Call ahead to check to see what the business’ operation hours are, just in case the times have changed. I have found it best to either call directly or check the business’ social media page. Many of the small shops keep updated business hours in their social media bio. 

5. Consider shopping by yourself or in a small-size group. Some businesses are only allowing one party in at a time. It would be easier if you kept your party size to a minimum to keep the staff members and your loved ones safe. 

The Kitchen Taco Tuesday in New Center, Detroit

GIFT IDEA: Purchase gift cards from your favorite Detroit restaurants to give as stocking stuffers or gifts to family and friends. You can also order curbside pickup for lunch if you are out holiday shopping. While we were in New Center, we stopped by The Kitchen by Cooking with Que for tacos and dessert.

Psst!– Check out my interview with Cooking with Que here. She shared eight tips on how to transition to a vegan lifestyle.

A family shopping at Folk Detroit farm market
Five Tips to Shop Detroit Small Businesses This Holiday Season (food from Folk Detroit farm market)

GIFT IDEA: Purchase groceries from a Detroit marketplace like FOLK Detroit in Corktown. Did you know FOLK is a restaurant and farm market?! You can make a lovely food basket for your loved ones or even your neighbors. Many Detroit small businesses are also creating holiday gift baskets and meal kits so keep on the lookout for this holiday gift idea!

Remember, Small Business Saturday is this weekend on November 28th. If you are able, show your support for your favorite small Detroit businesses! Make sure you follow me on Instagram to see my holiday shopping experiences at local businesses. Happy Holidays!

For the latest up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC here and the state of Michigan’s website here.

Click here to learn more about DEGC’s Small Business Saturday guide.

Which Detroit small businesses are you going to shop at for the holidays?



All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.

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