We all know how critical it is to support small businesses in our community right now. In light of this, we compiled a list of Historic Seattle staff’s favorite small & historic businesses for holiday shopping and spending. From bacon-flavored candy canes to African coffee beans, check out this amazing list for inspiring ideas, meaningful gifts and experiences, and businesses you can feel good about supporting this holiday season and beyond!
Note: In the making of this list, we asked our staff to submit “one or two” favorite places. As you can see below, some of us couldn’t stop ourselves at one or two, or even three or four! These recommendations were too good to leave out, so we’re sharing them all with you!
Enjoy & happy holidays from the Historic Seattle team!
Historic Seattle Staff
❤️ These Places
Jane Davies | Director of Finance & Administration
A variety of stores all in a designated historic district! You can stop for a covid-safe bite to eat outside at a number of restaurants as well!
Bailey Hess | Philanthropy & Communications Manager
Ghost Gallery (Pike-Pine Corridor)
While no longer located in the 1914-built apartment building where the gallery was originally founded thanks to #displacement, this shop still rocks and is worthy of your business for many a good reason. Focusing on local and regional artists & designers, the gallery’s hybrid model provides an ever-evolving, welcoming space where artists and collectors, new and established, can connect. Ghost Gallery showcases a curated selection of visual art, handmade jewelry, tarot, apothecary, and bottled wines. Check out artwork by Historic Seattle’s own office administrator featured in this year’s Holiday Mini Exhibit!
Dusty Strings (Fremont)
From Dusty Strings’ website, “When Ray and Sue Mooers started Dusty Strings in 1979, Ray built hammered dulcimers in the couple’s basement–” Ok, I have to stop here and make a confession. I have no idea what a dulcimer is, and I don’t have a drop of talent for playing instruments in my body! Yet, I still LOVE shopping at Dusty Strings. Located in the basement of a 1926 masonry building in Fremont since 1982, Dusty Strings is a music store, school, and repair shop. Go here for gifts of beautiful instruments, virtual music lessons, or to repair your beloved’s dulcimer!
Keep Music Live
One of my favorite gifts to give are gifts of experiences — including tickets to live music shows! Since this isn’t an option this year, consider making a gift to https://keepmusiclivewa.com/donate/ (perhaps in someone’s honor?). Your gift will help ensure the survival of beloved independent music venues (and their ecosystems!) across the state.
Cindy Hughes | Council Assistant & GSC Rental Coordinator
Five Corners Hardware (Queen Anne)
Mom & Pop hardware store located on one of the many corners at 3rd W. & W. McGraw. Opened in 1944 and family-run since then, they are super-friendly and have everything you need for your pandemic home projects, (and practical gifts as well) in a small-box space.
Stuhlbergs (Queen Anne)
Gifts, toys, home accessories, cards and more in a restored turn-of-the-century Craftsman on Queen Anne Ave. N. These old-houses-converted-into retail are fast disappearing along that street so Stuhlbergs stands out even more.
Amee Jorgensen | Bookkeeper
Fremont Vintage Mall
Located in a basement in Fremont, this vintage store is the culmination of treasure sold by a collective of multiple sellers. It’s like visiting the Room of Requirement in real life.
Kji Kelly | Executive Director
Tara Macdonald | Good Shepherd Center Lead Gardener
Scandinavian Specialties (Ballard)
Selling Scandinavian goods in Ballard since 1962, it is now the last remaining Scandinavian store in Seattle. They carry a wide range of Nordic goods from food to sweaters to books and they have a nice selection of Christmas decorations. It’s a good reminder of Ballard’s recent cultural history.
David McClain | Asset & Property Manager
Elliott Bay Book Company
A venerable old independent bookstore that keeps going strong. Though no longer in their original Pioneer Square location in the Globe Building, I still feel a sense of history every time I visit their present home in Capitol Hill, originally constructed in the 1920s. I enjoy browsing their books any time of the year, but especially during the holiday season.
Jeff Murdock | Advocacy & Education Manager
It’s hard for me to get out of the market when holiday shopping! We bring their palmier cookies to friends and family.
In Melrose Market, interesting clothing designs, home items and plants, well-curated gifts.
Steinbrueck Native Gallery (on Western, north of Pike Place Market)
Compelling artworks by Northwest Coast First Nations artists. I love the modern interpretations of traditional art, and chatting with Elizabeth Steinbrueck is a treat.
University Book Store
Always fun to wander the aisles of gifts, books, art supplies downstairs. Reminds me of grad student procrastination days. . . but now I can do it without guilt!
Matt Murray | Good Shepherd Center Building Operations Manager
DeLaurenti (Pike Place Market)
A specialty food and wine store with a great selection of cheese, wine, chocolate, and other food essentials.
Our awesome Office Administrator
Wall of Sound Records
The best record shop in the city for deep cuts, outer-sounds, and obscurities. I never leave empty-handed!
Frye Art Museum Store
An artfully curated selection of decorative objects, beautiful books, and original work. Even though the museum is closed, you can still shop the store online!
Taelore Rhoden | Community Events Manager
COMMUNION Restaurant & Bar (Central District)
COMMUNION is Chef Kristi Brown’s of That Brown Girl Cooks! (TBGC!) brand new restaurant in Seattle’s Central District. Located in the Liberty Bank Building, COMMUNION marks the return of a Black-owned restaurant to the 2300 block of East Union Street (see Thompson’s Point of View) as well as the return of fan favorites from Chef Kristi and team, including the TBGC! Black-Eyed Pea Hummus and bottled craft cocktails from Brown Liquor Cocktail Co. The COMMUNION menu is what Chef Kristi describes as “Seattle Soul,” a story of people, culinary flavors, and cultural traditions. I recommend the Catfish Po’Mi, a masterful mash-up of a po’ boy and a bánh mì! Gift cards available.
Boon Boona Coffee (Downtown Renton)
What a treasure! I’ve tried multiple varieties of beans from Boon Boona and everything has been delicious! All of their coffee sourced from multiple countries throughout the continent of Africa and is available for purchase online and in-store. My go-to drink order is the Africano with cinnamon. Gift cards available.
Métier Brewing Company (Woodinville)
Washington State’s only Black-owned brewery does not disappoint! The Woodinville location offers about a dozen beers on tap, outdoor seating, a gallery to showcase local artists, and rotating food trucks on weekends. Métier is bicycle-friendly (check out the logo) and a huge supporter/partner of the Major Taylor Project.
Footprint Wine Tap (Capitol Hill)
Quaint and bright, Footprint Wine Tap is Seattle’s first and only sustainable keg wine on tap bar and shop sourcing fine PNW wines. It’s one of my favorites for happy hour and they have wine growlers and it’s Black-owned! Heck yes, Footprint! Gift cards available.
Flowers Just-4-U (Central District)
Ms.Mary has been in the floral business since 1984 and is one of a few Black florists in the Greater Seattle area. Originally located on 23rd & Jackson, Flowers Just-4-U relocated to 23rd & Cherry in 2018 after a wave of community support to keep the business open. If gifting plants and flowers is your thing, visit Ms. Mary this holiday season!
Ola Wyola (Columbia City)
Take all of my money, Ola Wyola! This Columbia City shop has everything from hand-crafted crystal jewelry to vintage clothing and accessories to hand-dyed hoodies. It even has an apothecary – swoon!
Vivid Matter Collective Pop-Up Shop (Capitol Hill)
Buy dope art from Vivid Matter Collective (VMC), the group of Black and Indigenous artists who created the Black Lives Matter mural on Pine Street. VMC returns back to where it all began with a winter pop-up shop next door to Molly Moon’s in Capitol Hill. I stopped by last week to grab a few prints and a coloring book and was impressed with the variety of products available for purchase – originals, clothing, greeting cards, stickers, and more! 919 E Pine Street | Thursday – Sunday 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Naomi West | Director of Philanthropy & Engagement
Pike Place Market
Wandering around the market is a treat any time of year, but it feels like the most festive place in town during the holiday season. If you aren’t comfortable with shopping in person this year to support the tons of small businesses there, you can shop from home on their new online platform: https://pikeplacemarketfoundation.org/charitablemarketplace/products/
Capitol Hill Historical Society Coloring Book
Do you need to calm your amygdala at the end of this tough year? Experts everywhere, from UW to the Cleveland Clinic, say you should try coloring! Whether for a kid, an adult, or yourself, try the Capitol Hill Historical Society’s new coloring book.
Eugenia Woo | Director of Preservation Services
Click! Design That Fits
Amazing store for cool “design-y” gifts in the West Seattle Junction for those with discerning taste.
Wing Luke Museum Store (AKA the Marketplace)
From books about the Asian American experience to super cute things, this museum shop in the C-ID is the place to go. Over 100 small businesses are supported in the Marketplace.
Kobo Seattle (2 locations – Kobo Capitol Hill & Kobo at Higo in Japantown)
Well-curated shop and gallery in historic buildings! The Capitol Hill one is in the Loveless Building across from the old Harvard Exit. The Japantown shop is in the old Higo space. For those who love art, design, and cool objects from Japan, the Northwest, and beyond.
Need something fun, silly, or quirky as a gift or for yourself? Or just want to brighten up your mood and get a good laugh? Browse around this classic Seattle shop, which was recently voted one of Seattle’s Top 20 Essential Seattle Shops by Seattle Met.
This modern stationer in downtown Seattle is the place to go for well-designed paper goods. If you like letterpress, you’ll love Paper Hammer. The studios are in Tieton.
Simon Wright | Facilities Maintenance Manager
8th Generation at the Pike Place Market
A great Native-owned and operated boutique that amplifies indigenous artists by making their art into unique apparel, jewelry, and accessories
BLMF Literary Saloon
I’ve never met anyone who knows as much about books as JB, and he has a recommendation for anyone he’s ever sold a book to.
Japanese culinary ambassador/bakery and a favorite local business in Rainier Beach