From house-made cheese to heirloom pottery, Cape Cod’s small businesses have a gift for everyone on your holiday list.
In honor of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27 (between Black Friday and Cyber Monday), some of our staffers offer suggestions on local places to shop. In addition, check out both streets near you and online — the Cape has many, many more creative ideas worth exploring.
A virtual marketplace
The Eastham Turnip Festival Virtual Holiday Marketplace kicks off Saturday, Nov. 20, with online connections to 33 local businesses for gift-buying and another 14 suggestions for candy, cookies, cheese and other delicacies. The online sales continue online through December at shops that include: Barnyard & Bangles, which makes home decor from recycled wood; Flotsam & Jetsam, which makes soy candles; Saltbox Soaps; Cape Cod Paper Bead Company; and a Horse of a Different Color, which offers stuffed, brightly colored horses and Pegasus toys.
At the festival website https://easthamturnipfestival.com/virtual-holiday-marketplace/, you can read a brief description of products for each business, and then click a link to the store’s individual website. “Support our LOCAL economy. Shop here for all your holiday dinner and gift giving needs — local produce, foodstuffs, artisan wares, hand crafts, Eastham merchandise, books written locally and, of course, turnip-themed gift items,” urge the Eastham Public Library staff, who have organized the event for more than a decade, urge on the website.
Refined cats enjoy fine pottery
Two generations of our felines have gleefully eaten, and lapped up water, from fine pieces of Scargo Pottery. Finery they well deserve.
And you should too.
My cupboard is filled with a menagerie of Scargo coffee and tea mugs — loaded with color and extremely practical. Elsewhere live grand Scargo bowls bursting with deep reds, swirls, splotches, splatters. Outside is a whimsical castle.
Scargo Pottery sits on a bluff overlooking Scargo Lake at 30 Dr. Lord’s Road South in Dennis on lovely grounds, with a quiet Zen garden of outdoor wind chimes, wall-mounted ceramics, castles, bowls and rustling bamboo. Inside are coffee mugs, vases, plates of all sizes, art and a workshop — and, if you look along a beam to the rear of the shop, there are snapshots of a storied family.
Created in 1952 by legendary Cape potter, artist and mentor Harry Holl, who also helped found the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, Scargo Pottery is a family-owned business with deep talent.
Scargo Pottery, 30 Dr. Lord’s Road South, Dennis; 508-385-3894, https://scargopottery.com/
Reflections of Cape Cod traditions
Nothing says Cape Cod tradition like authentic Native American gifts from the Wampanoag Trading Post & Gallery, located at 20 North St., Mashpee. The shop presents a spectrum of unique holiday shopping options, including handmade beaded and wampum jewelry; selective Indigenous tea medleys; and artwork and sculptures made traditionally by Eastern Woodland tribal members.
Wampanoag Trading Post & Gallery, 20 North St., Mashpee. 774-361-6704 https://www.wampanoagtradingpostandgallery.com/
Thrift Ave leads to extravagant ideas on a budget
Nestled in the heart of the Hyannis shopping district, Thrift Ave specializes in vintage, couture and quality clothing and other items, including jewelry, bags and purses, pop records, buttons, 1970s-styled hat, and jazzy and funky artwork. Because of fashion connections throughout New England and the Tri-state area, new item options consistently pop up in every nook and cranny of the shop.
Thrift Ave, 606 Main St., Hyannis, 508-957-2775, http://www.hyannismainstreet.com/business/606-thrift-avenue/
Mapping the world around us
Cartophiles, history buffs and travel enthusiasts would be thrilled to unwrap a gift from one of the area’s largest purveyors of antique maps: Chatham’s Maps of Antiquity.
Bargain hunters can pick up postcards from New England, New York and New Jersey for as little as $2. Maps and prints range in price from about $30 to several thousand.
The store’s most valuable map, on sale for $4,800, dates back to 1627. It shows North and South America, labeled on the map as “The Northerne Part of America” and “The Southerne Part of America,” as well as “The Unknowne World.”
“We have maps of almost every part of the world you can imagine,” said Maps of Antiquity Information Manager Perri Kapp.
The store’s focus is the Northeast, so maps of New England states abound, but Maps of Antiquity also has a large inventory of town maps from across the region, including Cape Cod.
Those more interested in sea than land should know the store also has an impressive collection of nautical charts that Kapp described as “one of the best.”
Much of the store’s inventory, which is too expansive to display in full around the cozy rooms of the late-1700s-era building that houses the store, was acquired by owner Robert Zaremba when he bought Maps of Antiquity and the collection of another antique map store in Amherst.
Maps of Antiquity, 1409 Main St., Chatham. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, https://mapsofantiquity.com/
‘Future is female’
Womencrafts is one of many small, locally owned shops worth exploring in Provincetown and this one proudly has a distinct point of view. Womencrafts offers multiple wares for those who want to share, proclaim or learn more about feminism, LGBTQ topics, and racial and social issues — including books for young people and their parents.
According to its website, Womencrafts has been lesbian owned and operated since 1976, with a “future is female” philosophy and a mission to promote the work of female artisans, authors and musicians — now showcasing more than 100 female artists and offering access to hundreds of books.
Highlighted recently has been Provincetown artist Jo Hay, whose work is available here in large prints or small campaign-style buttons. Hay paints distinctive portraits of “Persisters,” including Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Georgia political “powerhouse” Stacey Abrams and inauguration poet Amanda Gorman.
On the website, owner Michelle Axelson notes that those involved with Womencrafts find that its mission is “as politically and culturally necessary today as it was when it first opened in 1976.”
Womencrafts, 376 Commercial St., Provincetown; 508-487-2501, https://womencraftsptown.com/
Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll
Scratch-made artisanal cheese on Cape
Mother and daughter Elizabeth and Alexandra “Alex” Hitchcock make fresh, handmade mozzarella, burrata and stracciatella cheeses in their shop, Ack Gioia, in Brewster. They also hold occasional classes to teach others how to do it.
Elizabeth was born in Ferrara and raised in Naples, Italy, coming to Cape Cod after marriage, according to the shop’s website. The seeds of a cheese shop were planted a decade ago when Elizabeth found herself missing the cheeses of her native country. She started making them for herself and for friends.
Ack Gioia is open to the public and sells to restaurants on the Cape and Nantucket.
Ack Gioia, 302 Underpass Road, Brewster, 774-323-0686, http://www.ackgioia.com/
A gift for the planet
Green Road Refill has its mission right in its name. In order to reduce plastic waste, the shop offers refills on two dozen environmentally friendly home and beauty products so you don’t have to keep buying the container.
The store also sells earth-friendly goods for your home and body, fair-trade gifts and hand-poured soy Candles by Tarraza. Although the proprietors do many pop-up events, their Sustainable Small Business Saturday event, co-sponsored with Stay Vocal!, is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 27 at their storefront.
Green Road Refill, 2655 Main St., Unit 22, Brewster, 774-216-1409, https://www.greenroadrefill.com/
A sweet note for the season
For connoisseurs who relish the chance to savor craft chocolate bars — plain or infused with ginger, blueberry or almonds and cherries — Chequessett Chocolate is the place to go. The 8-year-old company has established itself as a fine chocolate craft maker on the Outer Cape and operates a café.
The company sells 20 craft bars, each inspired by a portion of the Cape. Their most recent addition is “Feast of the First Light,” a milk-chocolate bar infused with roasted corn, bourbon pecans and cranberries. The bar pays homage to the Wampanoag people, known as People of the First Light.
Craft bars, confections, sauces, drinking chocolate and art cards from more than 100 vendors can be found at the North Truro retail shop on Highland Road. But the biggest sellers are Chequessett’s own chocolate bars, especially Wellfleet Sea Salt, Provincetown Pure Dark and Chatham Cranberry bars.
Chequessett Chocolate, 8 Highland Road, North Truro, 774-538-6249, https://www.chequessettchocolate.com/
This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Cape Cod’s small businesses provide big holiday shopping opportunities