The Christmas countdown is on! But before you rush to your nearest superstore or High Street giant take a second to consider what your local independent could surprise you with instead.
Research studies show that for every £1 spent with a small/medium sized business, 63p stays in the local economy compared with 40p for a larger organisation.
Think of it as a circle (click here for infographic). Buying your gifts locally benefits more than the shops, due to increased sales they can afford to employ staff, who in turn have money to spend. Independent businesses bring character to our towns, they also tend to invest locally helping to create a nicer community for us all to live in.
"Local shops are the life and soul of the daytime community. They provide great customer service and local knowledge, unusual and original products and services, and attract people to the area- all which have a positive knock-on effect for everyone".
Looking across Angus there are some fantastic offerings ahead of the festive season, here are some of my favourites;
Gather, Carnoustie. Pop in and meet Bethany Bowles she’ll help you out with a Christmas Hamper, or a Gin Inspired present for the difficult to buy for. She also has Christmas veg boxes to order taking the stress out of the last minute Christmas food shop.
Charleton Fruit Farm, Montrose. Usually known for their fantastic strawberry tarts in the summer. However, at this time of year pop by and see Karin’s team for a hot chocolate & browse their shop while picking up your homegrown Christmas tree.
Murton Farm Forfar, A great family day out. At only £80 for unlimited access throughout 2017, it’s the present that will keep on giving throughout the year. Children of all ages will love meeting their friendly collection of animals and birds alongside a vast play area with sand pits pedal toys and an adventure trail.
Peel Farm, near Kiriemuir. Looking for something different? A wonderful afternoon drive into the countryside wont disappoint you. With over 30 local stockists their eclectic mix of new gifts and antiques will provide the perfect solution for this years Christmas list. Their coffee shop also has a wealth of tasty treats on offer so pair it with a walk around Reekie Linn Waterfall and you’ll have the perfect winter day out.
House of Farnell, near Montrose This place is Christmas! Whether you’re looking for decorations to add some festive cheer around the house or a magical gift to treasure for years to come this place is on my visit list every year! It’s only open until 20th December so be sure to get in quick and don’t miss out on the Aebleskiver at their quaint little cafe!
Twinkle Toe Imprints. You’ll need to get in fast if you want to something before Christmas as Suzie’s beautiful ceramic gifts are snapped up quickly. She offers a mobile service that captures your little ones hands and foot prints and turns them into beautiful pieces of art. Ideal for relatives, she offers mugs, Christmas baubles, plates and lots more.
Crafts of Letham. A bit off the beaten track but a hidden gem for any craft lover. You could lose days in here getting lost in their different offerings. Knitting, painting, pottery, modeling, origami, baking, embroidery …the list goes on but you can be guaranteed that they’ll have what you’re looking for.
Angus Cycle Hub, Arbroath. A not for profit social enterprise that is dedicated to developing cycling in Angus. They have some fantastic refurbished bikes for sale that will have your little ones playing outdoors and out from under your feet!
Gordons Restaurant. Tucked away in the quiet village of Inverkeilor, Gordon’s offers an unforgettable dining experience for the foodie in your life. Complete the experience with an overnight stay in one of their 5 star boutique rooms. Gift vouchers available over the phone, or in person.
Don't fear Christmas shopping this year, embrace the festive spirit and pop into to your local retailer to find something unique for underneath the Christmas tree.