Celebrate the Season and Celebrate Local
The mall may not be the first place you would expect to find quirky, one-of-a-kind products by local, small-scale producers. Over the past year, however, Easton Town Center in Columbus has been turning those preconceptions on their head; first with its inaugural Farmer’s Market this summer, and now with the recently opened pop-up store Celebrate Local,
The shop’s name is fitting: the store only sells handmade and artisan goods made in Ohio. I was surprised to discover the variety of products made here in our state, and that the store somehow manages to keep on adding more and more to its stock. The store assistant that I spoke to told me that after two days off she returned to a shop full of brand new products.
Celebrate Local is stuffed full of great gift ideas for the holidays. T-shirts from Columbus’ Traxler Tees are hand-screened with Ohio state shaped prints and make a refreshing change from the ubiquitous Buckeye jerseys usually on display during football season. The state shapes also proudly show up on handmade aprons, coffee cup holders, pillows, soap, totes, greeting cards and magnets. For gifts for kids, Team Chipmunk‘s individual items of children’s clothing are all made from organic, repurposed vintage materials.
You can add some spice to holiday dinners with the Cincinatti area’s Fatty & Skinny all-natural salsas and sauces, made from locally sourced produce, as well as condiments such as Canton’s Sparky & Spike’s Tangy Pepper Relish.
Ohio-made wine and beer from producers such as Signature Wines and Columbus Brewing Company is also on offer, as well as mead from Brothers Drake meadery, whose downtown Columbus location is open Wednesdays through Saturdays for tours, tastings and regular live music.
For dessert, pick up some of the famous Jeni’s ice creams (made with milk from Snowville Creamery, also available in-store), a pumpkin pie from Springfield’s Stevens Family Bakery and Orchard or hand-crafted, fair-trade chocolates from Cincinnati’s Chocolats Latour, which also uses Snowville products as well as cherries from owner Shalini Latour’s own cherry bushes.
Even four-legged friends are taken care of with pup-friendly cookies from Columbus’ Furry Tails Dog Bakery.
Celebrate Local hosts sampling sessions on Thursdays and Sundays. A schedule is available online and upcoming vendors offering free samples of their products include Tastefully Dirty, a Columbus-based company that produces cruelty-free, plant-based bath and skincare products, and The Batch Bakery, which offers all-natural baked goods.
Sadly, the store will only be open until January 31st, but at least by then, staff reminded me, it is only a few more months until the Farmer’s Markets start up again.