#ShopSmall Lancaster: A Gift Guide

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The most wonderful time of the year is finally here, and while it’s supposed to be a joyous season of giving, it can also seem like one long, panic-inducing, claustrophobic shopping trip. I’ve come to avoid the mall or large shopping centers from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve for fear of getting trampled while I wait in line to buy gifts or search for the perfect present.

Luckily, one of the best things about living in or near a city is the long list of unique and independently owned stores I can visit to cross off my shopping list.

For the fashionista

Sophie Stargazer is one of my favorite shops in Lancaster, and it feels good to support a fellow Lancaster native’s small business. While I love everything she has in store and would buy it all for myself, her accessories are the perfect gift for your best friend, sister, mom or cool colleague you may be shopping for this year.

I especially love the Revolution line she exclusively carries, which features handmade jewelry crafted by local women who are experiencing homelessness or other lifestyle barriers. It’s eco-friendly and super chic, making it a feel-good, go-to stocking stuffer.

For the cool guy

Lancaster has several shopping options for men, and Ellicot & Co. is one of the coolest places to stop by in the city. They carry trendy-but-not-trendy favorites like Red Wing Shoes and Taylor Stitch jeans, and also offer a really neat array of “cool guy” accessories like barware and cocktail sets and beard “accessories” (beard shampoo and oil). I’ll also mention Foxduck here because they’re literally right around the corner. They design and screen print their own t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and stickers with the logos of Lancaster’s iconic brands. I love grabbing stickers to send in cards to my out of state friends.

For the coffee connoisseur

Have a coffee-lover on your list? Give them the best! Passenger Coffee was rated “Best Coffee in Pennsylvania” by Food & Wine this year, and their coffee and tea offerings are harvested and packaged with meticulous care. They offer subscriptions (for coffee and/or tea) that can be delivered anywhere, so even out-of-towners can try their unique blends. Pair it with the staff-loved Chemex for a complete caffeine care package.

For the families

Monogramming makes any gift one-of-a-kind. It adds a special touch to any gift, especially if you have new parents or newlyweds on your list. Initially Yours offers monogramming services on all the items they offer in-store or you can bring your own apparel and accessories in for embroidery. I have a nephew due in a few weeks, and I think a cozy little blanket with his monogram will be the perfect first present from his aunt.

For the host with the most

Don’t forget your thank yous! Lancaster Central Market is the perfect place to pick up a quick gift for your holiday host. What Broad Street offers in coffee and beer, Central Market offers in desserts. Grab a famous shoofly pie from the Shady Maple stand or frosted donuts with bacon from Achenbach’s (both are Lancaster staples!) Or for the more health-conscious, grab a Pinterest-worthy centerpiece from one of the local florists.


Of course, these are only just a few of the shops, boutiques and cafes Lancaster has to offer. Not in Lancaster? No problem! Harrisburg, York, and Hershey have their own collection of small businesses that have unique gifts for everyone on your list. Happy shopping!

Check out the rest of the team’s 2018 Gift Guides.

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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