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Shop Local: San Diego Small Business Artisan Gift Guide

November 28, 2018
Credit: agrobacter
The holidays are a great time to explore our local San Diego County community, visit locally owned stores and restaurants, build relationships with local producers, and support neighbors who are living out their passions. It's also a great way to find unique gifts from stocking stuffers to splurges.

It’s hard work. Excuse me, DAMN HARD WORK to run a small business these days.

We’ve recently seen some local small businesses shutter, so now more than ever, we need to be supporting each other. We need to continue to visit our favorite local chef, keep purchasing from our local farmer, and drinking locally roasted coffee.

It truly takes a village of people to keep these local businesses thriving. And to me, it is these artisans and craftsmen who make San Diego so uniquely wonderful.

To help get you started, we’ve rounded up a list of locally made gifts for everyone on your list.

Creations by Will Shave Set

Men love a little indugence in their grooming routine too. I got this gorgeous set last year for the hubby and he loves it! Will is a beautiful craftsman and can create custom pieces for your set.

Sets range from $150- 350  and can be ordered from Will at

Energy-Activating Chocolate Truffles from Vivacious Dish

This box of 8 energy-activating chocolate truffles are made with fair trade cacao, coconut butter, local raw honey and herbs and spices by Chef Kathryn Rogers, a conscious chef dedicated to nourishing people with naturally grown, delicious food. Each box includes a flavor guide and positive affirmation card.

Order a box for $20 at

Creations by Will
Vivacious Dish

Café Virtuoso HydroFlask

These 16-ounce hydroflasks are BPA-Free and Phalate-Free and made with a durable, sweat-free powder coat finish. The flask will keep your coffee hot for six hours and keep your iced coffee cold for up to 24-hours.

Buy the flask for $24.60 at Café Virtuoso or online

Old Harbor San Miguel Gin

San Miguel was the title bestowed upon San Diego when Cabrillo first landed here in 1542, opening the Southwest to discovery. This gin is distilled from a variety of the freshest southwestern botanicals—lime, cucumber, cilantro, and sage—all of which are locally grown. This is a spicy, bright, juicy, and intensely herbal gin that is easy to enjoy neat or mixed.

Find a bottle at most local liquor stores for around $30, there is a shop finder on their website:

Nutista Nutty or Nice Nutbutter Gift Box

This great gift set includes a jar of Nutista "The Mountie" spread, which is evocative of a pecan pie, with very low total sugar; a jar of Nutista "The Nut Job" Nutbutter, made with cashews, sprouted almonds, valencia peanuts, and elliot pecans that make this blend creamy and delicious; and a jar of Nutista "The Monkey King" Nutbutter for which an entire banana is added to each jar to add a burst of flavor to creamy peanuts and chia seeds.

Buy online at or at Jimbos! Naturally stores for $36.

Cafe Virtuoso
Societe Brewing Company

Societe Brewing Company Dog Collars & Leashes

Because your dog is your favorite drinking buddy, show off his good taste with these brewery-inspired collars and leashes.

Find them at the brewery or online for $14-18, depending on size

Clay Therapy Ceramics

Allie Chen is the talented artisan behind the beautiful ceramics used at Wayfarer Bread. We love the Ceramic Wishing Bowls that she crafts in sets of two and three along with all manner of gorgeous ceramic serving and dining ware.

Order wishing bowls (2 for $35 or 3 for $43) online

Garden Kitchen New Year’s Eve Eve Wine Dinner

This New Year’s Eve Eve Dinner will take place on Sunday, December 30th at 6pm. The six courses will include local wine pairings, and expect to see lobster, chateubriand, San Diego's finest farm produce, and lots of champagne. Every year this great event sells out, so make your gift reservation asap. Dietary restrictions will be accommodated. Note that this is an adults-only affair.

See details at and call the restaurant to make your reservation (619-431-5755). $125 includes all courses, tax and gratuity.

Locally-Made Jewelry from La Luz

Rhonda is a local jewelry maker who can be found at the Little Italy Mercado. We especially love her leather cuff with bronze feather ($50), but she has all kinds of unique pieces to suit every taste.

Check out her booth at the Little Italy Mercado or online

Baby Clydesdale Small Batch Hot Sauce 3 Pack

This awesome gift set of hot sauces includes a jar of Lemongrass Tiger! Tiger! BBQ, Carrot Habanero Ginger, and small-batch Sriracha for the heat lovers.

You can find Baby Clydesdale gift sets for $28 at local farmers markets or order online at

La Luz
Garden Kitchen
Stephanie Parker
Stephanie Parker is the founder and CEO of Epicurean San Diego, a local agritourism and events company. She is a committed locavore who serves as the Farm Liaison on the board for Slow Food Urban San Diego. In her free time you’ll find her outside with her dogs, cooking at home with her husband or dining out with friends.
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