You know, I believe that one of the most important things I can do with this platform (this blog, my social channels, my voice) is help support local businesses.
This year has been tough (understatement of the year right there), and the holidays are a great time to support the small, local businesses you love.
There are a ton of Pittsburgh, PA-based businesses that this yinzer is excited to support this year, so I wanted to put together a quick little gift guide outlining some of my very favorites.
I love categorization (it makes my type-A brain very happy), so we’re going to break these businesses into a few different sections:
- For the coffee lover
- For those who like adult beverages
- For those who love unique, handmade, and quirky goods
- For the foodie
- For those who have everything
None of this is sponsored, but I have worked with some of the brands listed below in the past (denoted with an *). This post is purely fueled by love for these Pittsburgh-based businesses.
Let’s dive in:
For the coffee lover
I almost exclusively get my brother coffee for his birthday and for Christmas because I know it’s always going to be a hit.
You just can’t go wrong with a big ol’ mug of cozy. Especially this time of year!
Here are some of my current favorites from the burgh:
Adda* — I talked about Adda in my ultimate Pittsburgh Date Day post, and my love for them still goes strong! They recently launched a Bazaar where you can buy unique gifts and food-based subscriptions (like a chocolate & coffee subscription!) for your loved ones (or yourself…no judgement).
Press House Coffee* — I love their branding and the different kinds of coffees they offer. From single origins to fun blends, they literally have something for everyone! If you’re unsure of what kind of coffee your giftee likes, you can build a bundle of four of Press House’s 4-oz. roasts and blends for only $20!
For those who like adult beverages
There are a ton of Pittsburgh makers who are doing incredible things in the world of alcohol at the moment.
From pre-made cocktails to small-batch craft spirits, there’s something for everyone if you’re looking for a gift to make a loved one’s holiday a little cozier:
Wigle Whiskey — For all of your whiskey, gin, liqueur, rum, brandy, and pre-made cocktail needs.
Boyd & Blair* — This potato vodka distillery makes delicious pre-made cocktails. Even for people who don’t typically love vodka (it me)! I highly recommend the Keystone Tea (it tastes like an Arnold Palmer!), the Pumpkin Spice Mule, and the variety flask set.
Hitchhiker Brewing — One of our favorite breweries in the burgh. I recommend the Double Bane of Existence if you’re a fan of IPAs! Grab some cans to go at either of their Mt. Lebanon or Sharpsburg locations.
For those who love unique, handmade, and quirky goods
Maybe you don’t want to gift something consumable this holiday season. If that’s the case, look no further than these small Pittsburgh business who are making beautiful, fun specialty home goods:
Borealis Candle Co. — This company came recommended to me on Instagram, and they make soy-coconut wax candles! Their branding is so beautiful, and their scents seem like they’d be so cozy and yummy (um, hello, mulled wine!).
Spruce and Adorn — Another recommendation from social media! This woman-owned business does virtual store tours to keep patrons safe during COVID. During your virtual tour, you can purchase unique home goods your giftees will love.
For the foodie
As Pittsburghers, we’re really lucky; our food scene has been incredible these past few years, and it just keeps getting better and better.
That being said, there are a ton of ways you can support local restaurants this holiday season, whether you’re looking to get some takeout during a busy week, lighten the load on your holiday cooking, or buy gift cards for loved ones.
Here are some of my all-time faves:
Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream* — You can’t go wrong with ice cream! I adore Millie’s for so many reasons –– their delicious vegan ice cream flavors (their dairy free brownie batter is one of my favorite ice cream flavors ever!), the fact that they ship nationwide, and their passion for spreading love throughout the city of Pittsburgh.
Della Terra* — A bit out of the way from downtown, but worth every second of the drive. One of my favorite places to get real-deal Italian food! Their pizza, pasta, appetizers, cocktails…all incredible.
Mediterra — Bread needs this holiday season? Look no further. I love Mediterra’s baked goods and speciality foods market.
Kaya — I love Kaya. It’s a Caribbean/South American restaurant in The Strip District, and their menu is packed with vegan and vegetarian options. They even have a special Vegetarian Prix Fixe menu on the third Wednesday of every month.
Labriola’s — Italian markets smell like home to me, and Labriola’s is no different. You can find pretty much anything your Italian food-loving heart desires at Labriola’s, from prepared foods to classic Italian goods.
Penn Mac — The quintessential Italian market in Pittsburgh. No trip to The Strip is complete without a few bags from this place. I love getting lupini and dried goods from Penn Mac. Check out their ready-made gifts for your gift-giving needs too!
For those who have everything
We all have those people in our lives: the ones who say, “Oh, I don’t need anything!” when you ask them what they want as a Christmas or holiday gift.
If you’re insistent on purchasing something for them this holiday season, consider making a donation in their name to one of their favorite charities or organizations! Your donation will do a lot of good to those in need.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Animal Friends — A purrfect gift for the animal lovers in your life! I used to volunteer here, and they do really great work for floofs that need love and care. There are a ton of different ways you can give your support!
Steel Smiling Pittsburgh — Support Black mental health advocacy, awareness, and education by donating to to this organization. They help provide mental health services to those in the Black community here in Pittsburgh.
Riverside Center for Innovation — Help support small businesses by donating to this incubator on the North Side. Mark used to work here, and they do incredible work for Pittsburgh’s business community, as well as women, minorities, veterans, LGBTQ, and other disadvantaged groups.
Light of Life — By donating to Light of Life, you’re helping support Pittsburgh’s homeless community with food, clothing, and shelter.
412 Food Rescue — Donate food, give money, or volunteer your time to this organization that helps rescue unsellable food to those in need.
So which small businesses are you supporting this year? Even if they’re not in Pittsburgh, I’d love to hear about them!
Leave your recommendations in the comments below so we can continue doing our part to support our local communities. ❤️
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