The Modern Bee Guide to Shopping Small – Part 1.

March 18, 2020 in Out in the World - No Comments

I’m a big proponent of shopping small in any circumstance. I find I’ve discovered the most unique gifts, the tastiest foods and the best customer service with small shops, small brands and small batch makers; I love seeking them out and stumbling upon them. The global health crisis right now has me thinking about community and ways to support and nourish one other in trying times. Each of these companies offer something that is bound to put a smile on your face (something we could all use a dose of right now) and I wanted to share them with you all, since that’s what this community is about: sharing.

As long as we’re in the midst of flattening the curve and staying close to home as much as possible, I’ve done some “exploring and perusing” for you. As long as we’re in this (and ideally moving forward, too) I’ve decided I’m going to regularly post about smaller companies I love (and why) as well as others I have just discovered, in the hopes that the love chain will continue and you, reader, might also find something new you love, too. In trying times, let’s support one another, however we can and if you have a place to share, please do.

Savor Fine Foods

This is a cookie company out of Litchfield County, Connecticut and when I say they make the best shortbread cookie I’ve ever had, I’m not kidding. They do really unique flavors, like the dried shallot. I love their lavender and can’t wait to try out the cinnamon ginger next. Addictive! They also make a great gift.

Upinngill Farm

It’s a tradition in our household to drive up to Upinngill Farm each fall en route to leaf peep in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. It’s a wonderful farm with an even more wonderful farm store, right out of Little House on the Prairie. Everything is sold by the honor system, and what used to be a little box for cash also now includes an iPad to pay. They stock everything from their own cheeses to seasonal produce to locally sourced grains and provisions. I’m always sure to leave with an armful of their epic bee balm. It is the best, natural moisturizer (especially right now with all the extra hand washing!) and if we’re good friends, chances are you’ve gotten a jar at some point. Luckily, they ship it!

b. kind

A cute shop in West Hartford, Connecticut with a fantastic array of natural products and a great selection of locally sourced merchandise from which to discover even more new brands. They also do events throughout the year and it’s a nice, little community hub. As soon as I finish this post, I’m going to order these eucalyptus cubes for the bath I just came across on their Instagram page. I used to just pour a little eucalyptus oil in the tub to steam, but love the idea of these cubes instead.


Taking things across the Atlantic for number four and it’s worth the trip. Such a lovely shop in Edinburgh, wonderfully organized by the rooms of a home, so it’s like you’re walking through somebody’s (enviable) home and scoping out their goods from kitchen supplies to garden goodies. They sell these fabulous tweed bags in assorted sizes and when in Scotland this past fall, I had to treat myself to one to use as a clutch. I don’t buy anything that I don’t find useful or beautiful in an heirloom quality, pass-it-on-down kind of way and a few months after getting home, I kicked myself for not getting another one in a different tweed pattern. They don’t sell them online, but I reached out over Instagram and they were happy to do a transaction over the phone and ship the pouch (along with one for my sister) out right away. Sensational! Worth a trip to lovely Edinburgh just for a trip to lovely Homer.

Vancouver Candle Co.

You know when a candle is called, Hawaii but smells more Kool-Aide powder with a hint of orange Gatorade? Not the case with these lovelies. I’m Canadian by birth and take epic delight in how much the smell of these candles remind me of the Canadian neighbo(u)rhoods they’re named for. Not Canadian? I think we can all still get behind a rose, sandalwood and oud scented candle. Feel a little imposter-y with a Muskoka candle on your dresser and having no clue where Muskoka is? They also have more globally-named scents like Atlantic and West Coast, depending on your fancy.



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