The Portland Buy Local campaign was launched in July 2006 by Portland business owners and citizens hoping to counteract the rising influence of national chains through collective marketing and education. After receiving an enthusiastic response from both businesses and residents, the initial working group incorporated the Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance (PIBCA) in September 2006 and formed the organization’s first Board of Directors and Advisory Board.
In its ten-year history, PIBCA has welcomed more than 750 business members, with a current annual average of 400 members. Members proudly utilize free Portland Buy Local window decals, posters, and countertop thank-you cards, while supporters wear t-shirts, display bumper stickers, and carry canvas shopping totes throughout the Greater Portland area. We have so much to celebrate after our first decade, thanks to you: our members.
2015 – 2016
Portland Buy Local has really spread our wings since we were born ten years ago. We have interacted with even more of our members this year than ever before (and as the membership is growing even bigger that’s saying a lot!); we have participated in more community events and put on more of our own; and we have worked hard to promote our members and their viewpoints in a number of different spheres. We also drafted a strategic plan, outlining our vision for the future and how we’re planning to get there.
Some of the highlights from our ninth year include:
From meeting with Portland’s new mayor to joining the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce to writing an op-ed in the Portland Press Herald against the proposed CVS on Forest Avenue, Portland Buy Local has been working hard to raise the visibility and represent the viewpoints of local businesses here in our community. While our membership was split on the minimum wage proposal last fall, we participated in the Mayor’s Minimum Wage Task Force, and surveyed our members and released their viewpoints for discussion.
In Support of Thoughtful Development
In response to the citywide outcry over the CVS development proposed on Forest Avenue, District 1 Councilor Belinda Ray requested the Portland Planning Board consider a zone change in this location. On March 22nd, the Planning Board voted to recommend a zoning change to B-2b in this location in just one example of several mechanisms that are being explored by the City to protect the existing buildings as well as guide future development to be mindful of local desire to preserve character and independent businesses, and promote a walkable, dense streetscape on Forest Avenue. The Portland Buy Local Board submitted a letter to the editor in the Portland Press Herald earlier this year stating its position in support of a built environment that allows local, independent businesses to thrive in Portland, and spoke about the issue during an interview on Channel 8.
In an effort to better understand how policy shapes local economies, Portland Buy Local has worked with local business owners, community organizers, and researchers at the Muskie School of Public Policy to identify policies that Portland might consider adopting. These findings, combined with research from the Institute for Local Self Reliance, are the foundation of case studies that are currently being conducted.
Membership Development and Outreach: Portland Buy Local now has 450 members, an increase of 26% from last year. It’s exciting to enter our 10th year in such a strong position. Our Program Manager, Jenn Thompson, and our membership committee have put a lot of effort into bringing new businesses into the organization and to connecting with as many of our existing members as possible. We also launched our ‘Buy Local Hero’ card this year, which members use to claim discounts at 43 of our diverse member businesses.
Portland Buy Local Organized Events: The 2015 Indie Biz Awards was our most successful community building and fundraising event ever! More than 200 people attended to celebrate local business here in Portland and we had more sponsors supporting the Buy Local cause than ever before. Planning for the 2016 event is already underway; mark your calendars for October 6, 2016 at the Portland House of Music!
We also organized five Brown Bag Lunch Forums, which more than 100 people came together to focus on:
We continued our longstanding Buy Local Member Mixer series, sponsored by Sebago Brewing Company, with events at Peloton Labs, The Sunrise Guide, and New England Distilling.
Community Outreach: From the Farmers’ Market to Downtown Worker Appreciation Day to Rosemont Harvest in the Hood, Portland Buy Local has been all around town. President Tony Cox represented Portland Buy Local on a panel at Creative Portland’s The Challenge of Change: Are We Loving Portland to Death event to share our member’s perspectives on rising commercial rents, minimum wage and more, plus we exhibited at the event. More than 200 community members came together to talk about the vision for Portland’s future.
Other places you’ve run into Portland Buy Local this year include:
Educational Outreach: Portland Buy Local puts a significant amount of effort over the course of the year to educate the public about the importance of buying locally. This past year, we’ve reached more than 20,000 people with our Portland Buy Local directories and were present in more tourist oriented locations, including the Portland Jetport, Gateway Terminal and area hotels. We’ve also discussed local economic ethics in the Bollard, MPBN, WMPG, Portland Press Herald, Dispatch Magazine, Channel 8, The Forecaster, West End News, Portland Downtown’s Guide, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You’ve probably also seen “BUY LOCAL” on the Time and Temp building several times throughout the year!
Engagement in Numbers:
In the beginning of this fiscal year, the board approved a budget of $56,677 with the expectation that the organization would increase spending in certain areas to grow membership and use up to $10,277 in savings.
For the fiscal year of July 1, 2015 through June 3, 2016 we had an income of $42,867.89 with $33,046.46 coming from membership dues and $9,829.68 from the Indie Biz awards. During the same period we had $48,000.00 in expenses for a net operating loss of $5,932.82.
In comparison for the fiscal year of July 1, 2014 through June 3, 2015 we had a total income of $41,873.59 and total expenses of 38,869.42 for a surplus of $3,004.
The rise in expenses affected all areas of our operations with Program Manager compensation and the board’s decision to produce locally sourced tote bags being noteable line items.
Portland Buy Local Gift Ideas – Forgo the Maine Mall this year and shop in your downtown. This year we reached out to our members to ask them for the best local gift ideas for Mother’s Day.
Handbags – $170
Kurier is a small boutique that has an array of beautiful, and locally made, products ranging from handbags and accessories to apparel and personal goods. Featured in the photograph is the Lenore handbag for $170.
615A Congress St., Portland
Banana-Strawberry-Nutella Crepe with Ice Cream – $5.75
Normally priced at $6.45, this delicious treat is available with the purchase of a drink and is an amazing way to kick start Mother’s Day. But who is to tell Mom she can’t have dessert all day? Swing by Tu-Fri from 9am to 8pm, Sa-Su 8-8.
229 Congress St., Portland
Soy Candle – $24
131 Middle St., Portland
100% Beeswax Candles – $19.99
The Honey Exchange has a wide variety of sizes and styles for Mom’s indoor and outdoor candle needs! Supply her with one of these patio or formal dining table candles featured, and it will burn clean for 50 hours and remove allergens from the air!
494 Stevens Av., Portland
Pembroke White Bow Tie – $59
The perfect addition to any spring outfit, from nautical chic Maine weddings to country cocktail parties by the lake!
35 Hammond St., Portland
Baby Book – $17.99
Little Ghost Vintage has lots of different goodies for Mother’s Day! A beautiful and slightly modern version of a baby book is featured for $17.99, but they also have A Guide to Discovering Nature. Kits to do with Mom include Nature Art Kits and Seedling DIY Solar System Kits.
477 Congress St., Portland
Recycled Reflections – Price Varies
Gardiner, Maine artist Curt Brown works tirelessly to salvage old barn doors and windows from across Maine to make into beautiful mirrors. Having a Recycled Reflection mirror in your home helps preserve some of Maine’s history in a stylish, functional way.
83 West Commercial St., Portland
Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Lesson – $45
If your mother likes being on the water and hasn’t tried SUP, an introductory lesson could make a great gift. Portland Paddle’s weekly SUP lessons begin in early June, so you can reserve a spot for your mother or give her a gift certificate so she can reserve one herself.
East End Beach, Portland
Vivid Motion’s production of Peter Pan – $13 adults/$6 kids under 13
This Mother’s Day send mom on a vacation she’ll never forget; a trip to Neverland! Soak in the native culture while luxuriating in the mermaid lagoon. Sail the seas with Captain Hook, explore the island with the Lost Boys, and soar through the skies with Peter Pan and Wendy! Get tickets for Vivid Motion’s production of Peter Pan. Proceeds benefit the Center for Grieving Children. Shows: 5/13 – 7:30, 5/14 – 2:30 &7:30, 5/15 – 2:30.
St Lawrence Arts, 76 Congress St., Portland
Totes – start at $15
Patti’s Machine Quilting & Gallery has you covered for any and all tote needs! Whether mom needs a garden tote, market tote, book tote, or shopping tote while shopping local! Mention this ad in the store and receive 10% off your tote or table runner!
570 Brighton Ave., Portland
Jewelry – $25 (bracelet), $15 (earrings)
Why spend money buying Mom pre-made jewelry when you can design and make something special for less? You can make this sterling silver and gemstone bracelet for less than $25.00, and either pair of earrings for under $15.00! Caravan Beads Retail Store’s friendly and knowledge staff can help you create and customize a memorable gift for Mom on her special day. All skill levels are welcome.
915 Forest Ave., Portland
Rhubarb Smash Liqueur (375 ml) – $21.49
Something sweet & tart for Mom this Mother’s day from Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery. This liqueur is made from 95 % Maine rhubarb and 5% Maine elderberries. Something for Mom to sip and savor.
324 Fore St., Portland
Wallet Card Bottle Opener –
Summer is coming and that means grilling, back yards, bonfires and sipping on the best summer time local craft beer’s. Open your favorite beer with your favorite state. Introducing our 50 States Wallet Card Bottle Opener Collection.
170 Anderson St., Portland
Birth Stone Rings – Prices begin at $120
Celebrate Mother’s Day with Folia’s updated classic birthstone rings! Easily stack-able and infinitely versatile. Textured solitaire bands showcase the birthstones of all of your loved ones — custom made at Folia in your choice of gemstone and precious metal.
50 Exchange St., Portland
Full Dog Wash – price varies, starting at $20
Baths in the kitchen sink? Save it for the photo album. Let your loved one take advantage of The Dog Wash Etc ergonomic tubs, professional equipment and expert staff. No bending, no lifting, no struggle, no mess! A gift certificate for a self- or full-service dog wash guarantees a clean dog, tidy bathroom and quality one-on-one time with their second favorite.
1037 Forest Ave., Portland
Rising Tide Items – Prices listed
103 Fox St., Portland
Cards and Chocolate Boxes – Prices vary by selection
Wide selection of unique cards and custom chocolate boxes made for mom!
3 Moulton St., Portland
In Spa Package – $89
This package from SOAKOLOGY will cater to a very special Mom for a wonderfully affordable price. The package includes: an aroma therapy foot soak and foot massage along with a snack and beverage plus a personalized gift to take home. Also available are SOAKOLOGY gift cards if you are unsure when Mom will able to take the time for a spa package. Gift cards never expire and hold their value for ever.
Create an oasis of relaxation for Mom ‘at home’ with the pre-packaged gift set! This gift set includes a pot of tea, a bit of chocolate to savor with the tea and an essential oil bar for massage & soak (geranium, rose, cocoa & neem) for only $20.
511 Congress St., Portland
“Little Mainer” Jumper – $22
For new Moms or Grandmas, snag a little something for their new little something from Little Tap House! Available inside are the Little Mainer Classic Style Jumpers! They are wicked pissah cute!
106 High St., Portland
3 Mystic Spray Tans – $66
Send some love in the form of a spray bottle this Mother’s Day. Mom will look and feel amazing for that special occasion or her regular routine! Maine may not have Florida’s sun, but thankfully it does have Tanorama Tanning & Clothing. Make it a date and go together!
287 Marginal Way, Portland
DOG IS GOOD Never Walk Alone Hoodie – $49.99
Whether fosters, sitters or lifetime caretakers, dog moms do a lot! They take care of everything from feeding to potty accidents, training sessions that require lots of patience, and administering lots of love and walks. If you want to thank a dog mama in your life we’ve got you covered with these fun tee’s totes & sweatshirts!
195 Commercial St., Portland
Touareg Loose Leaf Tea – $4.50 – $10
For a mom that does so much, give her a gift she can truly indulge in! There is a massive variety of loose leaf teas for Mom at Dobrá, including specialties like Touareg. Dobrá also has black, herbals, green, pu-er, white/wild and oolong teas available. She can brew some you pick out special for her or brew her own with a gift certificate!
89 Exchange St., Portland
House Cleaning – $259
A Common Area Special! A deep cleaning of your Entry/Mudroom, Kitchen, Dining Room, Living Room, ½ bath, and staircase. This will be done by one of Green Clean Maine’s Earth-Loving, Dirt-Fighting cleaning teams who will scrub, polish and shine your home to perfection, all using their own hand-made, super-effective cleaning supplies. You’ll love the results, and the time you’ll free up to focus on the more important things in life!
179 Sheridan St., Suite 200, Portland
Salt Caramels (package of 8) – $17.50
Give that sweet mama of yours some sweet love from Dean’s Sweets! Choose from the many yummy treats inside that include a box of yummy salt caramels and chocolate Xs and Os (to spell out your love!). Go visit the store with Mom on May 6th (First Friday) for a book signing by Nicole Chaison, author of the graphic novel The Passion of the Hausfrau: Motherhood Illuminated.
475 Fore St., Portland
Beading Party – Price depends on materials
Get Mom and her whole gang together for a private beading party at The Bead Hound! With beautiful materials, the parties are open for all levels of bead designers and is a great way to make memories and celebrate Mom!
477 Congress St. Suite 9W, Portland
The Portland Buy Local organization, now in its 10th year, has a mission of educating its members and the public about the benefits of supporting our local economy. It is in this capacity that the board of Portland Buy Local would like to convey its concern over the recent proposal on Forest Avenue by CVS to demolish five existing buildings, several of which house local, independent businesses, in order to build a national chain store. We would be remiss if we did not point out to the city leadership both the physical and economic impacts of the CVS proposal.
The Portland community has recently been engaged in a citywide conversation about growth and change. At the heart of the debate is the question of not whether Portland should grow or change but how. We at Portland Buy Local believe the proliferation of local businesses is an essential and desirable component of Portland’s character. A proposal like the one on Forest Avenue erodes the fundamental DNA that locals and visitors alike cherish about our city.
First, there is a physical benefit to preserving buildings like those proposed to be torn down by the CVS project. Recent attention has been given to Forest Avenue as a major corridor with streetscape improvements at Exit 6 and plans to transform Woodfords Corner.
Replacing five existing buildings on Forest Avenue with a single building surrounded by parking drastically changes the character of this critical gateway location and undermines work that has already been done. Not only does preserving the existing buildings keep the desired feel of the street, it also has the impact of preserving small-scale, affordable real estate for our local, independent businesses.
Second, there is economic benefit to the City of Portland in preserving buildings like those proposed to be torn down by the CVS project – higher tax revenues and employment. Cities gain more income through property taxes when there is a high number of small, dense parcels with buildings. By tearing down five buildings and combining several smaller parcels into one larger parcel with only one, low density building, the City will lose property tax revenue in the process and jobs will be displaced. In other words, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
The Portland Buy Local board hopes that the community outcry over the CVS project brings to light some of the policy changes needed in the city to protect our local character and quality of life.
With the city’s recent stated interest in concentrating more effort in developing Forest Avenue, we hope those goals are achieved through thoughtful planning and not simply letting those with the deepest pockets determine the future of that area. Portland has grown tremendously as the economic engine of Maine and as a magnet for innovative, entrepreneurial individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
The appeal of our city for those who want to vacation here, live here, and work here stems from the unique character our independent businesses and restaurants create. Tourists want to visit our city because it is not like any they have visited before. Residents want to live here because of the variety of offerings and the close connections our locally-owned businesses provide.
And business owners want to locate and start their businesses here because they see it is a place that values independent businesses and it is a place where they have the potential to thrive.
If we as a city do not carefully plan our development, we may end up with a series of strip malls and chain stores that do not add to our city’s vision of creating a good life for all and, in fact, detract from it economically, aesthetically, and culturally. While we will continue to advocate for our mission and our membership, we also welcome the opportunity to be a resource and community partner as the city tackles the challenge of change.
Danielle Sarmir is a Portland Buy Local Board Member and Jennifer Thompson is the Portland Buy Local Ambassador. Both live in Portland.
As we reflect on the past ten years, and look forward to the next ten, we are grateful to all of the wonderful businesses that have joined our organization and have left a mark on our city. We can’t help but ponder how the local economic climate will change during the coming ten years, and what businesses we will be welcoming to our city. Together, we must nurture and protect the local business culture that brings so much texture to our lives. Independent business owners invest in our city. They employ Portlanders, serve our visitors, neighbors, and fellow Mainers.
We invite you to join us as we continue to advocate for Portland’s independent future. Become a member today. Volunteer with us. Shoot us an email at email@example.com. Where do you want Portland to be in 2026?
Portland Buy Local Gift Ideas – Forgo the Maine Mall this year and shop in your downtown. This year we reached out to our members to ask them for the best local gift ideas for the 2015 holiday season. You’ll see that we’ve got pretty much everyone on your list covered!
Lobster Pull Toy – $35
The Lobster Pull Toy is sure to delight both the young and young at heart equally. Children will love the brightly painted wood as well as the noise the claws make as they pull the toy along behind them. No danger of pinching from these claws however, just hours of entertainment! The Lisa-Marie’s team calls him Leroy and will jump at the opportunity to help test him out with any customers under 3 feet.
Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine
35 Exchange St
Maileg mice – starting at $20
When it comes to finding that perfect gift this season, we’re heading straight for Maileg mice! These sweet creatures come dressed up and ready to play. Guaranteed to bring a smile to any little one’s face, these mice are ideal for year-round use. Mice + matchbox sets range from $20 – $30.
42 Exchange Street
Handmade mugs by Rebecca May Verrill Ceramics – $38
These Fern and Stone mugs are handmade in Portland by Rebecca May Verrill. Inspired by hikes in the Maine Woods, this series also includes bowls, plates and tumblers and would make a thoughtful gift for anyone that enjoys the Maine outdoors.
Maine Potters Market
376 Fore Street
Frye leather bags – starting at $100
Whether you’re looking to give the perfect gift, or hoping to spoil yourself this season, browse Bliss Boutique’s selection of Frye bags! Two of their favorites are the Melissa Foldover bag & the Parker Backpack. They’re versatile, stylish, and get better with wear! Frye accessories range from $100 – $500.
58 Exchange Street
Portmanteau bags – starting at $24.50
Rugged good looks and built in durability. Heavy weight waxed cotton tote fully lined with coated nylon ($54.50) has leather straps and pocket. Shown with matching wristlet ($24.50). Both bags are made at Portmanteau on Wharf Street.
3 Wharf Street
11×14 lobster illustration print
Titled “Long Island Blue Sea Glass,” this lobster print by native Maine artist Andrew M. Cook is a unique design anyone one your list will be sure to appreciate. Visit Old Port Card Works for the largest selection of “Lobstering Is An Art” cards, prints, and calendars in southern Maine.
Old Port Card Works
3 Moulton Street
Maine Historical Atlas – $75
The history buff on your shopping list will love the Maine Historical Atlas, published April, 2015 by the University of Maine Press, offered at Letterpress Books.
91 Auburn Street
Green cleaning package – starting at $160
The lucky recipient of this gift will be getting: 1) A green-cleaned home and 2) Free time! Let our Earth-Loving, Dirt-Fighting cleaning teams scrub, polish and shine their home to perfection, while they kick back and enjoy the spirit of the holiday. Prices start at $160 for an introductory package. Popular packages range from $225-$395 and up. All packages are deep cleanings of specific rooms or the whole house.
Green Clean Maine
179 Sheridan Street, Suite 200
Maine Beer Tours gift certificate – any amount
Is there a person on your shopping list already into craft beer or thinking about expanding their taste buds with wonderful locally made beer, spirits, mead, cider and kombucha? Then look no further than snagging them a Maine Beer Tours gift certificate. Maine Beer Tour gift certificates are the perfect gift for anyone on your shopping list, that is over the age of 21 of course, and can be purchased on their website. Gift certificates can come in any denomination.
Maine Beer Tours
180 Commercial Street
We Compost It! membership – $107.88/year
For just over $100/year, give the gift of going green with a We Compost It! membership. Not only will the lucky recipient of this membership help save the earth by composting, but they will also save 8% on Wednesdays at select restaurants around town AND cut garbage bag costs!
We Compost It!
910 Riverside Street
Love Maine coaster set – $42
Those who are connected to Maine are a proud and loyal group of people, with so much love for this incredible place that we live. This set of 4 hand-designed coasters are the perfect gift for the proud Mainer on your shopping list.
70 Merrill Street
Selection of fine teas at Dobra Tea
We’ll have gift baskets and gift certificates for tea lovers, along with brewing supplies and loose tea. If you haven’t had the blooming flavor of an oolong, the sweetness of a green, or the richness of a pu-er, it’s time to step away from the bag and try real tea.
89 Exchange Street
Oil and vinegar gift set – $38.99
Leroux Kitchen has culled four customer favorites from their extensive balsamic vinegar and olive oil tasting bar to offer in a convenient gift set. Wrapped, tied with a ribbon and ready to go, the “Favorites” include our Traditional 18 Year Balsamic, Summer Peach White Balsamic, Lemon Infused and Tuscan Herb Ultra Premium Olive Oils. The perfect gift for the cook or food lover on your list.
161 Commercial Street
Gritty’s Portland Brew Pub is the perfect place to experience the holidays in Portland’s Old Port. Their Fore Street location is right in the heart of the historic district. Pull up a chair at the copper-topped bar, strike up a conversation at the beer hall-style tables, drink a Christmas Ale or take in festive street life on the cobblestones of Wharf Street from the basement Brewery Bar patio. They are open every day and you’re always welcome.
396 Fore Street
Rogue Industries wallet – $65
Rogue Industries’ patented Rogue Wallet is slim, lightweight, and shaped for your front pocket. RFID-blocking WalletGuard is stitched directly into the lining of the wallet, protecting your credit cards from unauthorized access. Crafted in Lewiston, Maine.
386 Fore Street, Suite 500
5-piece bonbon assortment – $10
Looking for that perfect gift for the one on your list with a sweet tooth? Look no further than this great gift from Christopher Hastings Confections. CHC makes their deliciously dark chocolate caramels with sea salt from the Eggemoggin Reach off Deer Isle, Maine and the dairy is locally sourced as well. Orders can be placed through their website, or purchases can be made at several Portland retailers including The Otherside Delicatessen and Dobra Tea.
Christopher Hastings Confections
Maine Foodie Tours gift certificate – $55
Give the gift of experiencing Maine’s culinary culture through a tour with Maine Foodie Tours! Four locations are offered in Portland, Rockland, Kennebunk, and Bar Harbor. Gift certificates are available in any denomination, and never expire.
Maine Foodie Tours
Infusion kit – starting at $8.50
Vena’s Infusion Kits are a great option for so many on your gift list. It’s easy to create homemade infused alcohols. Simply add your desired spirit, let it infuse for 5 days, shaking daily. Once the flavor is to your liking, strain and pour on the rocks or in your favorite cocktails. Choose from their Fall/Winter flavors!
Vena’s Fizz House
345 Fore Street
The Dog Wash gift certificate – any amount
Know someone who deserves a pat on the head? A gift certificate from The Dog Wash Etc. is good for any purchase, in-store and online, and makes life a little easier for the pet lover in your world. Whether it’s a no-hassle dog wash, free pet supply delivery, a special toy or a pampering visit to our professional groomer it’s sure to get tails wagging.
The Dog Wash Etc.
1037 Forest Avenue
Starry Eyes stuffed animals – $22
Adorable soft cotton velour loveys for littles, made in France by Moulin Roty. A perfect gift for infants as the eyes and clothing are stitched and have no choking hazards. Toddlers will love these sweet little creatures as well, just look at those snazzy outfits! Owl, kangaroo, duck, and fox.
76 Washington Avenue
Portland Paddle gift certificate – any amount
Give the Gift of Paddling on Casco Bay with a Portland Paddle Gift Certificate: In the middle of winter it’s nice to have a reminder that summer is only a few months away. Portland Paddle sells gift certificates through its website that can be used for its daily guided sea kayak trips on Casco Bay or for its wide range of lessons and its kayak and SUP rentals.
Planet Dog’s Orbee-Tuff Buoy – $17.95
Toss it! Tug it! Float it! Fetch it! Stuff it! Made right in Biddeford, Maine, this toy’s buoy shape makes for amazingly unpredictable bounces, while the rope allows for easy fetching while on land or at sea. Features a Treat Spot for interactive treat-dispensing fun. Stuff it with Planet Dog Eats and enjoy!
211 Marginal Way
Portland House Of Pizza gift card – any amount
Great for any holiday but especially the cold winter ones! From Nov 1st through December 24th when you buy a gift certificate worth $25 at Portland House of Pizza, you will get a coupon for YOU: A free large cheese pizza! Redeemable from Jan 1st until Feb 28th.
Portland House of Pizza
1359 Washington Avenue
Ingenium gin, Eight Bells rum, Gunpowder rye whiskey – $39.99 each
Ingenium Gin, Eight Bells Rum, and Gunpowder Rye Whiskey are brewed, distilled, and bottled by New England Distilling, right here in Portland’s Riverside neighborhood. Our flame heated, traditional copper pot stills create flavorful spirits that have won national awards. New England Distilling is open for free tours and tastings, come see for yourself!
New England Distilling
26 Evergreen Drive, Unit B
Flowfold “Zip Porter” Tote – $65
Made of DiamondFiber fabric, the bag’s main compartment is perfect for carrying a variety of essentials while a compact outer pocket keeps your phone, keys, and wallet within easy reach. Stormproof zippers keep the contents secure and dry. The “Zip Porter” makes a great gift for the commuter or adventurer in your life.
Custom-made pet ornaments – $25
Bring Ann Tracy a photo (or even email) of your pet and she will make an ornament for you for only $25. Gift certificates are available for the ornaments as well as portraits.
Ann Tracy Photography
Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest coloring books at Circa Home and Vintage – $15.95 each
These best-selling coloring books by Johanna Basford are back-ordered just about everywhere but at Circa Home and Vintage! These coloring books feature beautiful pen-and-ink illustrations and hours of coloring fun. Psychiatrists agree that coloring can stimulate your brain to ease stress. Stop by the shop for these titles that are great for any age!
Circa Home and Vintage
247 Congress Street, Suite B
Soft pajamas and robes at Aristelle – starting at $139
Bedhead Pajamas are 100% cotton pajamas that are made in the USA and feature delightful prints. Looking for something a little different? Aristelle also carries cozy UGG robes in a selection of colors.
92 Exchange Street
Silk yarn gift set by Tess’ Designer Yarns – $25
This yarn kit has been a popular seller, great as a gift for yourself or a loved one. In the kit are 8 luscious shades of 100% silk in neutrals or brights, enough for any small scarf or cowl project.
Tess’ Designer Yarns
305 Commercial Street
The 1820 Collection by Might and Main
As an homage to this great state we call home, Might and Main created the 1820 collection: a collection of usable goods marked with the word that has proclaimed our state’s mission since declaring independence in 1820, “dirigo,” Latin for “I Lead.” Whether you’re a true Mainer, a transplant, a part-timer, or just an admirer, may these goods inspire you to lead your own way and keep Maine in your heart.
Might and Main
408 Fore Street, Suite 3A
Gift selections from Waterlily Imports – starting at $5
For every person on your list, Waterlily Imports has the perfect gift guaranteed to bring a smile. Pictured are one-of-a-kind paintings by an artist in Thailand on reclaimed teak wood. Also offered are embroidered pillows by store owner Renee Garland for Waterlily, “Little Monster” keychains for Thailand (makes a great stocking stuffer!), all natural Dr. Dandelion soaps, and an assortment of colorful beaded bracelets.
26 Milk Street
Tanning gift certificate package – $58.99
Buy a gift certificate for an 8-visit tan package for $58.99 and receive a free packet of tanning lotion.
Tanorama Tanning and Clothing
287 Marginal Way
Reusable “paper” towels – $50
These towels will help you add a touch of style to your sustainable home. They would make the perfect holiday gift for the environmentally-conscious on your list. The towels come as a set of 12 that snap together and are available in many fabric choices. They can be purchased at the Portland Food Co-Op and The Merchant Co.
Anne Riggs Designs
Massage Works Gift Certificate- starting at $35
Have someone on your list that could use a break? Maybe you’re the one deserving of a relaxing massage to lessen that holiday stress!
22 Monument Square, Suite 406
Home Remedies gift selection – starting at $15.95
Home Remedies never fails to offer an amazing selection of unique furniture and accessories. This holiday season, they are offering several wonderful gifts, including custom woolen benches and throw pillows, bark candles in various scents, a vintage cigar mold, and three popular book titles.
83 West Commercial Street
Handmade jewelry by Bosco Jewelry – starting at $125
Pamela Bosco of Bosco Jewelry creates unique pieces inspired by nature, and these gift ideas straight from her studio would be at home on any jewelry-lovers wish list! Pictured are a pair of handmade sterling silver spiral hoop earrings, which can be made in any diameter. Another fantastic piece Bosco’s fine silver wrap bracelet, a stylish bangle made of one piece of metal. Also available in oxidized silver.
Gin selection – starting at $27.49
These gins distilled at Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery make a wonderful holiday gift with no wrapping required! Their Back River Gin, made with a Mainer blueberry twist, was named the #1 best gin in the world in 2015! Their delicious cranberry gin makes a great mixer and is just as sweet on its own.
Sweetgrass Winery and Distillery
324 Fore Street
Gourmet cookie gift box – $15
Who wouldn’t love a cookie gift box during the holidays? My 3 Sisters Italian Cookies has the perfect gourmet Italian cookies, ready to be gifted for anyone on your list who appreciates the sweeter things in life. The gift box includes a baker’s dozen of assorted cookies.
My 3 Sisters Italian Cookies
86 Codman Street
Custom cookbook or photo album – $175
Have a custom cookbook or album hand-made by Wheatberry Design! Finally, a chance to gather all your family recipes, photos, or other memorabilia into one special place, making for a truly special gift for your loved ones. Offered for the special promotional price of $175!
2016 SunriseGuide, print & mobile – starting at $20
The SunriseGuide is Maine’s guide to healthy and sustainable living. And this 10th anniversary edition is the best one yet! With hundreds of coupons from greater Portland’s favorite local-owned businesses, the SunriseGuide is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Now available in print and in mobile at fine retailers throughout greater Portland as well as online at www.thesunriseguide.com.
Handmade gift selection from Patti’s Machine Quilting and Gallery – starting at $15
Just in time for the holiday season, Patti’s Machine Quilting and Gallery offers an assortment of gifts for your friends and loved ones! Holiday table runners, tote bags in several styles, and quilts of several sizes and fabrics are just some of the items available at Patti’s.
Patti’s Machine Quilting & Gallery
570 Brighton Avenue
Of course we’d be remiss not to add that an individual membership to Portland Buy Local makes an excellent gift. Not only do members receive discounts at local businesses and get into all Portland Buy Local events for free, but they also get the warm and fuzzy feeling of being a part of a larger network of local people dedicated to keeping Portland the independent, unique, and fabulous place it is.
Portland Buy Local – www.portlandbuylocal.org
Aikido of Maine / Andrew and Debra Tenenbaum / angela adams / BENCHMARK Residential & Investment Real Estate / The Brand Company / Bull Feeney's / Casco Bay EyeCare / Casco Bay Frames & Gallery / Coffee By Design / CornerStone Building & Restoration / The Fish & Bone / Goodwill Industries of Northern New England / Green Clean Maine / Liquid Riot / Joan Leitzer / Longfellow Books / Marsh Agency / Nine Stones / Nomads / OTTO / Peter Metsch / Old Port Magazine / Port Property Management / Portland Downtown / Portland Farmers’ Market / Renys Department Store / Sebago Brewing Company / Stacy Mitchell / Supreme Clean / The SunriseGuide / Thurstons Wicked Good Burgers / Tsunami Tattoo / University Credit Union / Vervacious / XPress Copy