**If you’re already sold on shopping local, skip down to the Ossining recommendations by clicking here. Otherwise, read on.**
We all know that online shopping can be great since you can do it from the couch and often find low prices, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. We couldn’t find any studies done in Westchester, but Beacon-based nonprofit Re>Think Local participated in a national 2014 survey on the impact of shopping at local businesses.
Re>Think found that in the Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties for study purposes), independent retailers recirculated 58.2% of revenue locally, compared to national retail chains, which on average recirculate 13.6% of revenue locally.
Amazingly (to us at least), the Re>Think study noted that if the results were representative for independent businesses across those three counties, a 10% shift in revenue from chains to independents would retain an additional $475 million in the regional economy each year (see full Hudson Valley survey results here). That’s just a 10% shift in spending in those 3 counties.
Not that it’s a contest or anything, but according to my calculations the combined population of Ulster, Orange and Dutchess is about 857,000 people, considerably less than Westchester’s 980,000. So if we did the same here, the impact would be even larger.
As for the nationwide retail averages, the results showed that if you make a $100 purchase:
- At an independent local store, $48 stays in your community
- At an in-town chain, $14 stays in your community
- At an online store, $1 stays in your community (assuming the delivery driver resides locally)
That’s nearly 3.5x more money recirculating in the community with independent vs. chain, and 48x (or more) as much with independent vs. online!
If you’re game, another impactful (and quick) resource on the impact of buying locally is the 3/50 project.
SO, instead of defaulting to doing all your holiday shopping this year online or in big box stores, take a look at all of the local treasures you can find in your own town.
In the last few years, lots of new independent businesses have opened in Ossining and have made our town a better place to live. It’s hard to believe we now have 2 breweries, a toy store and a vegan restaurant downtown. By choosing local, we collectively make sure these independent businesses are here for the long term, and we all benefit.
Without further ado, here is a list of businesses and ideas to keep your hard-earned dollars right here in Ossining, and get a lot of value in return.
1. Melita’s Home Furnishings
A long-time staple on Main Street, Melita’s is a destination that people travel to from other towns. How lucky we are to have such a beautiful and unique store in our town!
At Melita’s, you can find original products and decorative items made by artisans, and found by the owner in her travels to Europe. Melita’s offers a wide variety of products including baby items, bedding, glassware, home decor and furniture.
This store is the perfect place to get a present for: moms, aunts and mothers-in-law.
Melita’s Home is located at 125 Main Street, Ossining, and their website is MelitasHome.com
2. Mike Risko Music Store
Mike Risko is the Ossining Music King. Just coined that – #OssiningMusicKing. He and his wife Miriam run a music school, a band, and the music store, all under the “Mike Risko” brand.
At their music store you can find instruments of all kinds, from guitars and keyboards to drums and ukuleles. You can also find sheet music, guitar strings, and fun accessories to introduce kids to music, like the flexible roll-up drum kit pictured below.
This store is the perfect place to get a present for: all the music lovers in your life.
The Mike Risko music store is located at 144 Croton Ave, Ossining, and their website is MikeRiskoMusicSchool.com.
3. Penny & Ting
The latest addition to Main Street has brought joy and the cutest gifts for the little ones in your life. They have a great selection of high-quality toys, books and decorations, starting at just a few dollars.
This store is the perfect place to get a present for: kids up t0 12 years old, and families. There are board games that the whole family can enjoy, and a travel bingo game, perfect to knock the edge off those long car rides. I would also recommend this store for fun stocking stuffers for the kids.
Penny & Ting is located at 133 Main Street, Ossining, and their website is PennyandTing.com.
4. Bob’s Army & Navy
In business since June 1946, Bob’s offers male clothing that is high-quality and fairly priced.
This store is the perfect place to get a present for: dads, boyfriends and fathers-in-law.
Bob’s Army and Navy is located at 159 Main St, Ossining.
5. Hot Société Boutique
After working as a stylist and personal shopper, Edith Santiago decided to open a women’s boutique store on Main Street. Hot Société is full of beautiful pieces that Edith hand-picks herself for her store.
Shopping here is an experience, and Edith will suggest items that are sure to look great on you. Husbands and boyfriends can also bring a picture of their loved ones and get Edith’s recommendations, which are in all likelihood (let’s face it), going to be better than their own judgment.
This store is the perfect place to get a present for: cool moms, friends, wives, and little fashionistas who love accessories.
Hot Société Boutique is located at 175 Main St, Ossining.
6. Gracie’s Gifts (Prescription Plus)
Prescription Plus is a pharmacy, but has a section called Gracie’s Gifts where you can find a great selection of gifts (nothing like pharmacy chains like CVS or Wallgreens). They have really cool frames, jewelry, home decor, clothing, accessories, cards, and beauty products. Some of my favorite things they sell is Ossining shirts, hats and hoodies!
This store is the perfect place to get a present for: teachers, dentists, secretaries, religious people, grandparents and more.
Prescription Plus is located at 105 Croton Avenue, Ossining.
7. MF Jewelers
MF Jewelers is a family-owned & operated jewelry store established in 2017. Marilyn -the owner- comes from a family of jewelers, and she will find or make unique pieces just for you.
I discovered this store because my father-in-law ordered a custom-made necklace with a stone from Torres del Paine (a special place for our family), and was super happy with the results.
This store is the perfect place to get a present for: your future wife (they have beautiful engagement rings if you wanna get hitched this holiday season), mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, aunts and girlfriends (they also carry male jewelry).
MF Jewelers is located at 80 Spring St, Ossining, and their website is MF.JewelerShowcase.com
8. Rubrums Florist & Gifts
In Ossining since 1987, Rubrums is a family-owned & operated business where every order is given special attention. I love how this store transforms with the seasons. A visit to this store during the holidays is a must.
At Rubrums Florist & Gifts you can find beautiful flower arrangements, fruit, chocolate and gourmet baskets, potted plants, succulent gardens and more.
This store is the perfect place to get a present for: the host of your next holiday party and all the women in your life. Everybody loves fresh flowers!
Rubrums Florist & Gifts is located at 154 S. Highland Ave, Ossining, and their website is RubrumsFlorist.com
Where else can you do holiday shopping in Ossining?
- At the Northeast Etsy Artist Collective 3rd Annual Holiday Market on November 23rd and 24th. Event Info HERE
- At Melita’s Home and Friends Bazar on November 24th. Event Info HERE
And last but not least
Many local businesses such as First Village Coffee and Dragonfly Wellness Yoga Studio offer gift cards, perfect for friends and family who don’t need more things but love to eat, exercise, or appreciate the gift of choice.
This holiday season support local businesses, keep the money in our community and help make this great town of ours a growing destination. When you Go Local, you Grow Local.
Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments if you have another “shop local” recommendation!