Olive Oil and spices under a green tent

Shop local Saturday comes each November on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. That doesn’t mean you have to wait to cop my favorite local vendors from Montgomery County (MoCo), MD. I miss Maryland now that I’m in Texas, and have found some local vendors are irreplaceable! Here are three of my favorite local vendors that you can order wellness gifts from all year.

Shopping online is more accessible now than ever. Many vendors use some sort of social media or have a website that you can order directly from. I am a loyal shopper when I find things I like so I’m ecstatic that I can easily order my favorite local items from Maryland directly to my door.

Here are a few must have items for 2021 from vendors you likely never heard of but will love once you do!

Why I “Shop Local” Online

I love frequenting small shops, outdoor markets, and farmers markets. There are so many cool vendors that make unique products that I have become addicted to. I will sometimes try a substitute. However, I find that it is hard to replace the unique recipes and items made by local vendors with things from major stores or other vendors.

I will go down the google rabbit hole to figure out if a product I bought in-person is available online. I always ask vendors if they have a website, instagram, or some other way to contact them after the sale. At the very least, I try to pay with a card or via square so my purchase history is available and I know the name of the vendors that I’ve recently purchased from.

Social media typically works if I’m desperate to reach out to a vendor. I often use Instagram to re-order goods, place special orders, or learn about discounts from my favorite vendors. If you think the product is something you’re really going to like, following a vendor on Instagram right when you make a purchase is the easiest way to keep track of your favorites. Instagram, Etsy, and Pinterest are great resources for unique wellness gifts.

3 Must Have Wellness Gifts and Treats for 2021 pinterest pin.

Maryland Wellness Gift Local Favorites

After moving to Texas, I found myself appreciating my Maryland local brands even more. Luckily, the internet keeps us all very close together with purchasing power as our glue.

Local Favorite- Pet Products: Durango Dog Company

I found Durango Dog Company at the Clarksburg Farmers Market and Asha immediately loved Canines & Carrots dog treats. These hard cookie-like treats are big paw-shaped cookies made of ingredients like granola and hemp or peanut butter and carob. Asha equally loved both flavors. They are easily broken in half and come in 6 and 14 oz bags

My favorite product is the Roving Water Bowl. It combines a purse, water bottle holder, and water bowl in one. I’ve tested this product on the trails in Maryland and fell in love with the ability to store and carry a fairly large water bottle inside. Pet wellness is important, keeping your pet hydrated should always be a priority.

Roving water bowl photo with words "The Roving Water bowl: Inspired by dogs who love adventure".
Photo courtesy of Durango Dog Company

The shoulder strap can be tied with a knot to transform it into a fanny pack. I often do this when the water bottle I packed is too heavy to hike with on my shoulder, since Asha drinks a ton of water. There are two pockets, one on the outside with a zipper and one without on the back side of the bowl. I learned the inner lining of the bowl is waterproof when I’ve forgot my phone in the zipper pocket and accidentally poured water for Asha in the bowl.

Pet wellness is an important part of your wellness recipe. Make sure you take the time to find wellness gifts for your pets they will love and that will make your life more convenient.

Local Favorite- Shafa Blends

I noticed Shafa Blends could be found at every farmers market in the Montgomery County, MD area. I quickly became friends with Mr. Shafa, the founder of this wonderful small business.

Mr. Shafa of Shafa Blends proudly displays his spices at local farmers markets across Montgomery County, Md.
Mr. Shafa at Clarksburg Farmers Market

Shafa blends is a unique spice company specializing in making food “taste like what you think it should taste like”. The unique tea and spice blends make your life easy by doing all the work mixing spices for your favorite dish that you can simply add to create flavorful dishes.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Taco Seasoning- This is my new favorite taco seasoning! I love adding this to Ancho Chile Powder from Penzey’s and tomato sauce to spice up your Taco Tuesday.
  • Omelette on the go– Turn your boring egg whites into a tasty omelette! Add this spice mix to your eggs if you run out of fresh vegetables, you won’t know the difference!
  • Any Chai– Add this spice mix to any tea to make it taste like chai. Brew Any Chai with black tea, add sweetner, and milk for a chai latte. Or try a chai hot chocolate.

Wellness Gift Wish List

With so many tasty options, my wishlist from Shafa Blends is full of tea and spices. Here’s what’s in my online shopping cart:

Local Favorite- Olive & Basket

Sherri of Olive & Basket sampling olive oils and spices at Clarksburg Farmers Market.
Olive & Basket proudly lets you sample oils and spices in their store in Frederick, MD.

I rarely pass up an opportunity to sample quality olive oil and spices. Olive & Basket is a small storefront in Frederick, Maryland with huge taste!

Olive & Basket is a specialty store that sells olive oil and vinegars of different flavors, along with other entertainment essentials. Ranging from teas to charcuterie boards, you can seriously step up your entertaining game by creating tasty meals at home.

The best thing about ordering online from Olive & Basket are the easy to follow recipes available on the website. Each one lists the products you need to buy for the recipe ingredients. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

I love to explore creating new recipes with ingredients from local vendors. I’ve used the Mango Pulp Vinegar as a versatile marinade, salad dressing, and craft cocktail ingredient. Which is what makes it my favorite! Here is a recipe I made using fresh ingredients from the farmers market. The sweet sausage produce by local vendor Media Luna Farm makes the perfect complement to the sweet and tangy mango vinegar.

Although I love going into the Olive & Basket store in Frederick, MD you can find most of their products online in their e-store. You can also check them out on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook. The variety of wellness gifts available online is impressive! The only thing missing are the samples!

The spice blends are just as impressive and full of flavor as the flavored oils and vinegars.

Shop Local: Wellness Gift Ideas

Pick up these great wellness gift ideas from Olive and Basket online:

Supporting local business is important all year, especially when the economy is tight. Local vendors may take longer than Amazon to deliver goods to your home, but the wait is worth it. Wellness gifts you buy from small businesses are often one of a kind and cannot be easily matched quality or value. When you are looking for wellness gifts, small businesses offer a variety of cool options.

Canines & Carrots treats sold by Durango Dog Company.
Canines & Carrots are the paw-shaped dog treats sold by Durango Dog Company.

At a time when small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, online business is even more important. So how do you find small business online if you don’t already know about them? Great question!

  • Instagram is my favorite way to find and keep track of small businesses. From restaurants and food trucks to wellness coaches and artisan soaps- you can find an assortment of wellness goods on Instagram. As a platform, Instagram isn’t the best way to connect directly to a vendor since you can’t easily buy directly on the platform. Unless the vendor’s following is significant enough, you will normally find a link in the bio and then be redirected to the actual website for the business.
  • Farmers Market vendor lists are a great way to find new vendors. Farmers markets tend to have rotating vendors and some may not have reopened at the same pre-pandemic capacity. Pro tip – Check the vendor list before heading to a farmers market .
  • Birthdays are great opportunities to support local vendors. I often buy multiple pieces from one vendor as a gift to keep on hand at my house, in case I forget a birthday. If you find a local vendor you like online, order multiple pieces to save on shipping costs. Some vendors offer incentives or discounts for internet orders.

Shopping local is a great way to support the financial wellness of local retailers. Supporting small business is something you can do all year to contribute to your community’s wellness and even your pet’s wellness. Comment below with your favorite local vendors!

(This is not a business sponsored post. This post features local businesses in the Montgomery County, MD area as a thank you for their continued collaboration and partnership on prior posts and social media.)

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