I’ve been having such a joyful afternoon so far on Small Business Saturday! Today I’m in my home city of Manchester, New Hampshire and have been roaming around Elm Street where many shops are located.
I started my trip with a caramel latte from one of my favorite coffee shops to visit when I’m home, Café la Reine. Caramel lattes are quite the addiction of mine, and the ones made at Café la Reine are the tastiest of all.
I then made my way to the Granite State Candy Shoppe where I was happily overwhelmed by shelves and cases filled with every kind of chocolate and candy confection imaginable (and ice cream, too!) I purchased a few things for Christmas presents (I don’t want to say what in case any of the recipients will be reading!) and was even offered free samples. I chose to sample a milk chocolate and peanut butter pattie – sorry, Reese’s, but nothing compares to homemade chocolate and peanut butter candies!
From there, I headed across the street to With Heart and Hand Unique Gifts. The storefront had a little porch draped with all kinds of cute, country style decor. Upon walking in, I was surrounded by adorable holiday items and unique home decorations. The scent of potpourri was mixed with fragrant candles and homemade soup that the shop was handing out free for customers as they browsed. An employee told me that everything in the store was 15% off for Small Business Saturday, so I knew I would definitely be purchasing multiple gifts here! I came across many New Hampshire-made items in the store, including lotions, soaps and cozy smelling candles. I found presents here for almost every woman on my gift list and was thrilled that I got to save money on my purchase for supporting Small Business Saturday.
My next stop was Finesse Pastries – a sign in the window advertising homemade turkey soup had me sold. You would think I have had enough turkey after eating it the past few days, but to me there is no such thing. The shop was adorably decorated for the holidays and “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” by Nat King Cole was playing. It’s my favorite holiday song and it certainly got me into the spirit! Behind a case among other pastries were macarons of all flavors and colors on display. I decided to try one for the first time. I’ve often seen these treats featured on Instagram and Pinterest and always thought they looked delightful but had yet to taste test one.
I took a seat at a table and my turkey soup was brought out to me along with some cheesy breadsticks for dipping. I loved this little extra. After my soup, it was time for my macaron dessert. As my first macaron flavor ever, I had chosen Salted Caramel. I clearly hadn’t known what I was missing by not trying one of these pastries sooner! They certainly satisfy a sweet tooth and are just the right size for an indulgent snack.
There are many small businesses on my list to still visit. While I’m glad I got out there for Small Business Saturday, I know I won’t just shop local for one day this holiday season. I’m vowing to get the majority of my presents from local stores this year and I couldn’t be more excited that the hunt has started for unique gifts that also help support my community.
Café La Reine – 915 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101
Granite State Candy Shoppe – 832 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101
With Heart and Hand Unique Gifts – 823 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101
Finesse Pastries – 968 Elm Street, Manchester NH 03101