Raleigh, N.C. — Coming up with a gift guide for the Triangle area was not an easy task, as we have a lot of great businesses to choose from. Here are a few places that carry not only interesting and unique gifts but excellent, quality products too.
This & That
118-C East Main Street, Carrboro
This is such a cute and unique shop. Being that it’s very small, they cram a lot into the space, and they cover a lot ground in terms of variety of gifts. This & That carries beautiful artwork (mostly by local artists), ceramics, jewelry, toys, home goods, t-shirts and quirky books with titles such as "The Hungover Cookbook."
118-B East Main Street, Carrboro
This shop is located right next door to This & That. Ginna Earl, the owner and artist, has quite a bit of her creations on display in this store, and she makes beautiful jewelry and hair accessories among other things. Besides her creations, there are quite a few other items that are eye-catching, such as locally-made scarves by Flytrap Clothing, a company based out of North Carolina. The scarves are made out of cotton t-shirt material, so they're the really soft kind -- and isn’t that the best kind? They have simple but dramatic designs emblazoned on them.
Additionally, the store features funky belts, wall art, plates, coasters and even handmade garland upcycled out of soda cans. How cool would that look on a patio?
Carr Mill Mall, 200 N. Greensboro Street # B-3, Carrboro
This boutique has a wall of socks that are full of character. Who wouldn’t like to rock a pair of socks with Abe Lincoln or George Washington on them? Or how about a latte on each foot for those coffee lovers? Besides this fun and inexpensive gift item, owner, Chrystina Elle Passanissi stocks her boutique with some really beautiful wool scarves and stoles, which are made in one of England’s last remaining wool mills, Bronte By Moon.
They handle all processing on site, from dying the wool to blending to weaving. How special is that? Some in-between priced gifts found at Sofia’s Boutique are homeware, decorative items, pottery, candles, jewelry, artwork and women's clothes. Truly gorgeous items.
Avenue Des Chocolats
Saturday Market at North Hills, Raleigh
Owner & Chocolatier Gabriela Miu makes some of the finest tasting chocolates in the Triangle. Sure, the area has some top-notch chocolatiers, but there is always room for more of a good thing. Wouldn't you agree? The most recent variety of bonbons I tasted from Avenue Des Chocolats were from the Fall Collection, and they were made with nice, strong liquors. The Winter Collection is available now, and the best way to get your hands on these chocolates is to either visit Gabriela at the Saturday Market in North Hills or to call her directly to place an order.
Reid’s Fine Foods
Cameron Village, 443 Daniels Street, Raleigh
This store just opened this month, and it is a foodie haven. Reid's sells gift baskets filled with a potpourri of cookies, jams, sauces, nuts, candies and so much more. They carry Chapel Hill Toffee, which I was thrilled to find. Talk about a great gift -- who wouldn’t like to get this? The store also has a refrigerated and frozen section, and, while not the best for holiday gifts, I’d suggest keeping it in mind for holiday parties you're hosting or attending. Reid’s makes for a great place to pick up some frozen hor d’oeuvres that you can heat up and bring to a party -- or, bring one of the cheeses along with a box of crackers. My personal recommendation is the Queen Charlotte's Pimento Cheese Royale. Yup, Pimento cheese made with blue cheese.
19 W. Hargett Street #108, Raleigh
I get lost in this store, It’s not a big place, but they have so much, like Amy Friend/Amy Draws designed prints & t-shirts, Holly Aiken bags, beautiful jewelry, accessories, scarves, hats, mugs, lotions, soaps, novelty gifts, greeting cards, party goods, holiday decorations and even baby clothes to get young ones their own Raleigh gear. I think you’ll get lost in here too.
NOFO @ the Pig
2014 Fairview Rd, Raleigh
Everything is here. Kitchen towels, teapots (and tea of course), coffee, sweets, (they have a large case filled with chocolates sold by the piece), artwork, clothes, aprons, purses, handbags, Christmas tree decorations and more. The most fun gift I spotted on my latest trip in were the Royal Nighties lounge pants, which are ideal for the king or queen in your life.
This store also has a refrigerated and frozen food section. Just like at Reid’s Fine Foods, I’d recommend picking up a frozen item such as one of their savory or sweet pies to bring to a holiday party. I wouldn’t say no if a guest of mine showed up with a chicken pot pie.
Other options are barbecue sauce, dip, pepper jelly, cookies and placemats -- it’s quite impressive how much of a variety this store offers.
Read more by Meg Smigielska on her blog, Meg Here & There.