Cool NYC Small Businesses to Support by Shopping Local
These independently owned stores are vital bedrocks of creativity, heart, and joy in the communities they serve.
Even within a major metropolis like New York City, a stroll around any local neighborhood throughout the five boroughs will spotlight the following: our beloved small businesses are the vital bedrocks of creativity, heart, and joy in the communities they serve.
Especially now, our patronage is as crucial as ever with post-pandemic inflation hitting local shops on top of a great deal of challenges. So, whether it’s to partake in Small Business Saturday on November 26 or if you just want to brush up on some of our city’s coolest and independently owned stores, we’ve got you covered.
From a well-stocked record shop in Ridgewood to a family-owned Palestinian restaurant in Bay Ridge, here are some of our favorite small businesses for shopping local in NYC.
Born and raised in Costa Rica, herbalist and founder Adriana Ayales’ mission for her holistic shop, Anima Mundi, is to share traditional medicine and remedies to the modern world, while honoring sacred practices and botany from Central and South America. Within the calming Greenpoint flagship, customers can peruse a remarkable collection of more than 200 herbs offering a range of health benefits in the form of powders, elixirs, tonics, body and face oils, teas, and much more. For those in Manhattan, there’s now a second location in SoHo. Be sure to follow their IG for a recommended daily dose of positive affirmations and inspo via at-home recipes.
Bronx Native Shop
Siblings Amaurys and Roselyn Grullon’s Bronx Native shop and brand is a love letter to their home turf of the Bronx. Created in 2015, the apparel and accessories store aims to uplift and empower the people of their beloved borough through positive branding on everything from t-shirts and hats to hoodies and glassware. Additionally, the team is involved in and hosts loads of community initiatives and programs like the upcoming 5th Annual BronxGiving.
Burrowes Brothers Bikes
Along with the nearby eatery Mangoseed and Zurilee, entrepreneurs and avid cyclists—Jermaine, Paul, and Johann Burrowes—are the brother trio behind the new Flatbush shop Burrowes Brothers Bikes. As owners and members of the professional and award-winning Team Burrowes Brother Bikes (which belongs to the United States Cycling Association), the Burrowes brothers were inspired to provide a community center and resource for equitable access to the sport. Store visitors can expect workshops, bike fittings and repairs, one-on-one training, and participate in group rides on nearby bike routes. Additionally, there’s an on-site takeout pizza kitchen with a coffee bar in the morning and cocktails plus beer in the evening.
Deep Cuts Record Store
From die-hard vinyl lovers to fresh-faced new collectors, Columbian American owner and curator, Brandon and business partner John’s mainly secondhand shop, Deep Cuts Record Store, is longtime treasured standby for any and all of your record player needs. For the past eight years here in Ridgewood, guests are greeted by blue and white checkered floors, tables stacked with an eclectic mix of used and new vinyls, shelves lined with cassettes, and, most notably, an altar dedicated to the Tejano music icon Selena. With loads of genres available, the extensive selection at Deep Cuts ranges from salsa and reggaeton to Latin pop and classic rock.
First opened in 1878, owning and operating the oldest bakery in Staten Island, Holtermann’s Bakery, is a time-honored Holtermann family tradition. First founded by Claus Holtermann more than 140 years ago, the bakery’s fresh bread was originally delivered daily to Great Kills neighbors by foot. Several generations later, the shop still whips up freshly baked bread with the addition of cakes, cookies, pastries, pies, and more.
Lee Lee's Baked Goods
A longstanding Harlem institution, Lee Lee’s Baked Goods from owner Alvin Lee Smalls has been a NYC destination for rugelach since 1965. A thing of legend among locals, the Jewish treat—that translates to “little twist” in Yiddish—is available in a 12, 24, and 36 set, as well as in a range of fillings like chocolate and cinnamon sugar. Also, with the help of Mr. Lee, this year, April 29 was officially coined National Rugelach Day in honor of the sweet pastries.
From the two-person team of Ed Be and Jared Blake, the Lichen design store is dedicated to curating eclectic and NYC apartment-friendly furniture and home accessories. With a showroom and production center located in East Williamsburg, the space displays a swath of vintage finds, in addition to the works of up-and-coming designers, creatives, and builders. From handmade mirrors and lamps to custom crafted coffee tables, Be and Blake aim to maintain a lack of elitism in order to keep their brand accessible and economically-inclusive.
Amid our concrete jungle, country of Jamaica native Glenroy Mahfood’s Natty Garden plant shop is a reliable source for some greenery and natural beauty in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Prospect Heights. With a core mission that focuses on incorporating the cultures of Brooklyn and Jamaica, as well as creating a sense of community, since opening in 2008, the nursery’s expansive range of wares includes indoor and outdoor plants, herbs, fruits, soil, gardening tools, and more. In addition to a second locale in Bed-Stuy, Natty Gardens hosts special programming at their flagship shop with live music events that feature local reggae artists.
After years of toying around with recipes, scents, and design elements, founder Abigail Cook Stone initially launched her Otherland website in 2018. Now, the candle company has transitioned from a solely online presence with the recent opening of its first brick-and-mortar storefront in SoHo. At the core of her company, Stone’s mission was to create high-quality products that were more accessible and functional for people of all economic backgrounds. Within the playful and colorful space, peruse a gorgeous assortment of toxin-free candles that range in fragrance from fresh and woody to floral and smoky.
SLCT Stock NYC
When on a mission to expand your wardrobe, as New Yorkers we’re blessed with some of the best vintage and secondhand stores in the world. Among this incredible crew, SLCT Stock NYC remains a hotspot for its expansive selection of tshirts, outerwear, hats, and more. First started in Indiana in 2018 by owner Nick Ayala, the company now also operates an outpost in Boulder, as well as their popular Big Apple locale in the East Village. Stay tuned on their IG for story purchases plus announcements on monthly $5 sales, and be one of the first to snag some of the freshly dropped store merch via the website.
Stick Stone & Bone
For owner Yolanda Miller, her Cherokee and Aztec heritage is at the forefront of her crystal store, Stick Stone & Bone. Since opening in 1990 in collaboration with her partner Linda Curti, Miller’s eclectic shop on Christopher Street has been a West Village go-to for its vast array of raw minerals, jewelry, incense, candles, and more, sourced from Native American artists, craftspersons, and businesses. Peruse the shelves and tables of sparkly wares or opt for a convenient Manifestation and Intention package like the House Clearing and Blessing Kit, which provides energetic purification.
Over the past 24 years, the famed Bay Ridge restaurant, Tanoreen, has been a culinary hub for Palistinian and Middle Eastern comfort classics and delicacies. Run by the mother-and-daughter of chef Rawia and Jumana Bishara, guest faves include the Makdous Peppers (marinated for a week and stuffed with walnuts, red peppers, and spicy harissa); Maftool (or “Palistinian couscous” with chicken, chickpeas, and pearl onions); and Meat Grape Leaves (rice, lamb, lemon garlic broth). Drop by Tuesday through Sunday to experience the lively and welcoming atmosphere in person.
Yu & Me Books
With walls covered in dark wooden bookshelves and twinkling fairy lights, Yu & Me Books is a welcoming oasis for book lovers in the center of a bustling historic neighborhood. Opened in December 2021 by Lucy Yu, a chemical engineer by trade, the shop is one of the first (if not the first) Asian American, woman-owned bookstores in NYC’s Chinatown. As a haven for bibliophiles especially eager for Asian storytelling and immigrant narratives, expect swaths of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, and works sourced from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, as well as a rotating selection of local art for sale. Additionally, drop by Thursday–Saturday evenings for late night hours plus a selection of beer, wine, and hard seltzers from local producers like Dyke Beer and Lunar Hard Seltzer.