How to Shop Local for Small Business Saturday in NYC

From West African packaged foods to hand-poured candles.

Walk around any local neighborhood throughout the five boroughs, and through empty storefronts, it’s clear that small businesses in NYC have been hit hard since the start of the pandemic.

This year for Small Business Saturday, not only can you show your support by popping in to your favorite shop, but by also making purchases online. With some as participants in our Thrillist Local Accelerator program, here are just a few brands to spend your money on this holiday season.

Coffee Project New York
Photo courtesy of Coffee Project New York

Various locations
This coffee roastery focused on inclusivity and sustainable practices has locations in the East Village, Chelsea, and Fort Greene, in addition to a training center in Long Island City. For the holidays, stay caffeinated with Coffee Project New York’s special Around the World in 12 Days gift set featuring 12 global beans and tasting notes for each.

Egunsi Foods
Egunsi Foods

Virtual
This online packaged food brand started by 'Yemisi Awosan when she was homesick for Nigerian flavors during college offers West African goods made with farm-to-table ingredients. From soups and stews to fufu and sauces, Egunsi Foods also has vegan items.

Harlem
This cozy coffee shop highlights products from coffee roasters in the Black community. In addition to sandwiches, coffee beans, tea, and more, I Like It Black’s space also offers a great view of Harlem’s historic 125th Street thoroughfare.

Lee Lee's Rugelach
Lee Lee's Rugelach

Harlem
This Harlem institution from Alvin Lee Smalls has been a NYC destination for rugelach since 1965. For sharing during the holidays, at Lee Lee’s Baked Goods, the popular Jewish treat that translates to “little twist” in Yiddish is available in a 12, 24, and 36 set, in addition to a special 26-piece gift tin.

Make My Cake
Make My Cake

Harlem
Make My Cake Bakery is run by several generations of the Smith family with recipes passed down from their matriarch, Josephine Smith aka “Ma Smith.” From cakes and cookies and pies and pastries, order flavors ranging from double chocolate delight cupcakes, coconut pecan cookies, cinnamon rolls, and black & white cake. There’s also an Upper West Side location in addition to the Harlem storefront.

Sugar Hill Creamery
Sugar Hill Creamery

Harlem
As longtime Harlem residents, the husband-and-wife team behind Sugar Hill Creamery opened their popular shop in 2017 to be a place for the neighborhood to grab a seat and enjoy artisanal ice cream made from scratch. In addition to offering an array of flavors like the Chairperson of the Board (blueberry cheesecake) and Nunu’s Peach Cobbler (peach with cobbler crumbler), they also regularly host community based programs throughout the year meant to empower the Black experience while facilitating connection and storytelling. In addition to a location in Hamilton Heights and Time Out Market in Dumbo, products are also available for nationwide shipping.

Schaller & Weber
Photo courtesy of Schaller & Weber

Upper East Side
Schaller and Weber is an Upper East Side butcher shop that’s been offering German-style sausages and Northern European speciality foods for more than 80 years. If a single order of pate or charcuterie isn’t going to cut it this year, choose from an array of gift packs like the Christmas Gift Box with an array of items ranging from truffle brat to olive oil crackers.

Spoken Flames
Photo courtesy of Spoken Flames

Virtual
Spoken Flames is a candle company founded by Shavaun Christian and each candle is hand-poured and made with a natural coconut wax blend. Choose from selections like Sea Sea Me made with salt, melon, musk, and chamomile, and the LOL featuring notes of mango, lavender, and fresh linen.

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Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, and is the Editor of Thrillist New York.