2020 has been a tough year. Communities have quarantined. Many of our citizens have gotten sick, and some have passed. Local businesses have seen their income drastically reduced.
If you enjoy running out to the stores in your community to shop, please try to continue to shop local this year. Without support from local residents like you and I, more local mom and pop stores will, unfortunately, close due to the pandemic.
Luckily, Ontario’s Sunset Country has many stores for you to choose from—from long time family businesses to up and coming artisans who sell their wares in local gift shops. Sure, there are some items you can’t get locally, but you’d be surprised at the variety of options in our region.
Here are a few examples of great gift items that you can purchase from local retailers in-store, curb-side pickup or online. And, if I’m being honest, some stuff to treat yourself to as well. :)
The Great Bear
Located east of Fort Frances, the Great Bear has an amazing selection of products. They have Yeti mugs, ramblers and coolers, fireworks for New Years', moccasins, cottage decor, and a ton of sporting goods for the outdoorsy one in your family. Follow the Great Bear on Facebook for gift ideas such as a Minnow Card or gift card or for that hard-to-buy person.
Northwoods Gallery & Gifts
The list wouldn’t be complete without Northwoods Gallery & Gifts. They have a huge selection of products. This year they are offering an exclusive private shopping experience! From December 7th to the 17th, book a Private Holiday Shopping Experience for a minimum of six to a maximum of 12 of your "Covid Bubble" members weekday evenings from 6pm-7pm. The store will be closed to the general public to give your group a Northwoods Shopping Experience cared for by Owner, Doug Cuthbertson. All covid protocols regarding masks, physical distancing and sanitization must be followed. Call the store at 807-274-9224 to reserve your group's Private Shopping Experience!
The Enchanted Florist
Who doesn’t love fresh flowers? There’s nothing better on a stressful day to have cut flowers around to perk you up. Get a bouquet of flowers for someone who is homebound or who has everything. For those that don’t have everything, the Enchanted Florist has many gift items, jewelry and clothing for your friends and loved ones. Follow them on Facebook or stop in to see them at 115 Main Street. If you would like to order flowers for family living there, call 807-597-6767.
Kakabeka Falls IDA Pharmacy
Easily located right on the highway in Kakabeka Falls, Kakabeka Falls IDA Pharmacy has so many neat gift ideas! They offer Lazy Loon robes and PJs, 2021 calendars. soft leather mitts in beautiful colours, candles, Christmas decor, clothing, books, onesies and hats, moccasins and much more. Stop in to browse or visit their Facebook page for ideas. Make a day of it and visit the Kakabeka Falls!
During the summer and fall months, Evergreen Produce offered fresh vegetables to Ignace and Dryden. Now that the snow has arrived, they are offering fresh bread and baked goods! So if you don’t have the time to bake this year! Order online or they take orders via phone (204-800-8634), email, or Facebook messenger. They accept e-transfers to firstname.lastname@example.org, credit over the phone ahead of time or cash, credit or debit at the time of delivery.
Kiefer Floreal Pottery
Born in Kenora, and now residing in Dryden, Kiefer’s talent and his love of Northwest Ontario shines in his pottery. From mugs with walleye tails to platters to amazing vases, his products are sure to wow! Inspired by the traditional Japanese art form, Gyotaku, Kiefer has found his own niche with beautiful handmade pottery with fish and tree prints. You can shop online. Delivery to Kenora and Dryden are free! Watch his Facebook page or Instagram for product updates.
The 807 Collective
Casually Hip is a locally-owned clothing and footwear store located at 38 King Street in Dryden. They sell all the hot brands like Saxx, Champion, Vans, Red Dragon, Buff, Herschel, Nike, Thrasher Sweatshirts, and more! Follow the Casually Hip Facebook page for sales or visit their website for online shopping.
Vegan Delights by Lisa-Ann
Shopping local never tasted so good! Located at 43 Wellington Street in Sioux Lookout, Vegan Delights is a plant-based catering and take-out business. Lisa-Ann has a huge variety of healthy vegan items, whether they be daily specials, frozen meals or even for a catered meal. They have a wide variety of gluten-free items and desserts as well. Dishes can be accommodated to cater to individuals with food allergies, special diets and everyone else. Open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am-2pm. Vegan Delights Energy Balls can also be found at Fresh Market Foods. Order the tasty Jamaican Black Fruit Cake or Christmas Pudding. Call 807-738-3421 or place an order online. Why not make someone’s day by bringing them over a meal?
Finishing Touches lifestyle boutique is located in Red Lake. They have an amazing selection of home decor, ladies' clothing, candles, accessories, bath and body products as well as a gourmet food selection. You can shop at their store at 177 Howey Street or shop online. Keep up to update with their Christmas specials on Facebook.
Lakeside Marine Ltd.
With the pandemic going on, chances are you are going to be spending more time outside this year. Get prepared for the elements with accessories and clothing from many brands such as FXR and Choko at Lakeside Marine. Pick up some Ski-Doo branded stainless steel water bottles and bamboo thermal bottles, enamel tin mugs, and beer glasses for the man cave! If you have a loved one who NEEDS (hint, hint to my hubby) that sled, you could treat them Ski-Doo for Christmas. Stop by their store on Hwy 105 today!
Stems N’ Such
Egli's Sheep Farm
Egli's Sheep Farm has been manufacturing quality sheepskin and wool products for well over 60 years. We are fortunate to have them so close! Some of their top sellers include cabin slippers, mitts, car and motorcycle seat covers, seatbelt strap covers and sheepskin insoles. They also have a wide variety of wool and yarn and other clothing and accessories such as boots, leather purses and bags, and so much more.
Bobby's Sport Shop
Bobby's is really a one-stop shop! Stock up on fishing gear for the angler in your family, a sign to hang up at the cabin, cozy sweatshirts, or some Yeti coolers and mugs to keep things hot or cold! Stop in and look around before you head online.
Sweet, Lake of the Woods Chocolate Shop
If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to check out Sweet, Lake of the Woods. Sweet has recently changed locations and is now located at 712 Lakeview Drive, which has given them the chance to expand its production of delicious chocolates. You can now purchase many of their chocolates at Keewatin Place, Abundance, Tall Pines Marina (in the summer) and Clearwater Market in Kenora, at Curvy Chick in Fort Frances, at Kano Reid in Dryden, Forever Green Gift Boutique in Red Lake, and at Bloomers & the Brownhouse Chocolates and Bill Martin’s Nurseryland Inc. in Thunder Bay.
Lake of the Woods Sunrise Soap Co.
Wherever you are in Northwest Ontario, you’ve probably seen (or have) products from the Lake of the Woods Sunrise Soap Co. They make soap and other beauty products from the highest quality natural products. They are handcrafted and packaged with care at their headquarters in Kenora, Ontario on beautiful Lake of the Woods. With a variety of more than 36 bars of soap, you are sure to fall in love with more than one. From our handcrafted lotions to our lake-friendly shampoos & conditioners, to baby and pet products, you are sure to find something to pamper yourself or fill a stocking. You can shop online, pick up something at one of the many retailers in NWO and Manitoba or visit their store at 215 Second Street in downtown Kenora.
Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls
Bridge in Sioux Narrows is a quaint store right along the highway. The storefront is open and they have a great website that you can order from. They have unique, ethically sourced gifts, clothing and jewelry store. Candles, handmade cutting boards and alpaca wool ponchos are just a few of the gorgeous items for sale.
Gill's Trading Post
Gill's Trading Post is truly a one-stop shop! They have children's toys, almost anything the angler or hunter could ever want, mukluks and moccasins, name brand clothing such as DC, Oakley, St. Croix, and Fox and so much more. Gill's is once again having a 12 days of Christmas sale.
Merchant Madness in Rainy River is December 11 & 12th! Visit one of the stores below! You can also find some amazing homemade gifts on the Rainy River District Farmers Market Facebook group.
Don't let the name Hardware fool you. Tompkins Hardware has so much more than hardware. For the baker and chef, they have a ton of kitchen items, outdoor products for the hunter or angler, home decor for the person that has everything and much more!
Other Emo shopping: Meyer's Clothing, Township of Emo
Still stumped for Christmas gifts?
Try one of these retailers in Sunset Country or follow the Sunset Country Shops and Restaurants Facebook page for more ideas.