By Darcie Sosa Most businesses in the Berkshires are small, so of course, when it comes to holiday shopping we think you should come support our local merchants and shops. Looking for a unique gift that you know they’ll love? Here are a few of our Berkshire gift-giving shopping options to inspire you. Everyone’s favorite gift is food, right? Well, right in downtown Lenox you can sample and purchase some of the finest, freshest extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Have a unique and fun shopping experience at Oliva! Gourmet Olive Oils & Vinegars. Their premium extra virgin olive oils are selected from around the world and they offer estate-produced, award-winning, single cultivar, premium extra virgin olive oils; naturally flavored and fused olive oils; as well as specialty oils such as white truffle oil, roasted french walnut oil, and toasted sesame oil. If you’ve got a reader on your list, there are several independent bookstores in the Berkshires. A long-standing local favorite, known for their broad selection and top-notch customer service, is The Bookloft located in Great Barrington. If you’re looking for adventure while selecting your novels, the Get Lit Wine Bar is located inside The Bookstore in Lenox. Serving “the best wines” on Friday and Saturday evenings. Select your gifts and then treat yourself to a glass of vino. Looking for clothing gift options in the Berkshires? Pittsfield is home to Annie Selke Companies. We are spoiled by having their Pine Cone Hill Outlet headquarters right around the corner. There you can purchase stylish, well-made, and may we add beautiful bedding, rugs, sleepwear, and home furnishings. If you can’t get into the stores then you can always shop all the Annie Selke brands online. Head over to Lenox to find designer clothing at Casablanca and designer shoes and accessories at their sister store, Shooz. Try not to buy all the shoes for yourself! If you love eclectic gift shops, then the Berkshires will not disappoint. The Berkshires has gift shops full of unique items for everyone on your shopping list. One fun shop is Charles Baldwin & Sons located in downtown West Stockbridge. The company was started in 1888 and produces a pure vanilla extract that uses a unique variety of bean. The Bourbon Vanilla Bean from Madagascar is aged in oak barrels that are over 100 years old. That makes the extract stronger, darker, richer, and more flavorful. They also manufacture “Mr. Baldwin’s Proper Bloody Mary Mix,” walnut russe, Baldwin’s maple table syrup, vanilla vinaigrette, vanilla cinnamon sugar. The store also carries baking ingredients, retro candies, greeting cards, and toys. Bring a friend shopping with you and have a fun experience in their old-time photo booth. Also, be sure to save time for Out of Hand and Asia Barong just down the road in Great Barrington. They never disappoint. Karen Keenan Gifts & Home is a long-standing gift store in downtown Lee. The storefront windows are large and excellently stagged with holiday decorations. The store carries well-known brands like Vera Bradley, Alex and Ani, Crabtree & Evelyn, The Thymes, Willowtree, Wilton Armetale, Gund, and Bunnies by the Bay. From the lovely scents of seasonal candles and potpourri to the soothing background music and the beautiful displays, this store will stimulate your senses. A new and fashionable gift shop, Dory & Ginger, is located in downtown Pittsfield next to the architecturally stunning Hotel on North. This shop has treasures for you and your loved ones. Dare we say the perfect gift for that special someone or an occasion that begs for something unique you will find inside. They carry brands like Barr-Co-Soap and The Hudson Standard. Other must-shop-spots include Circa, Heirlooms Jewelry, MacKimmie Co., and Vlada Boutique. The list goes on and on so be sure view a comprehensive list of local shops. Then pack up the car and head to the Berkshires for some much-needed shopping therapy. See you soon!
Darcie Sosa is a Berkshire marketing/PR professional, who when isn’t working loves being outside hiking with her dogs, going to live music and theatre shows, networking, trying new restaurants and volunteering for local nonprofits. She is an alum of Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.