Support Local Businesses With The 2020 San Diego Holiday Gift Guide!
Happy Holidays San Diego!
With the second lockdown San Diego has seen this year, many of our small businesses have been hit hard and need our support NOW more than ever! We believe small businesses are the heartbeat of our neighborhood, the spine of our local economy and the spirit of our town and, right now, it’s up to us to keep them alive!
We asked local PR maven and legendary shopper, Jodie Alonso, to spill the tea and share her favorite local hot spots for all things dining, retail and lifestyle. Here is this year’s Holiday Gift Guide: San Diego Edition.
Food + Beverage
Paru Tea Bar
Paru Tea is one of my go-to places for high-quality loose leaf tea, matcha, and hojicha. Every item is sourced from small farms around the world and is hand-packed in San Diego. Paru values growth, community, wellness and creativity and can be experienced while visiting the Paru tearoom. If you haven’t visited Paru yet, you need to! Check out their website and follow along on Instagram for updates, specials and information on original blends!
I absolutely ADORE Sugar Mamma Caramels! They are incredibly delicious (especially her quadruple award-winning Sea Salt Caramels). These handcrafted caramels are made with the finest ingredients, along with loads of love and a passion to bring joy to our San Diego community!
Give Love, add a little sugar this holiday season with some of Sugar Mamma’s caramels.
Follow on Instagram daily for special holiday deals. Find all her products on her website.
Or shop local at retailers like: Pigment, Grossmont Public Market, Pangaea, RUST, Hotel Indigo and Moosies.
S3 Coffee Bar
S3 Coffee Bar creates beautifully crafted drinks along with sweet and savory treats. Every creation is a piece of art. From Unicorn toast to Rose Gold lattes and color-changing lemonades, you’ll be sure to have a one-of-a-kind experience at this local gem! This coffee bar has become one of my favorites in San Diego (especially when I want to take an extra special photo for Instagram 😉 ).
Mr Trustee Creamery
Located at Cardellino restaurant & bakery in Mission Hills with a walk-up window is this charming small-batch creamery! They specialise in small-batch ice cream made with the freshest ingredients.
They serve classic & seasonal flavours but our families go-to is a pint of strawberry cheesecake for $10.
The Parabola Holiday Blend is divine. Roasted dark to bring out those winter flavors of apple cinnamon spice, walnuts, and dark chocolate, I feel like I am drinking the spirit of Christmas with every sip. In March 2020, they launched a coffee cart in Second Chance Beer Lounge where they began serving their North Park neighbors. Thanks to local support, they have been able to keep serving our San Diego community and keep us caffeinated while we work from home. Find them on Instagram for hours of operations and holiday specials!
Moosie’s Ice Cream
San Diego’s classic ice cream parlor, Moosie’s serves up pints, shakes, malts, sundaes and cones! They have a fantastic selection of quality flavors along with other locally made sweet treats. They are currently open for takeout, seven days a week! Check them out on Instagram and get yourself something sweet this holiday season! My favorite flavor is a classic chocolate!
Minocqua Popcorn & Puffs
I think it’s safe to say Minocqua Popcorn & Puffs is the BEST popcorn in San Diego! All of their popcorn is made in small batches with artisan ingredients, and all flavors were originally created from Dr. Popcorn, who has a PhD in Chemistry! They offer bags, tins and buckets of their confections, along with fudge, jerky and gift sets. If you purchase the 1 gallon bucket, every time you bring it back, you get $5 off a refill!! Talk about a great local loyalty program! You can’t go wrong with Minocqua.
An’s Dry Cleaning Gelato
Did you know you can find the “world best ice cream” in San Diego?! Proclaimed one of the top 10 ice cream parlors in America by USA Today and featured in Forbes, Zagat, Lonely Planet, & SD Magazine, An’s Dry Cleaning serves high quality, small-batch gelato that’s always made from scratch and uses fresh, local San Diego ingredients. Treat your friends and family’s taste buds to some of San Diego’s finest.
Fun Fact: Everything in the shop is tied to the dry cleaning theme, since the shop was a dry cleaner for over a decade before we moved in. Want a cone? Order “with starch”. Every flavor is named after a fabric – suede, denim, & canvas are some of their most popular ones!
Some flavors from the San Diego December Menu include:
Velour – salted caramel (they partnered with Sugar Mamma to make this one!!)
Suede -creme brulee gelato with fresh whipped cream
Beanie, Cypress -a Brazilian dark chocolate (that tastes like Oreos)
Canvas – olive oil and rosemary
For all you cheese lovers out there pop into Venissimo at one of their locations in Del Mar, North Park or Mission Hills. With new delicious cheeses arriving daily & their skills at creating the most stunning cheese boards we are sure anyone on your list would love a gift from this local company.
Located in historic Liberty Station & owned by the Cohn Restaurant group, Cone Pan bake the most amazing rustic breads, seasonal scones & cookies. Our family go to is the Point Loma Sourdough baguette! Available for pick up or delivery via door dash!
If you are looking for that extra special bottle of wine this Del Mar store offers rare wines mixed with affordable options & wines by the case! Check out their Shelter in Case offers & pop by to meet their knowledgeable & attentive staff who have been serving the local community for over 20 years!
Stella Jean’s Ice Cream
Order pick up online or get this delicious homemade ice cream delivered directly to your door from their University Heights location. Support our local ice cream stores this holiday season by purchasing gift cards & treat someone you love with yummy waffle cones & pint sized ice cream!
I absolutely love Isiko. Everything you’ll find in this online marketplace is handmade with traditional techniques and materials from artisans around the world. Preserving culture and supporting communities is important to the mission of Isiko. They give back by donating 5% of all sales are given back to different organizations throughout the year. Currently, Isiko is giving back to the Equal Justice Initiative. Look good and do good and support local, with Isiko.
Visit their website or go give them a follow on Instagram!
Not only do these candles smell good, but they make you feel good! Mindfully made with love and gratitude in Solana Beach these soy and coconut candles are an essential this year. Each scent has a different positive message in the lid and a quartz stone at the bottom of the candle when it’s done burning. Spark joy this holiday season with SoulSpark candles!
Free shipping till the end of the year (no code needed) – visit them at www.soulsparkcandles.com
Find SoulSpark candles locally :
CortexRx Wellness – 7301 Girard Ave. La Jolla
Jule Salon & Boutique- 341 S Cedros Ave. Solana Beach
Bryll Hair Lounge- 3263 Camino de Los Coches- Carlsbad
California Wear-3001 Carlsbad Blvd -Carlsbad
La Jolla Farmers Market most Sundays
Everyone needs some Skova in their life! Their plush, oversized towel blankets and gorgeous picnic rugs are some of my favorite outdoor accessories! Skova’s collection is all made from organic, eco-friendly, quality products. They offer a variety of products including outdoor accessories, t-shirts, silk kimonos, jewelry, pillows, candles, body oil, face masks and more! Be sure to follow Skova’s adventure on Instagram and visit their virtual boutique.
You haven’t properly shopped in San Diego if you haven’t been to Pangea. Pangaea Outpost has provided San Diego locals and visitors with an unforgettable shopping experience, immersing into a veritable shopping paradise filled with (to name just a few) jewelry, apparel, kids toys, crystals, decor, local art and local artisan creations. Not to mention the huge selection of exotic imports from around the world! When you shop with them, you have the opportunity to support small businesses and unique artists and artisans. All the while collecting eclectic treasures from all areas of the globe, as well as unique gifts available only in San Diego. There is something for everyone in this extraordinary, one-of-a-kind shop.
Owned by husband-and-wife duo, Pigment is all about supporting local artists. Pigment is recognized for design-savvy gifts, flora and furniture. I know most of my favorite gifts I have given and received have come from Pigment! Just going into any of the three Pigment stores (Del Mar, Liberty Station and North Park) is quite an experience. Spoil your little ones, treat yourself, or get creative at the Plant Lab, Pigment’s in-store terrarium bar. See all the latest items on their website or Instagram.
Clothe and Arrow
North County’s boutique for fashionable women with an undeniable love for traveling and taking the road less traveled. They have a collection of adorable clothes, jewelry, accessories and home decor, but what I think is fantastic about this boutique is their collection of “Give Back” products. Some of these products that do good include, an exclusive jewelry line that donates 20% of profits to combat human trafficking. A Lip Balm that helps survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault, candles and perfumes donate 3% to animal shelters and hand-knitted baby rattles that are Faire Trade from Bangladesh.
and various 100% cotton pajamas and journals that donate profits to various rainforests around the world! Head over to Flower Hill Promenade and check out this heart-centered, woman-owned business.
Kassi Grunder Jewelry
Whenever I wear Kassi Grunder’s jewelry, I feel beautiful, elegant and mindful. Her high vibrational jewelry is made to align you with your highest purpose. Her pieces are handmade in San Diego, with intention for courageous seekers, visionaries, and bringers of light. Her rings, earrings and necklaces are the perfect gifts for that special someone in your life (including yourself). Check out her website or Instagram to browse her latest collections.
Rais Case creates stunning leather products, with intention, passion, and love embedded in every stitch. Committed to building community, Raise Case employs local (San Diego based!) cut and sew teams to make their collections. Oh! And they recently purchased a property along with some friends and together they run a co-op retail shop called, The Rising Co., which features local designers and artists! If you haven’t been to Rising Co. yet, you are really missing out! There is even a coffee shop inside for you to enjoy a warm crafted coffee while you sip and shop local! Did I mention there is an incredible mural on the side of their building! This place is a one-stop-shop!
California Sock Company
California Sock Co. is the coolest sock store in San Diego. From fun themes for every season to sassy and relatable moods, there is a sock for just about everyone and everything at CA Sock Co. Not only are fun socks a MUST HAVE this holiday season (how cute are Rosie and I in our matching holiday socks?!) but when you shop with California Sock Co., you are actually supporting children in need as well! Children growing up in underprivileged communities, challenging neighborhoods, and in tough environments need to know that we care. Socks are the most requested items at homeless shelters, so instead of walking a mile in their shoes let’s do it two feet at a time. California Sock Co is on a mission to bridge the gap to bring joy to these kids and young adults one fun pair of socks at a time. It’s the little steps that make a big difference! For every pair of socks you buy, a child in need gets new socks. They are donating socks in your honor.
Follow them on Instagram to see how your donation has brought a bit of fun and laughter to those in need.
Geppetto’s Toy Store
Geppettos is the ONLY place I will get toys for the little ones! This local toy store has been a San Diego staple for over 40 years and is every child’s fantasy land!! They are still locally owned and operated by the Miller Family and offer complimentary gift wrapping every day. They are also happy to special order a product for you if possible!
Check out their locations all around San Diego here!
Calling all fashionistas and trendsetters! Van de Vort is THE place to shop in San Diego, building women’s confidence through fashion and creativity. Owned by boss babe Andrea Van de Vort, dress to impress and step into your power with a head-turning outfit that will make you feel like the empress you are! Located in Del Mar, stop by either VDV location and treat yourself to some retail therapy!
Talk about the Momma who does it all! Blaine aka Momma Pots creates stunning, one-of-a-kind designs you can’t find anywhere else! There is a new collection every three months and once you get a pot, you can bet that no one else will have one like yours! Find a San Diego retailer here ! These hand-painted pots make a perfect Christmas gift for plant lovers!
Salt Culture is a globally inspired lifestyle boutique created by Sophie and husband, world-renowned professional surfer Rob Machado. Located in 1930’s beach bungalow on highway 101 in the heart of Encinitas, Salt Culture carries an array of top fashion brands for women and men, unique home decor, gifts and custom surfboards designed by Rob Machado. After quickly becoming the pulse of Encinitas, Salt Culture has consistently been recognized as San Diego’s “Best Boutique.” With Salt Culture, The Machado’s make it easy to immerse yourself in a surf-chic lifestyle that embraces many cultures, relationships and friends from around the world.
Suki is one of the most incredible makers we know! She crafts quality, fashion forward and versatile pieces in Encinitas and is passionate about creating, empowering others and inspiring women to chase after their dreams! Click here to see the newest 2020 collection or follow along on Instagram I to stay up to date about pop-up markets and new designs!
Stefanie Bales Fine Art
You’ve most likely already fallen in love with artwork by Stefanie Bales. There are a handful of murals and artwork around San Diego county that Stefanie has created, each one providing some inspiration and joy for our community! Her Fine Art Gallery is absolutely breathtaking and her pieces are some of my favorites. A visit to the gallery offers more than just fine art…there are also archival prints, handmade jewelry, custom silk scarves, home decor items, hand painted ornaments, stocking stuffers and more! All products sold in store are sustainably handmade and or manufactured in California.
Handmade holiday wreaths and floral arrangements via local floral artist MD Flora
Complimentary ornament + gift personalization / customization complimentary gift wrapping, and free gift with $100 purchase
Gallery Location: Stefanie Bales Fine Art: 1504 India St, San Diego CA 92101.
Hours: Thursday 5-8, Friday 12-8, Saturday 12-5
Also offering private appointments! (all year)
Shop online: www.stefaniebales.com/shop
Beaute Nouveau Botanical Beauty
Beaute Nouveau Botanical Beauty is a truly botanical beauty brand of skincare products. After 20 years of working in the cosmetic industry, owner and founder, Lacey took a hard look at the harmful chemicals in the products she had once sworn by and set out to create her own all-natural, chemical-free products that truly delivers the results that women are looking for. All of their products are hand-made in small batches, with the finest botanical ingredients. Dive into this one-stop shop for all things natural beauty and wellness, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Check out their instagram or visit their website at https://www.beautenouveau.com/
This historic boutique hotel in North Park dates back to the 1940’s. It boasts classic Hollywood charm and on my wish list is the $15 Day cation pool pass (available Monday- Thursday) where you can sit pool side & enjoy our San Diego weather at the Weissmuer pool while sipping on one of their signature cocktails! Who’s with me?!
This award winning Relaix & Chateaux luxury resort located in Rancho Sante Fe is like a dream! Once through the gates you feel like you have been transported to some far away place with the Spanish colonial Hacienda inspired vibe they have mastered so well!! A day at the spa is all I need for Christmas!
Located in the heart of Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego, call Hotel Indigo home for the holidays! From the pet-friendly spaces to the picturesque rooftop bar, a warm and welcoming stay is amplified by amenities that radiate the neighborhood’s genuine energy.
Grand Manchester Hyatt
Explore Southern California’s vibrant culture and natural beauty from Grand Manchester Hyatt’s waterfront hotel in Downtown San Diego. Settle into your new home for the holidays and experience spacious rooms, stunning views, and upscale amenities steps from the city’s top attractions.
San Diego Bay Adventures
Celebrate the holidays San Diego style with San Diego Bay Adventures! San Diego Bay Adventures provides jet ski rentals as well as paddle boarding and kayaks. Besides the thrill of being able to fly across the bay, there is so much more to see from the water, like tall ships, military ships, navy dolphins, sea lions and an unbelievable panorama of the San Diego skyline. Our family has had the best time out on the bay with San Diego Bay Adventures and we know your family will too! Check out their website for daily offers and holiday fun!
Support local and stay safe!
Happy holidays, San Diego!