As COVID-19 cases surge across the state, the holidays are sure to look different this year. Resisting the urge to host parties or see family (in person) could just save a life, and with potential lockdowns looming, this year’s gift guide was created with the pandemic in mind. All the research was done from the safety of home and all the retailers included had to offer delivery or minimal-contact pick-up. This year’s list also includes locations in Charlotte, Raleigh and the Triad and is focused on those locally-owned businesses listed at area LGBTQ chambers or community centers and foundations.
There are some unique options this year to spread holiday shopping, so pull up your laptop or phone and start shopping.
The Queen City
Resident Culture Brewing Company
2101 Central Ave., Charlotte, N.C.
Founded in 2017, the Charlotte-based brewery has been called one of the nation’s “elite.” Just days after the pandemic caused them to close their taproom, Resident Culture owners set up a drive-through. Beers are available in four-packs of bottles or cans, and the company has custom merchandise, including a new “super soft & super sexy” hooded sweatshirt just in time for the colder temperatures. Order online at residentculturebrewing.com.
3102 Eastway Dr., Charlotte, N.C.
Whether you’re looking for a sweet treat for your vegan friend or wanting to try a healthy holiday meal, Eastway Local offers contactless pickup. Their Bitchin’ Brownie Bites are special order and come in coconut, double chocolate or orange varieties and the café features full holiday menus ready to order. If you’re looking for ways to help a local healthcare hero this season, Eastside Local, Move That Dough Baking Company and Dream Out Loud Media have launched Charlotte Edition: Coffee for the Front Lines on GoFundMe.com. The project raises money to provide coffee, bakery items and vegan/vegetarian meals delivered to local hospital workers. Order your holiday treats at easidelocaleatery.com or click the “How You Can Help!” button at the top of the page to be linked to the project.
2008 Commonwealth Ave., Charlotte, N.C.
The Plaza-Midwood boutique gift shop launched a mobile version of the store called “Mabel” and started doing pop-ups around town after the pandemic began. The owner, Michelle Catelloe, even landed a grant to buy a second custom cart and you can follow Mabel’s moves on the retailer’s Facebook or Instagram. Shop online at moxiemercantile.com, where you’ll find a variety of gift options.
Pole Body & Arts
9539 Pinnacle Dr., Unit 350, Charlotte, N.C.
This fitness and dance studio opened in the middle of the pandemic and featured Erica Chanel as a special MC and performer during its September grand opening with a percentage of their sales donated to Charlotte Black Pride. Virtual classes are available from $30 to $60 on polebodyarts.com.
920 Central Ave., Charlotte, N.C.
Our Charlotte holiday list isn’t complete without including White Rabbit, a retailer serving the LGBTQ community for decades. The store offers an array of cards, books, movies, gifts, adult novelties, designer underwear and all things gay. While the store is still open and taking precautions for COVID-safety, you can also call in an order at 704-377-4067 for contactless pickup. See something on the retailer’s Facebook.com/whiterabbitstore page and call ahead for options.
Western Dragon Teas and Tisanes
Online, Raleigh, N.C.
You can find this local tea company at locations around the Raleigh-Durham area, but online shopping is the best option during the pandemic at westerndragonteasandtisanes.com/. The company offers complimentary shipping on two or more orders throughout the U.S. and complimentary delivery in the Triangle area. Check out their “Teas for the Soul” collection, sold by the ounce — something that’s definitely needed this year. Some favorites include Trans-Tea, LGB-Tea, Holiday by the Fireplace, and Immune Bender.
The Green Monkey
1217 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, N.C.
The local gift gallery and craft beer bar represent over 35 local artists from around North Carolina. Rusty Sutton and Drew Temple opened The Green Monkey in 2013 as a “safe place for everyone” to shop and feel welcome after several years at the Raleigh Flea Market, where they were the first shop to sell Pride-themed gifts. Shop online for holiday gift sets and more at greenmonkeyraleigh.com.
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd., Raleigh, N.C.
Raleigh’s community bookstore is now offering free media mail shipping and contactless pickup and has moved its long list of events to a virtual format. Check out the Staff Picks Booklist or the Local N.C. sections to find that unique gift, or set up an account and wish list to send out to your friends and family at quailridgebooks.com.
Acadia Foods Market & Deli
228 W. Acadia Ave., Winston-Salem, N.C.
This deli, coffee shop and market says its goal is to provide Winston-Salem with healthy alternatives, and it’s a perfect spot for holiday pies. At $28 a large pie serves eight and the $18 small serves four. Options include Harvest Pie (pear, apple and cranberry with an oatmeal crumb topping), Sweet Potato, Pumpkin Cream, Southern Pecan and Chocolate Chess. The market is offering take-out, curbside and some delivery options. For Christmas Day, you must pre-order by Dec. 22. For details, visit Facebook.com/acadiafoodsws/.
Cozy Calla Lilly Boutique
2915 Battleground Ave., Suite H, Greensboro, N.C.
This women’s online clothing store offers a variety of gift options, accessories, jewelry, shoes and more. You can shop
online at cozycallalily.com or download the retailer’s mobile app for easier shopping and live sales. The boutique’s “Holly Jolly Gift Guide” features holiday masks and hand sanitizers for perfect COVID stocking stuffers.
Shelf Life Art & Supply Co.
Online only, based in Greensboro, N.C.
The perfect local online spot for any artist on your gift list. After six years, the company had to close its storefront in July and is now growing its online-only operations. From origami sets and craft kits to a full supply of art supplies, you can order online at shelflifeart.com and the company is offering free shipping for any orders of $15 or more.
311 W. 4th St., Winston-Salem, N.C.
With entertainment options limited and many theatres shuttered, A/perture Cinema is offering ways to make it a movie night at home. With online rentals of indie films and Movie Party Boxes, you can still enjoy the experience. The limited-edition movie party box includes candy and other goodies, gourmet popcorn recipes created by staff, house party movie trivia, discount codes to other local businesses and a copy of Southern Stories, a curated collection of short films from filmmakers that A/perture has hosted in the past. The price is $50 and local delivery is offered for orders within a 20-mile radius of the theatre. Shipping is also available. See aperturecinema.com/ for more information.
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