Give gifts that were #madeinmichigan this holiday season. There is something for everyone in Calhoun County, from handmade soap bars to classes with baby goats.
We have two Michigan-themed gift shops to highlight: start with the Battle Creek Welcome Center Store, and then head to Marshall for Living Ml. Both stores celebrate love for the Great Lakes State with socks, artwork, coffee mugs, puzzles and shirts. Store items come from Michigan designers and makers. Small business bonus: Profits from the Welcome Center go back into helping the Battle Creek community.
Stepping into Aspidistra Naturals Apothecary and Gifts is like aromatherapy. Buy soaps, scrubs, clay masks and fizzy bath salts made here in Battle Creek. They also stock other fun Michigan-made items, such as hot sauce from Kalamazoo or a facial herbal steam mix from Manitou Beach.
And what is a Christmas stocking without some sweet treats? Yellow Bird in Albion makes chocolate from directly sourced ingredients. Your chocolate bar could have beans from Ecuador and cinnamon from Vietnam, but they are made from scratch in the store building. Truffles are also a popular gift, such as the chocolate ganache beer truffles that were inspired by Albion Malleable Brewing’s oatmeal porter.
Make the holiday season easier by letting the experts arrange appealing gifts.
Bread & Basket aims to boost up women of color in their entrepreneurship, not only by serving as a market but by offering mentorship. The store has gift packages that are curated around themes such as self-care and snacks. Or pick out your own collection from the carefully selected store items. For instance, a book, scented candle, tea and jam make a great combo.
A gift basket from Simply Sensational Berries can be as straightforward as a handmade cocoa bomb with a mug, or you can go full sweets with a personalized gift basket. Cocoa bombs, chocolate coffee stirrers, peppermint pretzel sticks, jumbo Rice Krispie treats, cookies and cake pops make a delicious gift – just let SSB do the work for you. And while you’re playing Santa for others, make sure to pick up some of the shop’s namesake chocolate-covered strawberries as a treat for yourself.
Horrocks Farm Market is a holiday tradition in Battle Creek. The market is foodie heaven, stocking products that are made in Michigan or come from small businesses. But it’s the gift baskets that make holiday shopping such a cinch. Visit the gift station for everything from traditional fruit baskets to baskets brimming with salty snacks or gardening gifts. Try a package that includes Michigan beer, drinking glasses and nuts. Or surprise someone with a yard-long box of cookies.
Show the brew connoisseur in your life some love with swag from unique breweries. T-shirts are a popular choice. Handmap Brewing Co. features the state of Michigan, Territorial Brewing Co. pays homage to German beers, Dark Horse Brewing Co. is a Michigan classic and Albion Malleable Brewing Co. honors the city’s foundry history.
Another gift-giving pro tip: Buy a gift card to a brewery and pair it with a Michigan-themed drinking glass from the Battle Creek Welcome Center Store.
Speaking of brewing, Cafe Rica in Battle Creek has some of the best beans for coffee. We recommend the award-winning Black Honey roast, with a naturally sweet honey-forward taste and notes of chocolate, Fuji apple and cranberry.
Combine your coffee with something a little stronger thanks to Cask & Kettle, made here in Battle Creek. These pods create cocktails in your Kuerig. Warm up this winter with an Irish coffee or spiked cider. They’re available at stores such as Meijer and Quality Dairy.
Don’t need more stuff? Experiences are a great gift-giving option.
Membership to Binder Park Zoo is great for all ages. It grants unlimited visits to one of the best zoos in Michigan, where visitors can feed giraffes, learn about dinosaurs and climb up high on the ropes course. The animals are always up to something, so every visit is different. There are also great walking paths for exercise.
A family membership to Kids ‘N’ Stuff in Albion covers a year of visits for two adults and all children younger than 18. Fill an afternoon with imaginative play: there are costumes and a theater stage, all kinds of building materials on Block Mountain, a farm and shopping mart, an auto garage, water table and an air wall. Kids ‘N’ Stuff is about more than toys – it’s about inspiring kids to be creative, to get messy, to engage in parallel play.
Glass Act in Marshall offers classes that fit your group size and schedule. All materials are provided – you just have to be ready to get creative. Give a gift certificate for a class or take the class yourself and create some handmade gifts.
Give the gift of cuteness with Baby Goat Yoga at Esham Family Farm in Albion. While a yoga instructor takes the class through relaxing moves, the little goats are allowed to roam and they like to hug and climb. It’s a great experience for animal lovers. The classes are offered year-round: indoors in the winter, outdoors in the summer.