Gift Guide: How to shop local in downtown Battle Creek


Skip supply-chain headaches by shopping close to home. Downtown Battle Creek is constantly growing, with unique items and experiences that make great gifts. Here are some recommendations:

Bread & Basket

We’re all in need of a little soothing. Bread & Basket has self-care gift boxes, with items like a lotion bar, statement candle, lip balm and luxury soap for some aromatherapy and skin care. It’s $50 for $60 worth of products, and there are food-based boxes, as well. If you want to know more about owner Tiffany Blackman and her philosophy, I highly recommend watching this interview.

Cafe Rica

For the gift that keeps on giving, buy a gorgeous mug club bottle from Cafe Rica. When whoever receives the bottle brings it in, they always get an extra 4 ounces of their order, a free extra shot and $1 off on Mondays. Bonus: It’s got great insulation that’s going to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for a long time.

Handmap Brewing

Pair a cheerful T-shirt in a pint glass, so your loved one can show where they come from on the hand map. Or you can pair it with a gift certificate and the giftee can pick out their own cans of beer to take home and try in their new glass.

Inge’s Place

I love that E3 Achievement challenged students to design Sojourner Truth mugs. The program teaches entrepreneurial skills and students receive commissions for their work. You can find these mugs and other locally made items at the shop in the Ermisch Travel building. 

Out on a Whim

This little boutique opened up in the Salon K building (next to Cafe Rica) during the pandemic, so this was the first time I visited. The owner recommends some very cute and very soft animal ornaments for the Christmas tree. I also liked the very grown-up looking jewelry at Claire’s-at-the-mall prices.

Rice’s Shoes

A gift card is the best bet for Rice’s Shoes, where you can give the gift of comfort. With a card, the giftee can make sure the fit is right while ordering. A good fit is worth everything when it comes to healthy feet. A pair of cozy slippers makes a great gift, too.

Simply Sensational Berries

Cocoa bombs are ba! Drop the bomb into a mug and pour hot milk over it and you’ve got a decadent treat. Christmas boxes are also returning, full of sweets such as chocolate-covered strawberries, cookies, cheesecake bites and more.

Team Active

When asked what would make a good Christmas present, I was told that every kid wants a bike. Team Active has some really cool red racers with training wheels. For anyone who has re-discovered the great outdoors during the pandemic, there are also good stocking stuffers such as wool socks or a phone-holder that goes on a bike’s handlebars.

Welcome Center

Put some Michigan on your Christmas tree with wooden ornaments that show what makes Michigan cool. We have similar designs on mugs, dish towels, glasses, magnets and puzzles.

Gift cards

Fund someone’s coffee habit or a family-sized fajita dinner with gift cards to 32 Social, Clara’s on the River, Griffin Grill & Pub, Kitchen Proper, Barista Blues, Rafaynee and Umami Ramen.

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