It is that time of the year where the streets are dazzling with lights, Christmas trees line the sidewalks, and you still haven’t bought a single gift for the holidays. Luckily, the Village has you covered this year with many small businesses that can offer you the perfect gift for your friends and family. Many online shopping services such as Amazon already have shipping delays well into the new year. Don’t add unnecessary stress to your life and buy local.
Small businesses are a crucial part of keeping the spirit of our neighborhoods alive. We have taken it upon ourselves to create a helpful list of some small businesses in the Village that have you covered for gifts even for the hardest people to shop for.
Li-Lac Chocolates, 162 Bleecker Street and 75 Greenwich Avenue
The holiday season is a time for family, treats, and lots of sweets, and what better way to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit than with one of Greenwich Village’s own chocolate houses. Li-Lac Chocolates, one of Manhattan’s oldest chocolate houses, has been a Greenwich Village staple for over 90 years. Founded in 1923, the first Li-Lac was started by a Greek immigrant named George Demetrious at 120 Christopher Street. Mr. Demetrious had previously learned the fine art of chocolate-making in France, and used his expertise and innovation to develop a loyal following in the Village.
Li-Lac Chocolates has an assortment of holiday chocolates that are perfect for parties, gifts, and stocking stuffers. You can stop by the store to browse or even make online orders to be delivered. You can check out their website and order your goodies here.
Three Lives Books, 154 West 10th Street
What better gift to give than the joy of reading this holiday season? Three Lives Books is a little bookstore in Greenwich Village that hosts a large array of literary titles. The store caters to people from around the block and around the world. They have a wide selection of books, but the most popular seem to be Literary Fiction, Narrative Non-fiction, and cookbooks.
Three Lives Books offers signed copies of many different books. Currently, they have author-signed copies of Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey, Zadie Smith’s Grand Union, and Andre Aciman’s Find Me. Visit them today to see what else you can find in store in this little treasure chest of a shop.
Dual Specialty Store, 91 First Avenue
Abdul Patwary, who hails from Bangladesh, founded Dual Specialty Store almost 30 years ago. When the nearby Indian restaurants he served started disappearing in the 1990s, he wisely adapted his unique shop to expand its inventory to serve a broader base of customers. They carry an ever-expanding array of spices and herbs, teas, grains, incense and healthcare products. If you are looking to get someone something unique then you have to check this place out.
The store is especially appealing to the cooks in the family. If you want to make it yourself, Dual sells all the spices needed to do so! You can check them out at their East Village shop on 1st Avenue or take a look at their website here.
Greenwich Letterpress, 15 Christopher Street
Greenwich Letterpress offers a uniquely curated shop of letterpress greeting cards, letter sets, notebooks, and gifts—featuring their own line and others just as distinct. In addition, they provide their own collection of neighborhood key tags (fictional and NYC neighborhoods) and distinctive enamel pins. Greenwich Letterpress is not only interested in creating and producing paper goodness and uniquely delightful gifts; they also care about the environment. All of their paper is made from 100% tree-free post-consumer cotton or is 100% recycled. Their inks are soy-based, and their products are made 100% by wind energy. This makes them the perfect gift for those who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.
You can visit their whimsical shop on Christopher Street or you can browse their selection online here.
Integral Yoga Institute, 227 West 13th Street
Integral Yoga is dedicated to offering classic Yoga practices to all people, in all bodies, of all abilities and at every stage of life. They have more than one hundred yoga classes each week. What better gift to give than the gift of good health for the upcoming year?
Integral Yoga offers many discounts and specials throughout the year. Currently, they are offering new students 3 classes for $40! You can check out their schedule here or walk into their West 13th Street location to learn more.
Village Tannery, 173 Bleecker Street
One business on Bleecker Street surely has just what you need, or they will custom make what you want. Village Tannery has been a staple of small business in the Village for years and specializes in custom leather goods. All of the leather they work with is domestically sourced, with some of it coming from upstate New York. They make backpacks and briefcases, duffel bags and purses, as well as wallets and belts. If you are looking to buy a gift that will last a lifetime this is the place for you. All the items they make come with a lifetime guarantee.
All their products are handmade and customized orders should be placed ASAP. You can look at examples of their work on their website here.
Small Business in Our Neighborhoods
If you would like to know more about small businesses in our neighborhoods, check out our “Small Businesses Thrive in Landmarked Neighborhoods” series that promotes and highlights small, independently owned shops that offer unique products and services in landmarked surroundings. Those surroundings contribute to and inspire their distinctive shopping experience.
Multiple studies show that retail vacancy rates actually tend to be lower in landmarked or historic districts, thus showing the positive synergy between preserved historic neighborhoods and healthy, independent retail. In the age of online shopping and home deliveries, shoppers have increasingly gravitated towards retail experiences that are unique and distinctive and can’t be replicated elsewhere or virtually, which independently-owned small businesses and landmarked areas provide.
Here at Village Preservation, we are actively seeking out ways in which we can help small businesses survive in this current state of New York real estate. You can learn more about our small business efforts here and take action to support your favorite local establishments here.
What special small business would you like to see featured next? Just click here to nominate our next one. Thank you! #shoplocalnyc
And here is a handy map of all of our Businesses of the Month: