Peabody is home to numerous holiday shopping opportunities beyond the walls of mainstream malls and superstores. Locally-owned hobby shops, family restaurants, florists and farms are not only plentiful, but are generally less crowded and are staffed with attentive employees, typically experts on their product.
These independent businesses also assist in preserving a community's unique feel and characteristics while offering home-grown gifts and locally sold products your recipients can appreciate.
Here are five local and worthy contenders for the gift-giving season, all offering innovative merchandise and services.
- Northeast Nursery, 234 Newbury St. - New home owners, nature lovers and artistic friends will treasure your selection from Northeast Nursery. The Route One retailer carries much more than landscaping supplies, offering whimsical décor, birdfeeder, birdbaths and floral pots, musical wind chimes, collectible ornaments, hand painted mailboxes, garden needs such as gloves and hand tools, and of course – beautiful live plants for everyone on your list. Visit www.northeastnursery.com for more gift ideas along with store information and Christmas Cash coupons.
- Brooksby Farm, 54 Felton St - Bring your shopping list, your walking shoes and your appetite, as Brooksby offers the unique opportunity to enjoy fresh baked farm donuts, and sip mulled cider or hot coffee while purchasing fun items for your family and friends at the scenic farm. From holiday wreaths and greenery, to artisan style decor, long-lasting candles, chocolatey fudge, generously stuffed gift baskets, and family favorite pies, Brooksby Farm provides a place to buy local, eat local and think local. Learn more at www.brooksbyfarm.org or visit the farm daily 9am - 5pm.
- Century House, 235 Andover St. - Give two gifts in one: the gift of a night out to dinner, and a night off of cooking (and the clean up that follows), with a gift certificate to the tried and true Century House Restaurant on Route 114. The 10th largest independent restaurant in Massachusetts, the Century House has been serving satisfield clients, from a wide range of ages and tastes, since 1957. The best part: you can even shop from your home when you visit www.centuryhousepeabody.com and order your gift card online.
- Peabody Estate Buyers, Inc., 45 Main St. - This small, owner operated business hand selects fine antiques, jewelry, coins and estate items to showcase in their downtown shop. Employees are knowlegeable, and will not only assist in your selections, but educate you on your purchase. Collector coins, proof sets, stamps, earrings, watches and out-of-the-ordinary items such as metal detectors and rare musical items make this shop a must-see. Visit www.peabodycoin.com or browse the store for new and old inventory.
- North East Trains, 18 Main St. - Images of model trains chugging alongside gingerbread houses in holiday store displays can be brought to reality at home, for incredibly reasonable prices. North East Trains, known for their quality, high-end railroad model trains, sell at generous discounts. Entire sets can be yours for only $159.95 for Thomas brand and $174.95 for the Pennsylvania Flyer. These are complete, ready-to-run train sets with standard 40 x 60 tracks available in-stock or they can shipped worldwide for your relatives in far-away places. Visit www.netrains.com for images, but come to the downtown store to see the trains in motion.
Choose among the local offerings at any of these five creative establishments and you will be giving not only to your recipient, but to your community as well.