Forget the stampedes for flat screens, here is a leisurely way to get the gifts and keep the cheer-spreading local

Think big! And shop small this holiday season

The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s the day after Thanksgiving.

Hundreds of people are lining up outside of big box stores hoping for great sales.

What do you do?

With so many great small businesses in Brooklyn, you sleep in. That is because those Black Friday shoppers are missing out on the day that offers more genuine deals — Small Business Saturday. It is the consumer holiday that trades the lines and privation for a more relaxed chance to buy something distinctive for your loved ones from a mom-and-pop shop where the money that comes in sticks around town. These kinds of businesses are filled with knowledgeable and passionate clerks, homemade and hard-to-find-gifts, and an attention to detail that you are not going to get at a chain store.

Not sure where to begin? Do not worry. We have got you covered like gift wrap.

Bay Ridge

The Art Room

Classes at children’s fine arts school the Art Room could be the perfect gift for the little Chagall or Cezanne in your family. The sessions (starting at $210 for six weeks and grouped by age) give kids the chance to study the modern masters of painting and sculpture, hone their individual skills, and build their personal portfolio. So whether your child is working on their brush technique or applying to LaGuardia High, the Art Room has a course to help their talent blossom. Feel your budding Botero needs special attention? The Art Room also offers one-on-one sessions, for $50 an hour.

The Art Room [8710 Third Ave., between 87th and 88th streets in Bay Ridge, (347) 560–6572].


Have a family member with a taste — and nose — for something a little different? The scented wonderland of Third Avenue’s HÔM is the shopping stop for you. Specializing in gourmet and artisanal items, HÔM offers a range of holiday gift baskets (starting at $18.99) packed with everything from locally-made chocolates to jams to soaps and wines. The store also carries candles and lotions in unique flavors like Japanese Quince and Christmas Sage (starting at $25).

HÔM [8806 Third Avenue, between 88th and 89th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 238–4466].

Brighton Beach

Plaster Galaxy

This Coney Island Avenue shop earns most of its business selling party supplies, but it also deals in made-to-order plaster busts of famous people, including Abraham Lincoln and Beethoven. There is nothing like the plaster likeness of a deaf composer to brighten up your foyer, and you can even order a classy stand at this hidden gem.

Plaster Galaxy [2756 Coney Island Ave. between Avenue Y and Gerald Court in Brighton Beach, (718) 769–8500,].

Sheepshead Bay

Jo Mart Chocolates

This family owned confectionaire has been serving hand-made chocolates and candies out if its Marine Park location for 51-years. The chocolatier’s delectable treats are tasty as they are beautiful, but that’s what you get when every edible is made with the tender love and care that only a mom and pop could provide.

Jo Mart Chocolates [2917 Avenue R between Nostrand Avenue and E. 29th Street in Sheepshead Bay, (718) 375–1277].

Fort Greene and Dumbo

Green in BKLN

This Fort Greene shop is devoted to eco-conscious goods, including beauty products, coffee, crafts, and cleaning products. The store also offers greeting cards and even baby clothes — a good reminder to keep the planet clean for the next generation.

Green in BKLN [432 Myrtle Ave. between Waverly and Clinton avenues in Fort Greene, (718) 855–4383,].

Jacques Torres Chocolate

The very first location of this famed chocolatier is in Dumbo, where you can find super-creamy hot chocolate, champagne-filled truffles, and other cocoa-dusted delights.

Jacques Torres Chocolate [66 Water St. between Main and Dock streets in Dumbo, (718) 875–1269,].

P.S. Bookshop

It is nice getting a new book, but used books have history. This charming Dumbo bookstore carries both still-stickered and well-worn tomes — along with some ultra-valuable rarities such as a $2,000 signed copy of Dylan Thomas’s “Deaths and Entrances.”

P.S. Bookshop [76 Front St. at Main Street in Dumbo, (718) 222–3340,].

Gowanus and

Park Slope

Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company

Lost your evil blob containment unit or mylar force field lately? Never fear, this superhero shop has a deep catalog of gear, capes, and costumes fit for kids and the young at heart.

Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company [372 Fifth Ave. between Fifth and Sixth streets in Gowanus, (718) 499–9884,].

Community Bookstore

It is a typical local bookstore at first glance, but if you cannot bear to break away from your fifth reading of “The Power Broker,” delivery is free when you place an order online or call the store. In other words, it is like shopping at a real-life e-book store.

Community Bookstore [143 Seventh Ave. between 18th and 19th streets in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075,].

Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Did you not get enough sweets on Thanksgiving? Or do your folks live across the country, forcing you to sit this feast out? No need to rationalize it, get yourself to Gowanus’ most artistic pie hole-in-the-wall. Check out the salty honey and honey-rosemary-shoofly pies, and birch beer float flavors. But be sure not to go on Black Friday. The crew will be out recuperating from the rush.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds [439 Third Ave. between Sixth and Seventh avenues in Gowanus, (718) 499–2917,].

Williamsburg and Greenpoint

Desert Island Books

You will not find any Batman comics at this comic book store. Desert Island focuses on obscure titles, small publishers, and art books and is the perfect place for that Art Spiegelman or Julie Doucet lover in your life.

Desert Island Books [540 Metropolitan Ave. between Unionv Avenue and Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, (718) 388–5087,].


This clothing store on Bedford Avenue does not stop at the threads. It also carries a large selection of bags, clothing, jewelry, books, scarves, incense, candles and home decorations. Bring the mood and rings to your loved one. But do not go looking for mood rings.

Bodhi [232-C Bedford Ave. between N. Fifth and N. Fourth streets in Williamsburg, (718) 388–7710].


The self-proclaimed “Brooklyn mecca for all things sparkly and exciting” offers up heirloom rings, cashmere boy shorts, and solid perfumes.

Catbird [219 Bedford Ave. between N. Fifth and N. Fourth streets in Williamsburg, (718) 599–3457].

Permanent Records

If you are a Greenpoint vinyl enthusiast, odds are you have heard of this place. But just in case, it is a cozy, comfortable, record and compact disc shop run by a pair of women with good taste in jazz and rock of all varieties.

Permanent Records [181 Franklin St. at Huron Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–4083,].

Raised by Wolves

A boutique that sells hip and comfortable clothing and practical accessories for both men and women. Dodge the sweatshop guilt with their ample Made in the U.S. offerings.

Wolves Within [174 Franklin St. between Java and Huron streets in Greenpoint, (347) 889–5798].

— With Will Bredderman, Megan Riesz, Danielle Furfaro, and Colin Mixson

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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