SHOPPING LOCAL IS SO MUCH FUN!

Nothing is better than the energy of our area downtowns during the holidays. Annual tree lightings, twinkling neighborhood decorations, street performers and the festive vibe of walking the sidewalks are magical. Is there anything better than peering into our beautifully decorated storefronts? I’ve lived here all my life and it never gets old to me!

With so many great places to shop…I try and get everything on my list locally. Whether it’s prepping your table for a feast at Williams Sonoma on Central Avenue, picking up some sweets at Brummer’s on East Broad Street, a local novelty at Periwinkle’s in Cranford or antiquing at Uptown Vintage in Scotch Plains, our local communities have it all.

One of my favorite spots for quality custom shoes is Sole in Westfield. You can always find something unique. The selection is fantastic and the owner and sales people couldn’t be nicer…full disclosure…Kyle Isolda is my cousin. But, like many area Mom and Pops, aren’t we always made to feel like family? Isn’t that the difference when shopping local? I certainly think so.

Our local merchants are also great for wrapping-up your shopping…or to pick up that last minute specialty without having to deal with the highways or malls. Here are 4 stops I frequent and highly recommend to all of my neighbors…

Stop 1: Vine Ripe

Since opening on North Avenue, Vine Ripe Markets has become a local staple for quality groceries. You can’t go wrong here for last minute menu items.

Stop 2: Pastosa

Cranford’s gem for Italian specialties is perfect for foodie gifts, including tons of Old World imports. Stop in neighboring Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe, too!

Stop 3: Vine Republic

Got wine? They certainly do! Aisle upon aisle offering great regional selections across many price points. Also a great pit stop with ample parking.

Stop 4: &grain

…& don’t forget the bread! &grain in Garwood uses top notch ingredients ensuring all of its varieties will please your seasonal guests. Need fuel? Lattes!

About the Contributor

Frank D. Isoldi is a lifelong resident of Westfield and the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of this mag. He also loves selling homes!