Why travel great distances to purchase gifts this holiday season? The Bloomingdale-Riverview area has a wealth of small businesses that carry a unique array of gifts for every member of the family.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Rich's Backyard Birds, 5670 FishHawk Crossing Blvd., Lithia.
For the nature lover or the child with an innate curiosity about all things scientific, Rich's Backyard Birds offers gifts shoppers won't find anywhere else.
Owner Rich Crete sells a large selection of science kits for kids ages 4 to 12 including crystal-growing kits, Disgusting Science, a solar science kit, a kit to build a potato clock, a backyard explorer kit, a magic science kit, ant hills and live butterfly gardens.
"They're really neat, fun and kids learn something that doesn't involve a television screen," Crete said. Prices range from $8.99 to $19.99.
For adults, Rich's Backyard Birds offers 80 different bird feeders, bird baths, binoculars and telescopes for bird watching, yard art and chimes.
- Maxx and Gigi's Dog Bakery and Boutique, www.maxxandgigis.com
Don't forget your furry friends when shopping this holiday season. In her Brandon home-based business, Kathryn Hanaghan offers homemade dog treats for $4 for a 4-ounce bag. Flavors include Carolina BBQ ribs, carob chip cookies, Cheesy Barkin' Bacon, chicken liver squares, Peanut Buddies and Pumpkin Crunchies, all organic and made with natural ingredient.
She also takes small stuffed animals, restuffs them with dog-friendly stuffing and a squeaker, and then sews them back up. They sell for $3 to $5.
For the fashionable pooch, Hanaghan offers a selection of bows ($1 each), bandanas and doggie T-shirts, dresses, sweaters and coats for $4 to $10.
- Dog Gone Holistic, 5620 Fishhawk Crossing Blvd., Lithia.
You'll find everything you need for the furry friend in your life at Dog Gone Holistic.
Not only does the store feature a variety of natural and organic dog and cat foods, but Kim and Chris Tom sell holistic treats, collars, leashes, pet beds and dog and cat toys. You can purchase a pre-made Christmas stocking for your pet or create your own stocking with toys, treats and grooming products.
For more gift-giving ideas, check out our Holiday Gift Guide.
And if you have some favorite gift buys at local businesses, shoot us an email at email@example.com or call 813-334-1081.