If you haven’t finished holiday shopping yet for everyone on your list, don’t fret. Instead, consider any one of these unique gift idea suggestions from the South Whidbey Record and the Whidbey News-Times.
Who doesn’t love pasta? Wildly Beloved Foods boasts 21 different shapes. Noodles can be purchased fresh, dried, vegan, with eggs or spinach. All are made with organic ingredients and flour from Italy.
Owner Aurora Echo recently expanded her business, which started in a commercial kitchen on the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds, to a new storefront located at 6348 Frost Ave. in Clinton. Besides the store, pasta can also be purchased online at wildlybelovedfoods.com.
In addition to noodles, Echo also sells a variety of pasta-making merchandise that just might make the perfect gift for your favorite home chef. Attendance at one of Echo’s upcoming pasta classes with private chef Renee Blair may also be just the thing.
From Pez dispensers to elephant figurines to collectable salt and pepper shakers, Good Cheer has you covered in the sentimental knick-knack department. The two thrift shops – one in Clinton at 11042 Highway 525 and one in Langley at 114 Anthes Ave. – have a constantly changing collection of eclectic secondhand items.
What’s more, proceeds from the thrift stores benefit hundreds of families each month who rely on Good Cheer Food Bank. Seniors, veterans and teachers receive a 10% discount on purchases every Thursday.
There are also plenty of Christmas decorations that can be found, as well as artificial trees, holiday cards and wrapping paper. So get busy!
Cooks of all skill levels will no doubt appreciate something from Walden Lane Gourmet, a boutique in downtown Langley at 210 First Street with luxurious kitchen essentials. Owner Lisa Liefke works hard to come up with proprietary spice blends, olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
If you want to taste something, simply bevy up to the tasting bar. Unique picks include umami truffle dust, margarita cocktail mix and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar.
The store also sells sampler sets, cookbooks, kitchen tools and artisan cutting boards. To shop online, visit waldenlanegourmet.com.
A stunning display of red-and-white capped mushrooms greets you upon stepping into Bayview Garden, located at 2780 Marshview Ave. The toadstools come as ornaments, on glasses and in books.
As usual, the greenhouse is filled to the brim with various Christmas tree ornaments and holiday-themed plants. It’s also a good place to find Jellycats, which are stuffed animals with equally adorable and amusing personalities.
For the person who likes trying new things, Hierophant Meadery is sure to expand their palate. Made with herbal ingredients such as chamomile, cardamom and saffron, the meads vary widely.
Owners Jeremy Kyncl and Michelle Scandalis, who are as busy as bees, specialize in botanically infused meads made with honey from the Pacific Northwest. They share a passion for pollinators and preserving their habitat.
Find their meads at the meadery at 5586 Double Bluff Road in Freeland, or visit hierophantmeadery.com to use the store locator.
Oak Harbor businesses offer gift ideas for all sorts of people — those whose brain chemistry was permanently altered by Dungeons & Dragons, teething babies, people who are proud to call Whidbey their home and want everyone to know, and those who like to relax with a cup of wine in one hand while wielding a craft tool in the other.
At TerraVen, located at 841 Southeast Pioneer Way, it’s the Renaissance Faire every day. Here, adventurers can find realistic dragon hatchlings in clear resin eggs, leather notebooks with unique designs on the cover where they can write spells, potions or vent about their day, leather hair slides to keep their locks in place before a sword battle or doing house chores, and a wide variety of board games.
Owners Kristi Uhles and Shea Looijen have ideated, designed and manufactured board games inspired by pirates, zombies and vampires that are unique to TerraVen. These multi-player games can fit inside one’s pocket and consist of leather bags with laser-engraved leather designs and marble game pieces.
If pirates sound inspiring, you might hear the sea’s calling from Purple Moon, located at 860 Southeast Pioneer Way. The store has a corner that is entirely sea-themed, with home decor that can transform any room into a secret mermaid cave, and even sharks preserved in jars for those who are fascinated by shark anatomy. Other treasures in the store include gemstones and crystals of varying sizes, colorful tea sets for kids and grown-ups, essential oils and fossil excavation kits.
Some of Whidbey’s most creative people showcase their work at Whidbey Island Crafter’s Market & Studios, located at 720 Southeast Pioneer Way. In this ever-changing market, people can find colorful 3D prints of mythical creatures, crochet coasters and plants, paintings of landscapes on Whidbey Island, and small items that make for good stocking stuffers, such as stickers, pins and earrings inspired by nature and pop culture.
Whidbey pride is in full swing in town, particularly at PNW Vibes Market, where owner Juliana Uluave-Gould has gathered products from all around the island and other Pacific Northwest areas. Visitors can take home immortalized Whidbey sunsets or expressionist paintings of Deception Pass, Oak Harbor shirts designed by Uluave-Gould, essential oil diffuser bracelets, or puzzles of the iconic Prowler duo located near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. A product that is particularly unique to the store is the “Rustic Pacific Northwest Blend,” a coffee blend produced by Coupeville Coffee Roasters for the store.
Squatchy’s, home to the giant Sasquatch named Squatchy, is another temple dedicated to the Pacific Northwest and Whidbey Island, located at 40751 Highway 20. Owner Scott Meaker said a fan favorite has been the Sasquatch pajamas, but people have also been digging the unique T-shirt designs and the aromatic puzzles with Whidbey scenery. Need a gift for a snacker? You might consider some stocking stuffers like West Coast taffy, beef jerky or coins that can be used at the store’s cotton candy machine.
For the eccentric grown-up who likes to stand out by wearing vintage fur coats and sipping soda from head-shaped mugs, Dina’s Great Finds at 830 Southeast Pioneer Way is the right place. There are options for more discerning individuals, such as a wide variety of vintage jewelry, or vinyls for those who like to swing to the sound of forgotten treasures.
At Varner Candle Company, located at 810 Southeast Pioneer Way, guests can sit at the bar and enjoy a drink while creating their own candles. Owner Megan Varner-Duckett said candle-making sessions are open to people of all ages and offer some fun to couples, families and groups of friends. People can choose from 50 different scents to create unique candles, reed diffusers and wax melts. As an alternative to gift certificates for the candle-making experience, visitors can surprise their loved ones with pre-made candles, including some spicy designs inspired by human anatomy.
Chris Reissner, owner of Artists Lounge at 860 Southeast Pioneer Way, has been seeing children getting taller and taller around this time of the year ever since he took over the store. For some families, visiting the lounge to craft Christmas family heirlooms is a yearly tradition. Others might prefer to shop for DIY materials and create their own gifts at home to surprise their loved ones.
Frida’s, located at 721 Southeast Pioneer Way, is another haven for crafters in town. The store offers affordable classes — just $6 — where guests can learn to make art with paint, watercolors and create cards and tags while socializing with other apprentices.
A great gift for fashionable animal lovers can be found at Aqua Gifts, located at 2 Front Street Northwest. Owner Christian Chambers said the store sells bracelets that come with a QR code that, when scanned, allows the owner to track a wild animal in real time. Part of the proceeds, according to Chambers, go to an animal conservancy organization.
Chambers also owns The Laughing Admiral, a giggle-inducing store at 10 Front Street Northeast with endless possibilities for a memorable Christmas gift — such as pickle fingers to hide an overdue manicure, or pickle erasers. If you’re not going for humor but for “wow,” you might dig the rotary phone bag that, if plugged into a cell phone, acts as a phone.
At Madrona Blossom, you can find cards with seeds in the paper that can be planted, campfire-scented candles that can be used to roast marshmallows and craft cocktail kits with a variety of flavors to choose from. The store is located at 13th Front Street Northeast.
One of Greenbank’s treasures is Greenbank Farm Wine Shop, owned by Hollie Swanson and located at 765 Wonn Road A101. Swanson recommended the Hot Mulled Loganberry Wine, which she said makes the house smell amazing, and the Finnriver Chai Spice Brandywine, which is a blend of apple brandy and pear wine blended with chai spices and tastes even better when mixed with a mug of warm apple cider. The shop also sells gifts such as hand-dyed bamboo socks, motorcycle-shaped bottle holders, and a felt book for children, “Whidbey’s Animals,” by Greenbank author Hai Anh Vu.