Small business Saturday in Grand Island

Friday was “buy nothing day,” which amounted to a fun response to the excesses of “Black Friday,” which features people waiting on lines for hours at stores, followed by fistfights over who gets to buy a toy in short supply.

If you don’t like crowds, battles over things, and crabby people, you skip “black Friday,” which is exactly what I did on “buy nothing day.” Instead, I walked to Grand Island’s wildlife sanctuary and restored wetlands, Buckhorn Island State Park, where I enjoyed the beauty of the Niagara River, the marshes, and the swampy areas. 

Yesterday was “Small Business Saturday.” The purpose of Small Business Saturday is to support small, locally owned businesses. Here in Grand Island, I visited a few businesses that were celebrating Small Business Saturday.

The first business that I visited was Momma De’s Mixing Bowl, owned by Ellen DeNormand.

The last time that I visited was a month ago, when I went there for a cookie decorating class.

Today, I went there to eat breakfast. I had a veggie breakfast pizza, fruit, and green tea with pomagranate. 

After breakfast, I went next door, to the Island Ship Center, which is owned by Seema and Fahim Mojowalla. They call their business the Spa of Shipping. You can take your packages there to be shipped. And, if you don’t know how to wrap your packages, Seema and Fahim will wrap them for you. They are impressively good at wrapping packages. I had them ship a painting. They also do printing. I get all of my greeting cards printed there. The Island Ship Center is also a boutique, full of lovely things, which includes soaps that Seema makes. The soaps are pretty, colorful, and aromatic. I love to treat myself to Seema’s soaps.

Yesterday, to celebrate Small Business Saturday, Seema hosted a Purse Party.

The back room was full of purses of different sizes and shapes. I took a look and I took a few photographs. 

I bought a bar of soap and a green moleskine book to carry around with me, just in case I get the urge to write a story or a poem. You never know. I might get the urge to write a poem. It could strike at any time. After I paid for the soap and book, I was given a little ticket. With the little ticket clutched in my hand, I returned to the Island Ship Center. Fahim’s and Seema’s daughters were taking turns handing out pieces of baklava and cups of chai.

They had baked the baklava, but there was no room at the Island Ship Center to serve it. It was delicious.

I had never had chai before yesterday, and, with one taste, I was hooked. I could be happy drinking loads and loads and loads of chai. 

My next stop was Kelly’s Country Store. It is a tradition on Grand Island. I’ve written about it in the past.

Every year, Santa Claus comes to Kelly’s Country Store. He comes there because it’s the most decorated place in Grand Island.

It is quite spectacular. If you like chocolate, you have numerous choices. They sell the Buffalo specialty, sponge candy. The back room in a Christmas wonderland. Your eyes will bulge out of your head.

I’m still pushing my eyes back in after that impressive display of Super Christmas lore.

My last stop was to Christmas on the Farm, just around the corner from Kelly’s Country Store.

Shannon Zaccharia, owner
of Everything Grand Island, with
some of her creations, including
Beaver Island mugs, Buckhorn
Island mugs, sweatshirts,
and more.

It was at the farm where the weekly farmers market was held. It was kind of rainy by then but Christmas on the Farm is always delightful.

Donna makes handmade
pine cone
ornaments, which
look festive on a tree.

I bought a garlic. A really, really big garlic.

This is Lisa and Donna. In addition to selling handmade ornaments, she also sells eggs. She and her husband own an old farmhouse and 25 chickens. By day, she is a cleaner at Huth Road Elementary School. Donna, a semi-retired professional photographer, sells Christmas candy, made of white chocolate and peanut butter. She describes it as “Matthew’s favorite.”

And… if you live in Grand Island and you feel sad about missing out on Christmas on the Farm, it will be held again on the sixteen of December. 

Julie, in the center, holds up one of the wreaths that her 17-year-old twins Josh and Jenna make.  They started making the wreaths last year as a way to earn Christmas money. (not pictured, their dad Eric)

6 thoughts on “Small business Saturday in Grand Island”

  1. It seems you had lots of fun, here is Dublin also there was a huge Blackfriday sell all over, and like you, we also had not buy anything. I love your pictures especially the Santa one.

  2. Kyla Matton Osborne

    Oh my gosh, now you've brought back some memories for me! I remember visiting Kelly's Country Store back in the early 80s. I was on a student exchange in Ste. Catharines, and my host family took us to the Falls and across the border for a day of shopping. That was our first stop. It was a magical place!

  3. I'm glad I bumped into you during the Write Tribe Festival of words. I love your colourful pictures. I like the idea of a Buy nothing day. It seems like a respite from the crazy shopping crowds. We have something similar to Small Business Saturday – it's called a Farmer's Market but it has everything from homemade cosmetics to food items made by individual sellers. A quaint place to be in.

  4. I end up doing both Black Friday (needed a snowblower and Home Depot had a great sale) and Small Business Saturday, but I must admit, I had a lot more fun at Small Business Saturday – and they wrapped the small gifts I am giving my co workers in December with care and love.

  5. Great celebration of small business. My problem with the American Express campaign? It's only on a Saturday- and not a Sunday for those who believe (Jews, 7th Day Adventists) that commerce on Saturday is not appropriate.

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