Shop Local Store Directory and Shopping Tips

By Barbara Evangelista, Publisher November 26, 2020

“Shop Local” is the annual refrain at holiday time. This year though, we really need to show as much support for local business owners as possible… or they may not be here next year.  

Here are some thoughts:

Don’t Default to Amazon

Yes, Amazon is incredibly convenient.  You can hop online at midnight, order what you need, and hopefully it shows up pretty soon.  Here are the problems though:

  • Jeff Bezos (the founder, CEO and president of Amazon) is the richest person in the world. Seriously. I don’t want to fill his pockets anymore.  I'd prefer to pay a little more and know that the businesses in my communities will survive and thrive.
  • The more we buy from Amazon, the more our local resources will disappear.
  • The more we buy from Amazon, the more quality manufacturers will disappear. We’ve all purchased products on Amazon that ended up being laughably bad.  Why do those manufacturers exist?  Amazon.  They'd never survive at a real retailer.
  • All of the carbon emissions transporting everything to your home really add up
  • It’s not always the cheapest option.  Have you noticed that Amazon raises prices on seasonal items when they know the need will be greatest?  I did some school shopping there, for binders and index cards and such, a few years ago and probably paid 3 times as much as I would have paid at a local store.
  • Amazon's working conditions, both in the US and especially in manufacturing facilities abroad, have been strongly criticized.

First Step -- Is There a Local Independent Shop That Carries the Item You Need?

Items may cost a bit more at local retailers but your purchases are what keep them alive.  Plus they give amazing service, and the owners really care about you and their products. Here are the benefits to shopping local:

  • For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 stays in the community.  If you spend $100 at a national chain, only $43 stays in the community.  
  • Shopping locally encourages businesses to stay and thrive, creating diversity, choice, local jobs, interesting destinations, and a strong community.  Who wants to visit an area that has all the same chain stores?  People like to visit towns with unique, dynamic local businesses.

If you don’t have time to browse or are worried about the safety of shopping in the store, make a list of what you need and call them.  Many will gladly put together an order for you and provide curbside pickup.  If they don't have what you need in stock, many will be able to order the items for you.


Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton

The Concord Bookshop

Barrow Book Store, Concord

Pet Supplies

Great Road Farm and Garden, Littleton

Fish Nook Pet Center, Acton

Kitchen Items

Kitchen Outfitters, Acton


Albright Art Supply, Concord

Island Yarn Company, Maynard

Art Galleries & Studios

Gallery Seven Frame Shop & Fine Art Gallery, Maynard

6 Bridges Gallery, Maynard

ArtSpace Maynard

Clark Gallery, Lincoln

Lexington Arts & Crafts Society

Lucy Lacoste Gallery, Concord

Great Road Gallery & Framing, Bedford

Three Stones Gallery, Concord

Powers Gallery & Fine Framing, Acton


Learning Express, Acton

Learning Express Toys & Play, Bedford

Catch A Falling Star, Lexington


Jo Karen Fine Lingerie, Acton

Gift Items

Handworks Gallery, Acton

The Paper Store, all locations (locally owned and based in Acton)

Cataldo’s Gift & Garden, Littleton

Homespun, Lexington

Mass Audubon Shop, Lincoln

Something Special, 145 Lincoln Rd, Lincoln

Firefly Moon Gifts, Lexington

Crafty Yankee, Lexington

Revolutionary Concord, Concord

Joy Street Life + Home, Concord

Nesting, Concord

Artisans Way, Concord

Patina Green, Concord

Dotted I, Concord

Comina, Concord

Bee's Knees British Imports, Concord

Periwinkle Art and Glassworks, Acton

Kind Goods, Maynard

Sugar Snap, Maynard

Oliver's Wands and Wizarding Ware, Maynard


Moison Ace Hardware, Bedford

Shattuck Ace Hardware, Lexington

Garden Center

Cataldo’s Gift & Garden, Littleton

Seasons Four, Lexington

Wagon Wheel, Lexington

New England Nurseries, Bedford

Mahoney's Garden Center, Concord

Stonegate Gardens, Lincoln


The Minor Chord, Littleton

The Music Emporium, Lexington

Leonards Music, Bedford

Osmun Music, Acton

Boston Drum Center, Acton


Doyon's Appliance, Bedford


Legends Comix and Games, Littleton

Gaming Etc., Acton

Omar's World of Comics & Hobbies, Lexington

Excelsior Comics and Games, Maynard

Collectors Paradise, 35 Nason St, Maynard  

Hit & Run Sports and Games, Lexington


Bedford Jewelers

Richard Goddard Goldsmith, Maynard

Artinian's Jewelry, Lexington

Bonafine Jewelers, Lexington

Boston Bijoux, Acton

Fairbank and Perry Goldsmiths, Concord


Soccer Stuff, Acton

Maynard Outdoor Store

Tricon Sports, Lexington

Pedal Power, Acton

Marx Running & Fitness Center, Acton

Concord Outfitters

Brine's Sporting Goods, Concord

Gourmet Items

Art's Specialties, Maynard

Priscilla Candy Shop, Concord

Gräem Nuts and Chocolate, Concord

Debra's Natural Gourmet, Concord

New England Olive Oil Co, Concord

MA-France, Lexington

Wilson Farm, Lexington

Concord Cheese Shop


Michelson's Shoes, Lexington

Wish, Acton

Gould's Clothing, Acton

Blue Dry Goods, Concord

Grasshopper Shop, Concord

Juju, Concord

French Lessons Boutique, Concord

Lyn Evans, Concord

Fritz & Gigi Children's Shop, Concord

Raspberry Beret, Maynard

Home Items

Signature Stationers, Lexington

JACK + TOBA, Concord

Recreation (think gift cards)

Periwinkle Art and Glassworks, Acton

BB Kidz Klub, Westford

One Stop Fun, Westford

Altitude Trampoline Park, Billerica

Kimball Farm, Westford 

Art Signals, Maynard

Makers Workshop, Maynard

Second Step -- If No Local Independent Store Carries Your Item, How About a Larger National Store?

I’d really like to keep those larger chains in business.  I LIKE going in and looking at laptops, cameras, gaming systems, XBOX games, music, etc.  The salespeople are usually pretty helpful, I can generally get what I need the same day, and those stores provide tons of jobs for so many local people, including my teens.

If you can’t find what you need at an independent local store, try chains like:

  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Best Buy
  • Petco
  • Petsmart
  • Michaels
  • Joann Fabrics & Crafts
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • GameStop
  • Aubuchon Hardware

They all have excellent websites with pickup and shipping options.

Lastly, try Walmart, Target and other global retailers.  Then, if you must, head to Amazon.

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