Black Friday’s all fine and dandy, but Shop Small Saturday is where the holiday shopping season really takes off. That’s especially true here in Milwaukee where we have so many unique, affordable, and blog-worthy (ahem) artisans and businesses offering locally-crafted gifts for every special Milwaukeean in your life.

This year, just as we did in 2015 and 2016, we’ve got a whole crop of new ideas for Brew City stocking stuffers.

Milk & Honey Liqueur 

All photos by Joe Powell for The Squeaky Curd.

“It’s God’s recipe.”

Serial entrepreneur Justin Lubin spent time in Israel, bringing back to Sherman Park an encyclopedic knowledge of ancient scripture and an affinity for a 3000-year old sweet treat. Now, his creation, a cream liqueur called Milk & Honey, is flying off Milwaukee shelves thanks to its simple but enticing combination of creamy milk and decadent date-honey (imported from the Sea of Galilee).

Peruse the website a bit to find out more about this “divine original”, with its roots tied to the birth of multiple religions in the Middle East. Besides being made with all natural Kosher ingredients, it’s simply smooth as silk. As Justin said, “Enjoy it with people you love, including yourself.” Milk & Honey is the gift that keeps on pouring.

Milwaukee Flask from Tactile Craftworks

On the top floor of a hidden Clarke Square warehouse, Sarah Kirkham, Anna Warren, and Lauren Marvell can be found working among stacks and stacks of tanned leather hides.  It’s here that this woman-owned and run business has been crafting one-of-a-kind leather gifts and goods since 2014.

Tactile Craftworks is a certified 80/20 USA company, meaning that at least 80% of their materials are American-made. So feel good supporting your local craftspeople as your new leather-bound Milwaukee Map Flask supports your local liquor of choice (ahem, Milk & Honey anyone?).

Chocolate & Wine Flights at Indulgence Chocolatiers

Another woman-owned Milwaukee business, Indulgence Chocolatiers has been satisfying the sweet tooth of locals for the last decade with its unparalleled array of fresh-crafted chocolate treats. Their East Tosa and Shorewood locations are worth a stop to mix their wares with another sugary favorite, Purple Door Ice Cream.

But it’s a gift card to a chocolate and wine tasting flight at their Walkers Point pairing bar that will really put you on the Good List of any recipient. There isn’t much that pairs quite as well as gift giving and chocolate.

City of Milwaukee T-Shirt from Orchard Street Apparel

An unassuming brick warehouse in St Francis is starting to clothe Milwaukee’s fashion-forward and eco-minded “old souls”. Husband/wife duo Whitney and Julie Teska started their screen printing business, Orchard Street Apparel, hoping to help break the polluting ways of t-shirt production.

Their environmentally-friendly cleaners and low-chemical materials are putting less impact on nature as they make more of an impact on your wardrobe. That means your conscience can be as comfortable as your body in your throwback tee.

Factory Tours at Foamation

Ah, the iconic Cheesehead. Is there anything more “Wisconsin” than it? But while it may not always be socially acceptable to wear one about town outside of a Packer Sunday, you’d probably be in the majority while donning the wedged cap on a tour of its birthplace: Foamation in Walker’s Point.

Every foam-cheese item you’ve ever seen now comes straight from this near south-side Milwaukee factory, which offers tours to the public most days of the week. See first-hand the production process, and even participate in making your own yellow souvenir. Plus, for those looking for a unique venue, Foamation will soon be opening up an event space at the factory for private rentals. It could be a cheese-tie affair.

We highly recommend each of the above businesses for your patronage and gift-shopping this holiday season, as well as the innumerable other Milwaukee-area small businesses. As an added bonus, we gave away one of the above featured gifts to 5 different followers of our Facebook page! Congrats to Lisa, Karen, Zach, Josh, and Catherine. Happy shopping-small!

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