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Here are 7 perfect stocking stuffers from Hamilton-area small businesses

As the holidays approach, the push to shop local has never been stronger.

With the pandemic causing severe impacts to small businesses and industries of all types, Hamilton residents are going out of their way to focus their holiday gift shopping on businesses from the region.

Hamilton’s holiday market Stuffed is making its return this weekend at Westinghouse HQ, bringing together dozens of regional artisans and small businesses offering products that make perfect stocking stuffers, from body products to candles to jewellery and everything in between.

In that spirit, Hamilton’s own Localist Collective has hooked us up with a handful of locally and regionally made products that make for ideal stocking stuffers.

The first comes from Hamilton’s Mind Your Bees, which makes zero-waste food wraps made of beeswax that can be washed and reused countless times. They also make a great and absorbent Swedish Sponge, which can replace up to 17 rolls of paper towel through one sponge alone. In an era where a push for sustainable, eco-friendly products has never been stronger, it’s not hard to see why these attractive and functional products are so popular.

Next is the city’s own Comeback Snacks, headed by entrepreneur and former inmate Emily O’Brien who makes delicious gourmet popcorn in a variety of flavours. It’s a company that was first conceived while O’Brien was in prison, envisioned as a means of supporting those who need a second chance. O’Brien’s popcorn is simply delicious, with the Salted Chocolate Caramel popcorn rich enough to pace yourself, even though you’ll probably be tempted to crush a full bag in one sitting.

Then there’s The Urban Vine out in Dundas, known for their wide variety of small-batch infused olive oils, vinegars, and more. Ideal for salad dressings, pasta sauces, cooking oils, or even as a zippy finish to drizzle over a dish, The Urban Vine’s range of products is enough to excite any home cook who wants to experiment with flavours.

Next is Waterdown’s Tea at the White House, a beloved tea room and shop that also makes their own irresistible tea blends for takeaway, including the seasonally-inspired Sticky Toffee Pudding tea, which endeavours to replicate the comforts of a classic English dessert in a warming and indulgent cup of tea.

For lovers of CBD products, Hamilton’s Bodega Wellness has readily become a local favourite for their series of oils, sprays, and more. They’ve even released their first-ever CBD face serum called Reverse, packaged in a tiny bottle and designed to help improve skin texture and wrinkles while also helping with typical skin issues like acne, rosacea, irritation, and dryness.

Candles are pretty much a stocking stuffer staple, and even though NaturallySassy Candles is not quite a Hamilton brand, this Toronto company is making soy-based candles that are hand-poured and feature paraben-free fragrances. Their orange and balsam scented candled, with the punny name Orange You Glad to Light Me?, is an uncommon combination that somehow feels perfect for the holiday season, with its blend of honey mandarin, Algerian tangerine, grapefruit, balsam fir, and cedar wood.

Finally, home cooks and barbecue masters will have a field day with the seasonings and rubs crafted by Waterdown’s Cluck & Squeal, who offer products like their award-winning and versatile All Purpose Seasoning or the All Purpose Himalayan Seasoned Salt; both of which are designed to kick your grill game up a notch or two.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Hamilton businesses making perfect stocking stuffers, so get out there and explore! Or, better yet, pop into Stuffed this weekend at Westinghouse HQ, where some of these companies and many others will be on hand with all sorts of awesome gift ideas!

Lead image courtesy of @the_urban_vine

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