“People do business with people they like” was once an unwritten rule. Then online shopping shifted the way we buy from brick-and-mortar shops to a virtual store. As a result, the shop and eat local movements have emerged to reconnect customers and guests to the goods and services offered in their own community. Taking that idea one step further, the Decatur Living 2018 Holiday Guide is a look at the people who bring Decatur its most noteworthy eats and sought-after products and what’s new from them for the holidays. Get to know the local shop and restaurant owners as they share their holiday favorites and the top items that will make your holiday special.
Found Co. Decatur
335 West Ponce de Leon Avenue
Founders, Jason Shadix and Alan McArthur
What’s not-to-miss at Found Co. for the holidays: We are thrilled to offer our new bath and body products by Moon Rivers. It is beautiful, all natural, and an extremely well-priced line. And we are renowned for our beautiful potted amaryllis and paper whites. They add so much to your home during the holidays and beyond.
Describe your business in 3 words: Serene, unique, experiential (meaning that you must come into the shop for the experience. It will immediately change your mood. We literally have customers come in so they can feel grounded and centered from the stresses of everyday life).
What the world needs more of: Peace, love and understanding
Number one rule of business: Jason: I want everyone who enters the shop to feel welcomed. It is a pet peeve not to be acknowledged when I am shopping in a store.
Favorite holiday tradition: Jason: I have always started an amaryllis bulb around Thanksgiving so it will be blooming for Christmas. My mother is the one who started the tradition, and I have carried it on.
129 East Ponce de Leon Avenue
General Manager, Ray Baker
What’s not-to-miss at no. 246 for the holidays: Chrysta Poulos, our creative director of pastry, created a new seasonal dessert. It’s spiced New York-style cheesecake with brown butter and graham cracker crust, red wine poached pears and red wine reduction – so delicious!
Describe your business in 3 words: Italian, intimate, welcoming
Favorite holiday tradition: Opening one present on Christmas Eve
What the world needs more of: Pasta!
Number one rule of business: Be kind to everyone and help them create memories
180 West Ponce De Leon, Suite A
Manager, Molly Finzer
What’s not-to-miss at Savi Provisions for the holidays: We are excited to offer ready made gift baskets. Guests will find groupings of assorted products we carry in the store like fine wines, cheese, holiday candles, etc.
Favorite Holiday Treat: Apple cider, served warm with a little caramel sauce
Describe your business in 3 words: Neighborhood, inviting, curated
What the world needs more of: Neighborhoods like Decatur, where you have the feeling of a small town, and the people care so wholeheartedly about what happens here and are very involved in making it an incredible place.
Best gift ever received: My grandparents purchased a AAA membership for me when I turned 18 and was moving to another state away from family and have kept purchasing the membership since. It is such a practical gift, but something I would not have ever purchased for myself.
149 Sycamore Street
Owners, Talia Blanchard and Melissa Moore
What’s not-to-miss at SQ/FT for the holidays: Our winter, Hanukkah and Christmas decor are conversation starters and make unique gifts. The mermaid ornaments from December Diamonds are incredible – such a sparkly, beautiful and wild addition to everyone’s holiday decor.
Favorite holiday tradition: Traditions that involve our whole little city are the best. We love Terrific Thursdays, the bonfire, the lighting of the menorah and, of course, a special visit by Santa.
Creature comfort you don’t want to live without: I think I can speak for everyone at Sq/Ft when I say we cannot live without a good cup of coffee. It’s an absolute must for everyone both morning and afternoon.
Number one rule of business: We make everyone feel welcome. We love what we do and have a great time in the store, we want our customers to feel the same!
Bravest thing you did in 2018:Change the direction of our store. We’ve been listening to customers and responding to what they’ve been telling us. Now we carry mostly gifts and home goods instead of apparel (or even shoes if anyone can remember back that far). It’s been a big shift for us, but so far so good!
The White Bull whitebullatl.com
123 East Court Square
Chef, Pat Pascarella
What’s not-to-miss at The White Bull for the holidays: Jason:We can’t wait for guests to experience our Seven Fishes series. The Seven Fishes is a very popular and traditional fish-focused Italian feast before Christmas. We will be offering our version the week of Christmas
What the world needs more of: Farmers and support for those who farm
Best gift ever received: My children, Collin and Sophia
Number one rule of business: Always do what it takes to take care of your guests
Best thing that happened in 2018: Birth of my daughter Sophia and opening The White Bull
Wild Oats & Billy Goats
112 East Ponce de Leon Avenue
Owner, Weatherly Munroe
What’s not-to-miss at Wild Oats & Billy Goats for the holidays: We have a whimsical variety of gifts at every price point. We love our holiday candles from Uncommon Scents. They are a great housewarming gift, teacher gift and last-minute grab-and-go for any holiday occasion.
Favorite holiday treat: Peppermint bark and sugar cookies with lots of icing
Describe your business in 3 words: Eclectic, creative, unique
Best gift ever received: My son, Bennett. As for physical gift, I still cherish the pieces of pottery he made at school over they years (thanks City of Decatur art teachers). They still sit on my shelf in my office so I can enjoy them every day.
Number one rule of business: Our goal has always been to have items at every price point so that everyone can enjoy a handcrafted item from a local artist. We carry things from $1 and up.
Trinity Mercantile & Design
116 East Trinity Place
Owners, Lisa Turner and Wallace Bryan
What’s not-to-miss at Trinity Mercantile & Design for the holidays: Hand blown Blenko vases are not only stunning, but have a rich history in the U.S., originally designed by Blenko himself in the 1920s.
Describe your Business in 3 words: Inspirational, creative, fun
What the world needs more of Pimento cheese: It does not matter what day it is, both of us love it 24-7
What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Lisa: Christmas Brunch with my family and our best friends Wallace: Decorating the table for family Christmas dinner
Number one rule of business: Integrity
Aimée Jewelry and Fine Art Gallery
335 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite B
Owner, Amy Elfersy
What’s not-to-miss at Aimée Jewelry for the holidays: Among our gorgeous jewelry pieces, the rose cuff bracelet is unique and demonstrates the beauty, strength and perfection associated with a rose. The sterling silver piece has a rose, real stem and thorn design and is centered with a baroque natural color pearl.
Favorite holiday treat: Drinking a glass of creamy egg nog
Describe your business in 3 words: Unique, inspiring, beautiful
Favorite holiday tradition: Caring, giving and beinggenerous to others
Best thing to happen in 2018: An increase in recognition and reputation as a unique gallery
Greene’s Fine Foods
141 East Trinity Place
Owner, Phil Greene
What’s not-to-miss at Greene’s Fine Foods for the holidays: Our tins of pecans and assorted nuts make fantastic business gifts to treat your best customers
Favorite holiday treat: I love our peppermint bark that we make ourselves with dark and white chocolate and crunchy peppermint
Favorite holiday tradition: Decorating our family Christmas tree
Favorite creature comfort: Our store-made red velvet fudge bites and craft beer
Number one rule of business: Customer service is the most important part of any successful small business
308 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite F1
Owners, Michael Minga and Floyd Smith
What’s not-to-miss at Vivid Boutique for the holidays: We are thrilled to showcase a new take on a classic tradition as we dress the season in Buffalo Plaid. From decor to housewares and gifts, this vintage icon comes alive with lots of merry and mirth.
Favorite holiday tradition After we close the store around 5 or 6 pm on Christmas Eve, Floyd and I load up the car and hit the road to be with my family in the Mississippi Delta. It’s at least 1 or 2 a.m. when we arrive at my parent’s house. Mom hosts Christmas Eve every year and serves her delicious, homemade, 20 layer lasagna. She greets us with hugs, and promptly directs us to the kitchen table where she serves us a glass of red wine and her signature lasagna in a portion size much larger than the dish it’s on.
Favorite holiday treat Floyd: A good customer and friend introduced us to Sweet, Spicy, Salty Candied Pecans also known as “Crack Nuts” because they are instantly addictive
Michael: Buttery Raspberry and Red Currant Jam Thumbprint Cookies
The world needs more: Compassion and love for all
Best gift ever received Floyd: The Christmases I spent with my mom after she received her new liver from a selfless donor
Treehouse Kid & Craft
533A West Howard Avenue
Owners, Kristen and Kim Bach
What’s not-to-miss at Treehouse Kid & Craft for the holidays: Micro Scooters are like the “Cadillac” of scooters. They are so much fun, and we have them for all ages
Describe your business in 3 words: Creative, fun, community
What the world needs more of: Love and kindness
Number one rule of business: Have fun and enjoy what you do
Best thing to happen in 2018: We expanded our art studio and event space, which means more classes, yay
Splash of Olive
201 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, #117
Owner, Rebecca Hadaway
What’s not-to-miss at Splash of Olive for the holidays: The olive oils and vinegars make wonderful holiday gifts, and I love that they are whole food, all natural and truly healthy for you. We also sell items from a Fair Trade Organization that I love supporting. The stories of these artisans are inspiring and the quality of workmanship is amazing.
Favorite holiday treat: Fruitcake cookies
Describe your business in 3 words: Charming, authentic, inspiring
What the world needs more of: Daily acts of kindness
Favorite holiday tradition: Buying the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving