Dani at Drooz in Skaneateles
Syracuse,  Upstate New York

Visit These Locally-Owned Shops in Syracuse for Small Business Saturday

Last updated on November 25, 2023.

The busiest shopping weekend of the year is here again, and it’s time to shine the light on the incredible locally-owned shops in Syracuse. From house plants and craft beer to books and candles, there’s something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Plus, there are lots of goodies to treat yourself, too! So avoid the big box stores and corporate e-commerce, and spend Small Business Saturday at these local shops instead. (Several of them have great deals this weekend too!)

Please note, this list is not inclusive of all locally-owned shops in Syracuse, but a selection of some of my favorites worth noting. Additionally, there are so many other artists who do not have their own brick-and-mortar stores. So be sure to give them some love too! Here’s a list of artists based in Upstate New York who sell NY-themed gifts.

Don’t forget to also grab your Eat Local New York card this weekend! Save $5 every time you spend over $25 at over 150 participating restaurants, breweries, and cafes. Use code WANDERCUSE to save 20% off your card!

Locally-Owned Shops in & around Syracuse

BeeKind Syracuse

118 Milton Ave
Syracuse, NY

When the world shut down in 2020 when the pandemic started, things looked bleak for a lot of people. But it was also the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs to take a chance on themselves. With all the extra time on their hands, that’s exactly what two sisters from Tipp Hill decided to do.

The girls started by creating candles out of their home, focusing sales online with local delivery and shipping. They had always dreamed of opening their own store, and in September 2020, they did exactly that. BeeKind Syracuse sells their handmade soy candles as well as a mixture of local goods, housewares, and beauty products.

Branching Out Bottle Shop

170 Township Blvd #40
Camillus, NY

Branching Out in Camillus is undoubtedly the best craft beer store in the Syracuse area. The bottle shop is owned by Carissa and Joel with their sidekick, Barley. They know their beer! When they opened the store in August 2017, they made it their mission to provide a personal and well-informed customer experience.

Branching Out works with 7 different distributors in addition to about 20 independent breweries to source their beer. Plus, they go on a beer run once a month to find the most rare and unique beers that you can’t typically get in the Central New York area. Carissa and Joel truly have a passion for providing the best beer selection in Syracuse! At any given moment you can find between 700 and 750 different beers, with 20 to 50 new beers every week.

Branching Out - Carissa and Joel

Bug, Bear, & Bean

2721 James Street
Syracuse, NY

Owned by CNY-native Nikki, Bug, Bear, and Bean is a candle shop specializing in soy candles. Not only are the candles adorable, they smell great! The candles often feature cute shapes atop the wax, like little slices of cheese for the candles she makes for The Curd Nerd. Stop in and support a local woman-owned small business. You can always use a new candle, so treat yourself.

The Curd Nerd

2800 James Street
Syracuse, NY

The newest addition to the Eastwood neighborhood is the cheesiest. In the best way possible! Sarah and Matt recently opened The Curd Nerd on the corner of James Street and Collingwood Avenue. It’s a delightful little shop that features cheeses from both local dairy farms and ones from around the world. Sarah has gone viral on TikTok several times for videos that talk about the various types of cheeses she sells in her shop. The cheese monger has so much passion for cheese, that she just wants to share it with the world. When you go into visit the shop, let her know what types of cheeses and flavors that you like. She will provide samples for a few that she thinks you will truly enjoy.

But the shop doesn’t just feature cheese, there are other snacks and locally sourced food products that can round out the perfect charcuterie board. PS, one of my favorite things to do at the shop is to look in the basket of “orphans”, the small cheese cuts. At just a dollar or two per piece, they are a great way to bring a few different types of cheese home to enjoy. Without a doubt, The Curd Nerd is one of my new favorite things to do in Eastwood.

DROOZ and Company

36 East Genesee Street
Skaneateles, NY

Have you ever been shopping for someone but you’re just not sure what to get? You’re waiting for something to inspire you – whether it be comical or heartfelt. Well, I know the place for you to check out: DROOZ and Company in Skaneateles.

A self-proclaimed ‘modern general store’, DROOZ is located in the heart of Skaneateles and truly lives up to its nickname. The shop has a little bit of everything. Witty mugs with inappropriate sayings? Check. Beautiful seasonal decor? Check. The perfect stuffed animal? Yep. Cocktail mixers and recipe books? Heck yes.

Part of DROOZ’s charm comes from the historic building it’s located in, but the rest comes from the perfectly curated selection of items. Think Rose Apothecary from Schitt’s Creek, but more colorful and a heck of a lot more items for sale. It’s got the charm and the personality. (I also love that their website has their items sorted by personality. How clever is that?!)

About the Owner

Even more impressive is the story behind DROOZ’s shop owner, Shelly Kennedy. Before opening her brick-and-mortar shop, Shelly had already established herself as an artist, stylist, and decorator. Her work is so incredible it can be seen in the homes of celebrities including Johnny Depp and Kate Hudson, and on the set of famous tv shows Friends and Modern Family.

Eugenia’s General Store

The Yard
Manlius, NY

Step back in time at Eugenia’s General Store, a shop that carries just a little bit of everything. From kitchen staples to novelty items, Eugenia’s carries everything you need – and some you just want. The store was named after the owner’s grandmother, Eugenia, as a way to honor her legacy.

Found Things Co.

111 South Collingwood Ave
Syracuse, NY

If there is one thing that has experienced a recent drastic increase in popularity, it’s house plants. They are living their best lives – which is easier to do indoors during Syracuse winters than outside. Several plant shops have either opened or expanded in the past few years, including Found Things Co in Eastwood.

The #EastwoodPlantShop stocks the widest – and rarest – selection of houseplants in Syracuse. Plus, you can learn more than you ever thought you’d know about plants on their social media. And don’t be overwhelmed if you don’t have a green thumb. The staff at Found Things is happy to guide you. They will even provide you care instructions for each plant you purchase.

Be sure to check their Instagram for periodic sales. Particularly when there’s a full moon.

Golden Bee Bookshop

305 Vine Street, Suite 2
Liverpool, NY

Tucked in a small plaza in Liverpool is the cutest bookshop you can imagine. Owned by Casey Rose, Golden Bee Bookshop is the quintessential spot for any book lover. In addition to shelves upon shelves of books, you’ll find all the other things bibliophiles love. Candles, bookmarks, tea, pop-culture artwork, and more.

Originally from North Syracuse, Casey decided to come back home to open up her dream shop after college. Lucky for us! She’s the ideal small shop owner – she has an incredible amount of passion for what she does. Heck, she’s read more than half of the books for sale on the shelves. Ask her for a recommendation and she’s sure to set you on the right path.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cz6njyxuK9c/

Love books as much as I do? Check out these books that will inspire you to travel – even if you can’t get on a plane.

H. Grey Supply Co

53 Albany Street
Cazenovia, NY
+ Seasonal pop-ups in Syracuse and Hamilton

Carrying on in his grandfather’s footsteps, Travis and his partner have created an Upstate NY version of Rose Apothecary. Featuring a wide array of clothing, make-up, ome decor, and more, the H. Grey Supply Co. is the perfect spot for gift shopping.

Once you’re finished shopping, head over to the Bevvy Bar and pick yourself up something delicious to drink!

Inspired: Vintage Home Design

7468 Oswego Road
Liverpool, NY

I’ve lived in the Syracuse area almost my entire life, and I just recently discovered Inspired: Vintage Home Design in Liverpool. As soon as I saw the big gray barn with the teal door, I fell in love and knew I had to go inside.

When you visit Inspired, you are in for a treat! The place is a maze of coziness. There are items everywhere you look, yet it doesn’t feel cluttered. In fact, it is just bursting with great design and gift ideas.

This lifestyle home decor shop in Liverpool has everything you need to warm up your home – pillows, blankets, artwork, and so much more. The store has a vintage-meets-modern urban farmhouse vibe. And everything is wonderful. Check it out for yourself!

The Marketplace on James

2802 James Street
Syracuse, NY

If you love browsing through items from local artisans and vintage collectors, Marketplace on James is the place for you. Featuring products from 60 different vendors, you never know what new treasures you may discover.

Mixed Methods

215 E Water Street
Syracuse, NY

Located in Hanover Square, Mixed Methods is an artist co-op featuring hand-selected artisans from across the country. Customers can browse through a wide variety of high quality and unique items. Each purchase comes with information about the artist(s) and is offering complimentary gift wrapping.

Parthenon Books

333 S. Salina Street
Syracuse, NY

Syracuse had been long overdue for a downtown bookstore when Selena opened Parthenon Books in 2022. Now, the locally-owned bookstore is at the heart of the Syracuse book community. The shop features books from both national and local artists alongside a variety of bookish gifts.

Parthenon also houses its own café, complete with drink specials and pastries. At the café visitors can make use of the tables and chairs by co-working at the bookshop. The store also hosts local author book signings, drag reading hours, and craft shows.

Play the Game, Read the Story

689 North Clinton Street
Syracuse, NY
+ Canyon, 2nd Floor @ Destiny USA

If there’s one thing about me that’s not obvious through my writing, it’s my love of board games. It’s true! My husband and I own over 300 games and expansions. It’s our favorite hobby – both at home and on the road. So it’s no surprise that one of our most frequented shops in Syracuse is Play the Game Read the Story.

With two locations in Syracuse, they have the largest and most unique collection of board games, comic books, miniatures, and themed collectables around. And I’m not talking your average Monopoly or Scrabble. No, Play the Game has unique, “hobby market” games. Which are so much better! Stop in one of their stores and ask for some recommendations based on what type of games you like. If you ask me, I’d recommend Azul, Carcassonne, or Parks.

Parks Board Game
Parks Board Game

SYNPLE

70 Main Street
Camillus, NY

What started as a career in art therapy for Kelly Landau turned into a stationary shop and now a lifestyle boutique in Camillus, New York. She has created a treasure of a store that sells a mixture of women’s clothing and accessories, home decor, stationary, bath & body products, gifts, and more.

When customers shop at SYNPLE, they are treated to a unique, personalized experience. And Kelly makes it her mission to have something for everyone at the shop. Plus, she makes it a point to develop relationships with her customers and the community. Her passion for the store and the people around her is clear to anyone who crosses her path. So do yourself a favor, and check out what SYNPLE has to offer.

SYRACHA’CUSE

Mike Sharlow created SYRACHA’CUSE in late 2014/early 2015 with a goal of creating a sense of community. How? By partnering with local growers and businesses to create some amazing hot sauces. Since then he’s partnered with locals favorites like Recess Coffee, Brewery Ommegang, and Beak & Skiff to make some INCREDIBLE flavors.

In addition to their hot sauces, SYRACHA’CUSE also makes their own barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and mustards. But that’s not all they sell at their store! You’ll find food from several local companies along with New York-themed gifts, dishes, and artwork.

Syracuse Soapworks

226 Hawley Ave
Syracuse, NY

Syracuse Soapworks started as a family business in their Westcott neighborhood home in 2002. After a lot of experimenting, the family came up with the recipe they use to create the ideal soap. They use olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter mixed with essential oils to create their well-loved soaps.

In 2004, they stated selling at the CNY Regional Market, and continued to expand over the years. Now they are located in the Hawley Green neighborhood under the name Salt City Artisans. With the rebranding, the shop now features work from several local artisans in addition to the wide variety of soaps.

The Station 603

603 East Seneca Street
Manlius, NY

Located in an old train station at the heart of Manlius, The Station 603 is the ultimate home decor and gift shop. Janice not only runs the boutique, but outside you’ll also find a nursery because she is a landscape designer as well.

She is so passionate about the shop and spends a lot of time curating the best home and outdoor decor. Inside you’ll find everything from candles and kitchen towels to frames and pillows to dog bandanas and maple syrup! Outside in the nursery there is a variety of plants and planters to decorate your garden.

Next time you’re looking for the perfect gift – or to treat yourself – check out what Janice has at the shop in Manlius.

Unplugged Gaming

315 Fayette Street
Manlius, NY

I love a good board game store that carries a unique selection of games, has friendly and informed staff, and offers opportunities to learn new games. Unplugged Games checks all of those boxes. In fact, I rarely visit the store without doing my part to keep them in business.

Located in the village plaza, Unplugged sells a variety of games that you can’t find in the big box stores. Plus, they have a nice selection of trading cards, collectibles, puzzles, and more. In the back half of the space there are several tables set up for free play, tournaments, and other gaming events. Be sure to check out there Facebook page for upcoming gaming events for both beginners and pros.

Wildflowers

217 South Salina Street
Syracuse, NY

Another favorite local shop in Syracuse is Wildflowers. Originally located in Armory Square, the artist co-op has since moved to a larger location downtown. Founded by Michael John Heagerty, the shop features work from several local artists. Plus, each of them work at the store every month, so you have lots of opportunities to meet the artists!

There is a mixture of every type of craft you can imagine – paintings, clothing, jewelry, candles, body products, wooden kitchen supplies, dog bandanas… the list goes on forever.

Even better? Wildflowers continues to expand, and is now also home to the McCarthy Mercantile, located downstairs. There is also a second location at Salt City Market.

Witty Wicks

190 Township 5 Blvd, Suite 20
Camillus, NY

Camillus is definitely not lacking in the realm of awesome locally-owned shops. Next up is Witty Wicks! What started as a candle shop in the kitchen of a stay-at-home mom with the help of her friends is now one of the most popular gift shops in the Syracuse area.

Aubry first started Witty Wicks in 2011 so she could work for herself and spend more time with her family. Over the past ten years the business has continued to grow. In addition to the handmade, all-natural candles they create themselves, Witty Wicks also sells a variety of locally-made products along with some nationwide popular gift items. Think Beekman 1802 plus Brumate, mixed in with Syracuse apparel and quirky socks. A little of everything!

Which of the locally-owned shops in Syracuse is your favorite?

With so many great options to choose from among the shops in Syracuse, you could easily get your holiday shopping done for everyone on your list! So which of these locally-owned shops is your favorite? Did I miss any retail stores that you think deserve to make the list? Let me know!

PS, if you’re willing to drive a little further, the village of Clinton is full of cute shops to explore.

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