Finger Lakes Region Encourages Shoppers to “Think Local” this Holiday Season

Photo courtesy thegrapery.com

Regional organization supports small and local businesses for last-minute shopping needs

The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC), is supporting a “buy local” message this holiday season, encouraging holiday shoppers to look to small businesses for their last-minute gift-giving needs. The FLRTC brings together 14 counties and tourism representatives in the Finger Lakes to focus on one main goal – promoting the region as a premier travel destination. As part of that initiative, the organization partners with and supports businesses within the region, from attractions to accommodations to local restaurants and stores.

This year, the FLRTC wants to help both travelers and Finger Lakes residents alike find their perfect holiday gift, and has released a list of local shops and businesses that sell locally-sourced and hand-crafted items.


The list includes:

The Source at Factory No. 2 in Corning, NY – Specializes in customized gift baskets featuring items by local artisans, homemade chocolates, and delicious meals focusing on food for vegans, vegetarians, gluten free, and meat lovers.

Corning Information Center in Corning, NY – Quality, locally-produced goods created by master craftsmen in Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes, including pottery, alpaca fiber, jewelry, soaps, and wellness products.

Sunny Days in Ithaca, NY – Gifts that capture the essence of the area, created by makers in the Ithaca community – including food, music, art, and more.

15 STEPS in Ithaca, NY – Located in the Ithaca Commons, 15 STEPS celebrates American Crafts by offering a diverse array of jewelry, ceramics, glass, wood, metal, fiber, and art – all made by talented local and national artists.

Seneca Sunrise Coffee in Watkins Glen, NY – Locally roasted coffee and fresh local food items including jams, cheeses, popcorn, and more.

Franklin Street Gallery in Watkins Glen, NY – Representing more than 50 Finger Lakes regional artists and authors, including artists with developmental disabilities. Visitors can purchase original paintings, photographs, prints, ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, glass, metal and wood sculptures, greeting cards, and more.

Parkleigh in Rochester, NY – Located on Park Ave in the heart of the city’s cultural district, Parkleigh has been voted “Best Place to Find a Unique Gift” many times. In addition to carrying premiere brands like MacKenzie-Childs – made in the Finger Lakes, Parkleigh has an ever-changing selection of locally-sourced gifts.

Craft Company No. 6 in Rochester, NY – An icon for handmade art and fine craft for 36 years, specializing in unique treasures for animal lovers, wine enthusiasts, garden and home decor, and jewelry.

Side Hill Acres in Candor, NY – Selection of pasteurized and raw goat milk, specialty cheese spreads, yogurt, cream cheese, and feta. Visitors who stop in the shop can also tour the goat barn, milk house, and cheese plant.

Black Cat Gallery and Artisan Gift Shop in Owego, NY – Award-winning gallery features over 30 local master crafters and artists with gifts in wood carvings, jewelry, fine art, photography, pottery, sculptures, and local farm products.

Chamberlain Acres Garden Center & Gift Shop in Elmira, NY – Carries local products year-round including goat milk soap, handmade baskets, tooled leather products, salsas & chutneys, ornaments, and more.

Chamberlain also hosts a Winter Farm Market on Sundays from 11-3 in a heated greenhouse with vendors offering: locally produced cheese, meats, produce, and an assortment of arts & crafts.

The Christmas House in Elmira, NY – Ornaments made by local artists. Also, has an area in the store dedicated to jams & jellies, dressings, peanut brittle, salsas, chutneys, and dressings.

Oak Hill Bulk Foods in Penn Yan, NY – A Mennonite-owned specialty store featuring cheeses, meats, baked goods, and bulk supplies of candy, cooking products, spices and more – perfect for items in gift boxes.

Touch of Grayce in Geneseo, NY – Locally-owned boutique in the heart of downtown Geneseo featuring books, toys, games, jewelry, pottery organic body care, chocolate and caramels, room décor, incense, tea, fair trade and locally-made items.

NOT DOT Shop in Geneseo, NY – The name, which means “no one thing does one thing” typifies the store’s philosophy. Grown from a desire to reuse, repurpose, and recycle, the store offers a variety of items from pop-can-top bracelets to valuable antiques.

Chocolate Pizza Company in Marcellus, NY – Featured on Food Network, Chocolate Pizza Company has created handcrafted, gourmet chocolate specialties, and over 100 unique and delicious confections. The company even makes specialty and customized chocolate pizzas for the holidays.

Onondaga Historical Association’s Gift Shop in Syracuse, NY – OHA has been collecting, preserving and exhibiting Onondaga County’s heritage since 1862. As a result, their gift shop features many exclusive local products including Mary Elizabeth’s Chocolates (handmade from the recipes of Syracuse native Mary Elizabeth Evans Sharpe (1884-1985) and Cathedral Candles (high-quality candles made for use in churches around the world – including the Vatican).

MacKenzie-Childs in Aurora, NY – Set on a picturesque farm overlooking Cayuga Lake, the store features beautiful hand-decorated ceramic tableware and home furnishings designed and produced by MacKenzie-Childs at their headquarters.

Bet the Farm Winery & Gourmet Market in Aurora, NY- A NYS winery, regional gourmet food market and regional wine shop offering local food, cheeses, sauces, condiments and confections from the Finger Lakes region.

Arbor Hill Grapery in Naples, NY- Award-winning winery and gift shop, featuring gourmet sauces, dressings, dips and cheeses, and grape pies – along with a wide selection of wines.

Artizanns: Gifts from the Finger Lakes in Naples, NY – Over 200 Finger Lakes artisans feature everything from pottery and hand-blown glass, to woodworking, jewelry, and tasty food products.

Cinch Art Space in Cortland, NY – Located in the Historic Cortland Corset Building, Cinch Art Space features almost 50 local artisans and craftspeople from pottery, woodworking, handmade soap, jewelry, and so much more.

Bev & Co. in Homer, NY – Clothing, jewelry, home accessories, and more. Located on Main Street in the historic Village of Homer.

The Artisans’ Loft in Pultneyville, NY – A fine unique art and gift gallery, located in a renovated landmark circa 1858, the gallery features the work of over 60 artists in all mediums, displayed on two floors of exhibition and special event space. Many of the local, regional and nationally acclaimed artists featured have had their work juried into regional and national exhibitions.

Lukacs Pottery Studios in Sodus Point, NY – A shop and working pottery studio with hand-made pottery, jewelry, blown-glass, art prints, puppets, and other fine crafts. Clay flutes and ocarinas are also sold in a variety of vibrant colors.

Muranda Cheese Company in Waterloo, NY – featuring fine, locally produced and on-site aged raw milk cheese. The gift shop area offers quality products showcasing our fellow Finger Lakes artisans.

Sauder’s Country Market in Seneca Falls, NY – A genuine Mennonite country store packed with fresh produce, bulk packaged goods, Pennsylvania German meats and cheeses along with specialty products. Baking and spice sections are extensive and inexpensive from a spectrum of sanding sugars, bags of dried cherries, apricots and mangos, to gummy candy anythings and cookies to make ice cream sandwiches with.


In addition to this list, the wineries, breweries and cideries in the Finger Lakes are each unique in their taste and style, and frequently offer locally produced products and goodies in their store and gift shops.

“As representatives of the Finger Lakes and stewards of the local communities, we want to showcase the craftsmanship and talent that is found in this area,” says Valerie Knoblauch, president and CEO of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection in Ontario County. “There are many opportunities to ‘shop local’ – whether you are visiting or living here year-round – supporting both the passionate people who ‘sell local’ as well as the communities themselves.”