We asked local Minneapolitan and amateur fashionista, Winter Warren to let us in on some of the choicer small businesses around the Minneapolis-St.Paul area. Here’s what Winter came up with.

With Minneapolis-St. Paul being known as the Twin Cities, it’s not surprising that we’d have about twice as many suggestions as usual for great places to shop.  Perhaps it’s the area’s proximity to the North Pole, but the merchants there are especially talented when it comes to providing Santa tips for great gifts–at least that’s what our elves from the region said when they shared with us these 10 great places to shop local:

1. Patina

Patina, Minneapolis-St. Paul

(Photo via Patina on Facebook)

No matter who it is you are Holiday shopping for in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, you are bound to find some knick-knack or trinket to satisfy and perhaps confuse them if you shop Patina. Patina was a gift shop that exploded in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and now has six different locations around the city. If you are interested in quirky gifts we recommend either the ninja wallet or poodle ring holder.

2. Parc Boutique

Parc Boutique, Minneapolis-St. Paul

(Photo via Parc Boutique on Facebook)

If you are meandering around the diverse shopping district of Northeast Minneapolis you should check out Parc Boutique. Parc is well known in the area not only for its wide variety but also for its affordability. Parc is one of the few and proud boutiques in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area that will not bankrupt the stylish holiday shopper–finally!

3. Creative Kidstuff

Creative Kid Stuff, Minneapolis-St. Paul (Photo via Creative Kid Stuff on Facebook)

Creative Kidstuff has been nominated by the Toy Industry Association as one of the best specialty toy stores in the country. More importantly it has been recognized by its local customers in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area as a creative and innovative business that educates kids and their families by engaging their imaginations and collaborative abilities.

4. Askov Finlayson

Askov Finlyson, Minneapolis-St. Paul

(Photo via AskovFinlyson.com)

Started by Andrew and Eric Dayton, Askov Finlayson was opened to feature unique clothing brands that weren’t available in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Today, the business  is a truly unique men’s clothing store that offers its own clothing line along with items produced in partnership with friends. Askov Finlayson is located in a historic warehouse which also houses The Bachelor Farmer and The Marvel Bar–the Dayton brother’s other two award winning small businesses.

5. Len Druskin

Len, Minneapolis-St. Paul

(Photo via Len on Facebook)

Len is a family owned and operated men and women’s clothing store in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area that has been growing and evolving for more than thirty years becoming the one stop shop for its customer’s entire wardrobe. Len offers an interesting blend of designer apparel as well as the stylishly affordable.

6. Kitchen Window

Kitchen Window, Minneapolis-St. Paul

(Photo via Kitchen Window on Facebook)

At first glance, Kitchen Window appears to be a local Minneapolis version of Williams Sonoma. They sell the best kitchen supplies and offer incredible cooking classes but the Kitchen Window’s greatest strength is their in-store customer service. If you are at all intrigued pop in to the store and get custom fitted for a cooking knife, test one of their 25 varieties of espresso machines, sear a steak on one of their state-of-the-art grills, or even rent some of their high quality cooking gear.

7. Patisserie 46Patisserie 46, Minneapolis-St. Paul

(Photo via Patisserie 46 on Facebook)

Patisserie 46 has taken on the great challenge of combining exquisitely opulent food in a casual down-to-earth and even unpretentious environment–not an easy feat. Go ahead and visit if you’re looking for a fun local place to socialize over delicate and scruptuous baked goods!

8. Minnesota’s Largest Candy StoreCandy Store, Minneapolis-St. Paul

(Photo by Tricia Cornwall on Heavy Table)

South of the twin cities along highway 169 you will find Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. Perhaps not simply the state’s most sizable confectionary retailer, Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store is actually the name of this very big small business. Once inside you’ll find Mar’s bars, Charleston Chews, pop rocks and every other old-school candy in this sweetly nostalgic paradise.

9. Forage Modern WorkshopForage Modern Workshop, Minneapolis-St. Paul

(Photo via Forage Moder Workshop on Facebook)

Forage Modern Workshop was created out of the need for the Minneapolis community to have a home design and furniture business that represents and plays off the unique qualities of its employees and customer’s personalities. Owners, Michael Smith and James Brown, believe homes should reflect the personality of its individual inhabitants. If you are searching for authentic yet practical office or home decor this holiday season, this is your store.

10. Everett’s Meats Everett's Meats, Minneapolis-St. Paul

(Photo via Everett’s Meats)

If you happen to own a copy of the July 2012 edition of Twin Cities Metro Magazine you might have passed over this quote, “The threshold of Everett’s Meats is like a time machine; this is the butcher and grocery your grandparents shopped at. Owner Jack has been cutting meat and curing sausages and wieners the same way, six days a week, for five-decades”–Need we say more.

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 (Featured image via Doug Wallick on Flickr)

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