We love Cleveland–the Art Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Dawg Pound, the Cleveland Orchestra are all hubs of culture (well, maybe not the Dawg Pound) in this re-energizing metropolis. Some of our favorite Cleveland features, though, aren’t the big ticket items–the small businesses in and around Cleveland are to die for. Thanks to David Andersen, Wesley Hertz, Grace Juster, Sarah James, and Robert LaCroix for their advice in creating this small sample of the stars of Cleveland’s local small business scene.

1. Mitchell’s Ice Cream


(Image: Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Creams)

Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Creams (@Mitchells_scoop) is a Cleveland staple–with ingredients sourced from less than an hour away from their hometown, their ice cream is the freshest (and most delicious) you’ll find in the area. Holiday flavors include peppermint stick, dark chocolate peppermint, cinnamon, and christmas ale gingersnap (which we’re dying to get our hands on), and they’re all perfect for gifting or bringing along to a holiday meal. If you can’t get your hands on the real thing, any Cleveland native will be appreciative of a gift certificate, available in any of their retail locations.

2. Loganberry Books


(Image: Loganberry Books)

Loganberry Books‘ (@loganberrybooks) collection of new and used books cannot be overlooked. With over 70,000 volumes in store, there’s sure to be something for everyone on your list. They’re especially well known for their children’s books, so it’s a great place to stock up on gifts for the young ones. Also in store is Strong Bindery, a service for repairing and restoring old books, and the Annex gallery, which features local Cleveland artists.

3. Banyan Tree


(Image: Banyan Tree via Facebook)

Locally designed and sustainably produced, Banyan Tree (@shopbanyantree) is in the heart of Tremont and features women’s clothing, children’s items, household wares, and various items made by local artists. Though their unique clothing is top notch, we also love their collection of Cleveland items, from bottle openers to wine glasses to T-shirts. Stop by the store to browse the complete collection, or shop online for a sampling of these special gifts.

4. Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop


(Image: The Popcorn Shop via Facebook)

A Chagrin Falls classic, The Popcorn Shop offers hundreds of flavors of popcorn made fresh constantly. We love it for being featured in Calvin and Hobbes (another Chagrin Falls native) but locals attest to the taste over anything. Though the original flavors are hard to beat, the holiday favorite Cranberry flavored popcorn will be sure to make a great gift. Our favorite part: it’s available for purchase online, and will ship worldwide.

5. Cleveland Clothing Company


(Image: Cleveland Clothing Company via Facebook)

The Cleveland Clothing Company (@cleclothingco) has the perfect gifts for anyone looking to wear their Cleveland pride. Coozies, T-shirts, onesies, underwear, hoodies, hats–you name it, they have it, all plastered with 216 pride. Another feature we love–they do all their printing locally, keeping the goods right in the Cleveland economy.

6. Coventry CatsCleveland

(Image: Coventry Cats via Google)

If you’re looking for a gift for a pet owner (or for a pet), Coventry Cats is the place to go. Cats and dogs are welcomed with open arms, and every item you ever might need for your pet can be found in this Cleveland Heights cat owner’s paradise–not to mention a plethora of items you had no idea even existed. Employees are informed and love to help out, making this a great place to shop for your favorite cat lady.

7. Big Fun Toy Store


(Image: Big Fun via Facebook)

Full of vintage toys and collectables, Big Fun (@bigfunbigfun)is loaded with items perfect for the young (or just the young at heart). Their vintage merchandise is constantly changing, but expect to find a great range of stocking stuffers at all times: retro candy (pez and pop rocks, anyone?) and gag gifts all will delight your inner child come Christmas morning.

8. On the Rise Artisan Breads


(Image: On the Rise via Facebook)

On the Rise has been baking up a storm for a dozen years. With delicious breads, pastries, and sandwiches, it’s great for a gift, a box of goodies to take to a holiday party, or a quick lunch mid-holiday shopping. The challah and the cinnamon raisin bread both make great holiday gifts, so make sure to get there early on weekends–lines quickly snake down the street.

9. Cleveland Art Museum


(Image: Cleveland Museum of Art via Facebook)

For the art aficionado on your list, the Cleveland Art Museum’s Store (@ClevelandArt) is a top-notch place for all things art related. You’ll find local artist’s work in addition to items found in the museum, and if you’re a member of the great organization (one of the last three museums in America to offer free admission all the time), you’ll get 15% off your purchase all the time.

10. Cedar Lee Movie Theater

Cedar Lee, Cleveland

(Photo via google.maps)

For that person you’re shopping for who just doesn’t seem to want anything (or you can’t think of anything, no shame in that either), a gift card to the Cedar Lee Movie Theater makes a perfect gift. Cedar Lee features current movies in addition to classic favorites, and they have events like Late Shift Movies where they partner with the phenomenal grilled cheese restaurant Melt to satisfy late night movie/grilled cheese cravings.

(Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Related Articles

10 Great Places in Nashville to Shop Local for the Holidays | 2013

It may be called Music City by the rest of the world, but for the folks who bring you SmallBusiness.com, Nashville is a place we call home. Here are just a few of our favorite places to shop local (even if just window shopping).

10 Great Places in St. Louis to Shop Local for the Holidays | 2013

It may be the Gateway to the West, but St. Louis is also the gateway to some great places to shop local.

10 Great Places In Minneapolis-Saint Paul To Shop Local For The Holidays | 2013

The Minneapolis-Saint Paul area is known as the twin cities, that’s double the number of small businesses to shop local this Holiday season.

11 Great Places In Charlotte to Shop Local for the Holidays | 2013

Named the “Hornet’s Nest” by the English for its rebellious behavior during the Revolutionary War, Charlotte has always displayed a strong pride for its small and local businesses.

10 Great Places in Richmond to Shop Local for the Holidays | 2013

Rich with history, Richmond also has some incredible opportunities for shopping local for the holidays.

10 Great Places in New Orleans to Shop Local for the Holidays | 2013

You can be sure that the Big Easy offers a wide array of shops, products and activities perfect for celebrating the holidays. Indeed, when it comes to celebrating, New Orleans is the expert.

10 Great Places in Austin to Shop Local for the Holidays | 2013

Austin, Texas. Its weird, wonderful and our first Smallbusiness.com list of great places to shop local for the holidays.