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Help your neighbor, help your town and shop local

By
JACKIE KOCH

While large retailers still expect holiday shoppers to find ways to spend money at their stores, local merchants hope folks will opt to purchase gifts at small businesses that have struggled since the start of the pandemic, and need the support of their communities now and throughout the year. The Friday after Thanksgiving is typically awash with shoppers, but pandemic precautions will reign in the crowds normally out on that day. However, Tecumseh merchants are ready and willing to accommodate customers with in-person sales, phone orders and curbside pickup, and online purchase options.

At The Boulevard Market, 102 E. Chicago Blvd., gifts to appease the taste buds can be found, including chocolate, cheese, wine, condiments, Black Pig Salame, pre-made and custom gift baskets and custom charcuterie plates, international cookie trays, and more. The market offers in store shopping, online ordering with shipping from boulevardmarket.com, or curbside pickup, and accepts orders over the phone. The Boulevard Market is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Tecumseh Antique Appeal, 101 E. Chicago Blvd., will be open seven days a week, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and additionally on Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., until Christmas.  The shop is full of vintage, collectible and unique items for gift-giving, including “tons” of Christmas items, according to owner Juli Jones. “We’ve got vintage Christmas decorations, vintage décor, more recent décor,” she said. “My dealers are bringing stuff in daily.”

A plethora of possibilities awaits the holiday shopper at Martin’s Home Center, 145 W. Chicago Blvd., with small and large kitchen items, décor, tools, household goods, electronics, furniture and more. Martin’s is open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Dan Bindus, co-owner of J-Bar Hobbies, 117 E. Chicago Blvd., said they offer customers a variety of ways to purchase toys, puzzles, crafts, paint-by-number kits, books, board games, train sets, model kits and much more, by ordering online at jbarhobbies.com, by shopping in the store, or by calling ahead to make an order and ask for curbside pickup. New this year are Robo Alive robotic pets. “It’s a mechanical fish that is water-activated. When you put it in a fishbowl or any type of water, it swims like a fish,” he said. He also has robotic turtles. The store is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and starting in December will stay open until 7 p.m. on Fridays.

Another Vice and Company has a variety of booths that provide shoppers a choice of vintage or newly crafted items as well as resale and new items in the areas of home décor, clothing, accessories and more. The store at 101 W. Chicago Blvd. is open Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday noon-4 p.m., and will make appointments for Monday shopping sprees. Those interested may send a message on the store’s Facebook page requesting an appointment.

Antiques and vintage items, home décor, primitives and more are available at Antiques & Vintage on the Boulevard, 138 E. Chicago Blvd. “We offer private hour shopping appointments to anyone not wanting to come in with the busier holiday days,” said owner Kate Van Theel. The shop also provides curbside pick-up and will ship items, and is open for in-person shopping Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m.

The toy store Hopscotch Kids, 154 E. Chicago Blvd., will accept call-in orders with curbside pickup as well as in-store shopping. Owner Stacey Foss is encouraging shopping by appointment before or after regular store hours. She also offers local delivery if needed. “They can also call ahead and give me ideas to pull so they can have a quicker shopping experience,” she said. Due to the limit on customers indoors, they may have a wait time outside, but Foss has created a display of top toys for the holidays in the store’s front window. Hopscotch Kids is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

Paper Street Soap at 133 E. Chicago Blvd. has plenty of gift ideas, including soap, personal care items, jewelry, candles and much more, created by owner Victoria Lord and various vendors. Through Christmas the store has extended hours, open Monday 2-6 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday 12-4 p.m. Starting the second week of December the store will open at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. “Our main sellers right now are lotions, balms, liquid, and bar soaps. Cocoa butter and lavender bar soap, as well as our deep cleaning eucalyptus bar soap, are our best sellers every month,” said Lord.

The Sports Hut manager Cory Wonderly said the store at 214 E. Chicago Blvd. has a Black Friday sale going on through Saturday, Nov. 28. “Almost everything in the store is on sale,” he said. “We also have an online sale going on for people who can’t be out in public or don’t feel comfortable being out in public.” The store is also giving customers 20% off an online purchase of $50 or more at thesportshut.com through November 29. On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27 and 28, anyone who comes into the store and places an order of more than $100 will receive a $10 gift certificate.

Wonderly said they have several items suitable for stocking stuffers, as well as sports apparel, casual wear, hats, stadium seats, sweatshirts, and more. The store is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Visitors to The Sports Hut can meet Stanley, a giant reindeer, and take their photo with him. “He’s ready and waiting for people to come in,” he said.

Shoppers are encouraged to visit the Facebook pages of these stores for contact information and updates.

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