It's Thanksgiving week!! Who is ready to get stuffed with food Thursday, then get to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Black Friday shopping has been around for many years, as a matter of fact it wasn't originally named that because of the shopping craze. According to 'The History Channel';

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The first recorded use of the term "Black Friday" was applied not to post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping but to financial crisis: specifically, the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869.

Later in the early 1960s, is when Britannica says Black Friday began being associated with shopping, stating;

police officers in Philadelphia began using the phrase "Black Friday" to describe the chaos that resulted when large numbers of suburban tourists came in the city to begin their holiday shopping... 

So as you can tell, that "tradition" has been around for a number of years. But from that came something else years later...Small Business Saturday! We do have an official date for this one, November 27, 2010 is when it began and is described via wikipedia as:

...a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively.

Shopping local is something we have encouraged each other to do more and more. Here in Minnesota we have LOTS of pride towards our great state, and I can tell we do a great job of doing our best to support our favorite local shops. I took to Facebook and asked Central Minnesotans to share with me their favorite places and in which town so that I can make a running, check-off list of places to visit.

Photo by Megan Zee via Facebook
Photo by Megan Zee via Facebook


I might not make each and everyone of these over the holiday, because there are so many GREAT suggestions. But I will for sure be making it to each of them bit by bit. In case you too are looking for some good ideas for small, local businesses in Central Minnesota (any maybe a little outside, but still in Minnesota) here is what many Minnesotans shared with me. Broken up by Town!

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  • Alexandria, MN:

  • Bon Jos
  • Creative Touch Boutique
  • Now & Then Antiques
    Now & Then Antique Mall via Facebook
    Now & Then Antique Mall via Facebook
  • Magpie

    • Andover, MN:

    1. The Round Barn
    • Anoka, MN:

    Many suggestions for this great little town, aka, "Halloween Capital of the World" and yes they have PLENTY to offer beyond Halloween with shops such as:

  • The Big White House
  • Avant Garden Books
    Photo by Avant Gardens via Facebook
    Photo by Avant Gardens via Facebook


    • Baxter, MN:

    1. Christmas Point Wild Rice Co.  and from the looks of it, I will need to get here soon!


    • Buffalo, MN:

    1. Biggs & Co.
    2. Buffalo Books & Coffee
    3. KTZ Laser Engraving as suggest by Eric Z., saying it's good,

    if you want something custom made


    • Cambridge, MN:

    1. Rebecca Rae's Boutique & Sawmill
    • Champlin, MN:

    Lilac Boutique
    Photo by Lilac Boutique via Facebook
    Photo by Lilac Boutique via Facebook
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  • Threads & Co.

    • Cold Spring:

    1. Wooden Hearts
    2. Trendsetters Boutique
    3. Cold Spring Bakery and all I can say, is their posts via Facebook, looks delish!
    • Elk River: 

    Deborah L. suggested "Down Elk River" in general, but here were some of those suggestions...

    1. Kemper Drug and Gift
    2. Minne Made and more
    3. Edge Bar + Boutique and I love their motto of "Sip + Shop" plus look at some of the incredible food they serve up
    • Excelsior, MN:

    1. Minnesota Makers - if you love Minnesota they boast it "features the work of over 150 Minnesota artists"!
    2. Lago Tacos - as suggested by Genna H. Because you need to make sure you're refueling and have energy while shopping!
    3. Truffle Hill Chocolates
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    • Kimball, MN:

    1. Junkalogy
    2. MN Made Kaleidoscope


    • Milaca, MN:

    1. The Bee,Café, Coffee Shop & Boutique. Here's some fun they have coming up too:
    • Minnetonka, MN: ( a little past Central Minnesota, but the ideas were pretty good and had to pass them along, just in case you're in the area)

    1. The General Store
    2. Bellaluna Boutique
    3. Poppedcorn
    • New London, MN:

    1. Happy Sol
    2. Lucky Duck - shared by Cindy S. who called it a, "great toy and candy store" and it does look awesome!
    • Princeton, MN:

    1. The Rustic Depot
    • Rogers, MN:
  • Stony Hill Gifts and Home Décor 
  • Treasures Galore on 94
  • Antiques 101
    Photo by Antiques 101 Rogers, MN via Facebook
    Photo by Antiques 101 Rogers, MN via Facebook
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    • Saint Cloud, MN:

    1. Grande Depot (off I94 and highway 23) can't count how many times I have driven past this, only to learn that it is a really cool place to find some unique items. Clearly, I need to make a stop here soon!
    2. Green Thumb Etc.
    3. Baby's On Broadway (also in Little Falls)
    4. Modern Barnyard - also driven past several times and been debating do I check it out...the answer is always YES, go check out any store you want to! And I am pretty sure I need to check out these while I can...
    • Saint Joseph, MN:

    1. Fuzzy Loon Designs
    2. White Peony Boutique (also in Saint Augusta)
    3. W R Home Company
    4. The Minnesota Street Market (A co-op store with some cool things)
    • Sauk Centre, MN: 

    1. Restock
    • Sauk Rapids, MN:

    1. Mixin' It Up Gluten Free Bakery
    2. The Copper Pony - this was suggested by SEVERAL Central Minnesotans, so I feel it's a must check out and from the looks of it, they aren't lying!
    • Waite Park, MN:
    1. Gruber's Quilt Shop
    2. Salvage Sisters (also one in Baxter)
    3. Crafts Direct - as recommended highly by my mom, Mama Zee, I have been to this store a few times and love it just as much as she does!

    I know there are many, many, many small businesses a person can venture to on Small Business Saturday. Hopefully, this list can help a little or a lot and hope you have fun shopping local wherever you end up!

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