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think outside the amazon box

Buying Local in Newton is worth every cent


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in many of your local Newton businesses.


Newton’s small and locally owned businesses are woven into the fabric of our neighbourhood. Many are struggling as a result of the pandemic and the current restrictions in place. However, this year they invite you to leave the crowded big-box parking lots and stores or the ‘box at the door’ thinking and consider what a breath of fresh air shopping local is.


Chris and Fritz at Greco’s Specialty Foods already have walls and aisles stocked with everything from stocking stuffers to gourmet gift basket ideas, and more stock is arriving daily. They’ll even build a customized gift basket for you if you prefer. Although famous for their collection of world-wide cheeses and charcuterie (including local Oyama sausage), they have some unique serving and tableware selections as well. A sweet little tea towel caught my eye. A BC business—Studio on Tenth—offers small-batch created linen tea towels, with charming art created by Emma Pyle.


Serving old world classic French cuisine by using fresh local ingredients, the Old Surrey Restaurant pride themselves on top-shelf service and local flavour with a European twist. They are offering two choices of gift baskets. Both come with gift cards, but also, the basket contains delectables to enjoy (including their premiere house red in the larger basket).


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Carillon Music has made Newton their home with instruments and high-quality music education for 50 years. Private lessons are available in piano, guitar, and ukulele. They have taken some diligent measures for their over 400 students to ensure that every group and private teaching room are safe for students and teachers, with protection barriers between each student and teacher. They ask that you make an appointment before visiting to purchase a piano or organ at this time. If someone you love has always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, this is a beautiful and unique way to say Merry Christmas and give a gift that lives forever.


The Organic Grocer has been around for over 27 years, and they are a great place to go for the health conscious gift buyer and receiver! We’re all trying to pursue a healthier lifestyle these days, whether it’s supporting our immune system, getting rid of the quarantine-15 pounds that have accumulated, or adopting mindfulness as a good way of reducing stress. You could curate a gift basket that addresses all of those things and more. Imagine a gift card in a woven basket that is chock full of toxic-free and animal cruelty-free makeup, beeswax candles, essential oils, creams, or items that your health-conscious buddy would love. The friendly staff can help you create a gift that is thoughtful and memorable.


Parminder at Venetos Cakes & Bakery is committed to making things easier for you! Instead of overbaking (because we all need to think smaller and smarter); she is hard at work planning on making some beautiful creations for your Christmas table or tea. Look for her Christmas cookies and the traditional Yule Logs, which you can order ahead for the big day. The beautiful cookies can be enjoyed or shared as a gift.


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We’re pretty sure after one bite you may turn into a Grinch – not a Santa and not want to share. But in the spirit of Christmas, you can at least try. Is there an Anglophile in the house or your life? Go no farther than The British Store to find those hard-to-find sweets and all other things Brit here. From favorite team footballer blankets to much-loved Advent Calendars and classic Christmas steamed puds, owner Andy Bradshaw has everything to make this Christmas a little sweeter.


Are you looking to buy a computer this Christmas? Whether you’re a gamer, graphics genius, or need a strong, dependable laptop with you, it’s good to know the folks at family-owned Slaco Computer, who will custom build a laptop or desktop system for you that’s reliable and strong on performance. For 20 years, SLACO computers have served consumers, businesses, and governments throughout the lower mainland, but we’re fortunate to have them in our back yard. If you’re tired of impersonal big box service and would like no-nonsense and honest solutions, the folks at Slaco are your people!


You will find Christmas decorations and trees at Price Pro, and festive decorations to make with the kids at Michaels’ store. Although there are no Santa pictures with your pet at the Pet Food and More store this year, let’s don our masks, and make a positive difference this year for our local family businesses.