Almost every day, headlines are warning consumers of supply chain disruptions and rising inflation. Long and short: almost everything will cost more, and there will be less. TVs and game consoles at Target, air fryers and coffee makers at Walmart, coats and shoes at Kohl’s – they’re all rare and everyone will fight for them.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however. You don’t have to wade your way through a big box store to grab the latest Playstation, or hope Amazon doesn’t run out of Roombas. You can get something unique that is made here in eastern Maine, sold by the companies of Maine. It will probably cost less and there will (probably) be no fights in the parking lot. And, after nearly two years of stress and confusion for businesses of all stripes, wouldn’t it be nice to support your neighbors?
Here are many gifts you can buy that are made in Maine – primarily the Bangor area, to boot – that will appeal to almost any type of person. Everything here can be purchased at Maine stores or online, and start at $ 5.
One thing that will hopefully remain from the pandemic is that more people are spending time outdoors around a campfire. TPC n’smore, based in Brewer, makes custom rings of fire to enhance your fireplace that will last for years; prices start at $ 300. Need to cut that firewood? Obtain a ax in hand from Snow & Nealley to Smyrna, starting at $ 51. And to complete the rugged look, Bangor-based Maine Knife Company makes premium products, classic knives ($ 229 and more) for all your hunting, fishing, cooking and general cutting needs.
There are so many amazing jewelers in Maine who make beautiful things that it’s really hard to refine them. That said, here in the Bangor area, Maine Shellware manufactures earrings, bracelets and pendants from shells recovered from lobsters, clams and Maine mussels, starting at $ 23.
Another Bangor jeweler, Katie Baron, takes natural objects like ferns ($ 75) and butterfly wings ($ 55), and uses electroplating to turn them into dainty metal pendants, and sells them at The Rock & Art Shop in Bangor and Ellsworth. Or, you can always just find a beautiful piece of Maine tourmaline at your local jeweler and turn it into something gorgeous for the person you love.
No one who drinks coffee will refuse a bag of premium beans. Some of our favorite roasters in this Maine Wood Neck include Farm House Roasters in Winterport, Coffee Hound Coffee Co. at Brewer, and 44 North at Deer Isle. They all make locally roasted coffee in a variety of different roast levels and origins; what an easy way to spend $ 10 or $ 20 and make someone’s morning a little happier.
Whether it’s a stocking stuffer or a gift for a neighbor or coworker, you can’t go wrong with a delicious treat. For example, the popular salsa line of Bangor TV, now salsa entrepreneur, Todd Simcox, Todd’s salsa, will never be eaten. Neither does Veazie’s goodies Savor Chocolatier, available at Bangor stores like Bangor Wine & Cheese, Frank’s Bakery and Rebecca’s. And for a taste of Franco-American life, KMG Foods’ tourtière seasoning mix will help you make a pork pie just like memere and pepere did.
Freedom graphics in Liberty has been making beautiful clothes in Maine for a long time now, but their utterly prized line of toddler onesies and t-shirts has got to be one of the sweetest things you can buy for a new parent or a growing baby. They’re printed with illustrated scenes from beloved Maine authors Dahlov Ipcar, Robert McCloskey, and Chris van Dusen on super soft cotton, and start at $ 22.
Personal care starts at home, so why not indulge yourself in some products to make your skin shine? North Haven-based Island Apothecary makes heavenly smelling face and body products from all-natural ingredients like avocado, jojoba and tea tree oils; try it Daily cleanser ($ 28) for a gentle, organic facial cleanser. For a luxurious shower or bath experience, Waldoboro’s Copper Tail Farm makes goat milk soaps ($ 5) in a wide range of fragrances. And Milo-based True North Beauty makes skin care products with the wild chaga fungus; the Beauty Box ($ 44) contains cleansers, exfoliators, and a face cream for a complete Maine beauty ritual.
In his Belfast store and online, Northwoods Gourmet Girl sells Maine products far beyond food: handmade ceramics and specially printed textiles complete its line of pantry staples. To the brewer, Sider wood craftsmanship produces beautiful cutting boards (starting at $ 50), coasters, cribbage boards and even custom work. Potter Beth Thompson makes beautifully speckled mugs and bowls in her studio in Argyle, and they’re available at Maine Jewelry & Art in Bangor, online and in store.