Shopping Local has Never Been More Fun!

Happy Fall-idays! Here in Bennington, we’re gearing up for a beautiful season of friends, family, great food, twinkly lights, and yes, shopping. One of our biggest holiday shopping events of the year is Small Business Saturday on November 30, sandwiched between the behemoths Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

Want to support your local community, find some great deals for the holidays, and have some fun? The local businesses of Bennington, Vermont are ready to wow you with their unique offerings, inspire you with local charm, and encourage you to make a positive impact by shopping local.

What is Small  Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 in an effort to boost spending at small businesses during the holiday season. A year after the event was created, the United States Senate passed a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday. 

In 2018, U.S. consumers reported spending an estimated record high of $17.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday spending has now reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day began in 2010 — that’s $103 billion over 9 days alone.

Small Business Saturday in downtown Bennington will feature complimentary tote bags, lots of in-store specials and sales, prizes, strolling carolers, the Putnam Square pop-up shop, and a holiday bazaar. 

Why Shopping Local Matters

bennington bookshop in downtown Bennington, VT
Bennington Bookshop in downtown Bennington.

When you shop at a small local business instead of a large corporation, you are contributing to the vibrancy of a unique and invested community. Small businesses account for 97.7% of all the companies in the United States, and when you shop local, 68% of the money you spend stays within the community.

The local business community donates 250% more to local nonprofits than large corporations, and local businesses provide more jobs for local residents.

Bennington businesses are owned by people who live in our community. They keep our downtown alive and are part of what makes Bennington so unique. Imagine what our town would look like without our independent, locally-owned businesses! 

This year, choose community over convenience and shop Bennington for the holidays.

Where to Shop in Bennington on Small Business Saturday?

If you want to commit to keeping your dollars local this year, why not embark on a little shopping adventure in Bennington on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Enjoy the small-town vibe, support your local entrepreneurs, and enjoy shopping alongside your neighbors. 

Here are some unique shopping experiences found only in Bennington, Vermont. We’ve tried to divide the shops into categories, but there’s lots of overlap between them.

Where to Find Gifts for the Home

South Street  in downtown Bennington, Vermont - featuring Jay's Art Supplies.
Downtown shopping at Jay’s Art Shop & Frame Gallery

Housewares, art pieces, and unique home decorations are perfect for times when you don’t know what to buy, and there are gifts for the home in every price range. Bennington is fortunate to have several stores that specialize in treasures for the home, from gorgeous pottery and kitchen accessories, to candles, vases, wall hangings, and baskets, there’s something for everyone on your list! 

Every nook of Catbird Studio on Main Street is filled with beautifully crafted treasures from around the world. This is a great little shop for Christmas ornaments, candles, stationery, and cards. Be sure to check out their new sale room on the second floor for serious bargains five days a week. 

Bennington Potters has been a fixture on County Street in Bennington for more than 70 years. While they are best known for their signature stoneware, there is so much more to Bennington Potters. Shoppers will discover a huge array of unique kitchen products — pottery, glassware, linens, and gourmet food products, but also beautiful rugs, fine furniture, and holiday-themed gifts. And just for the holidays — For every $150 you spend on gifts for others, you can choose a free gift just for you!

A festive holiday table setting at Bennington Potters in Bennington, Vermont.
Bennington Potters is all decked out for the holidays!

Did you know that Bringing You Vermont on Main Street boasts the largest maple syrup selection in Southern Vermont? Maple syrup is always an appreciated gift, but you will also find a great selection of bath products, pet accessories, gourmet foods, and wooden toys with an emphasis on products created right here in Vermont.

A selection of gourmet foods at Bringing You Vermont in downtown Bennington, VT
Gourmet goodies at Bringing You Vermont in Bennington. Photo credit: Bringing You Vermont

Fiddlehead at Four Corners is a unique art gallery in downtown Bennington housed in a historic marble bank. From whimsical 2D and 3D art to ceramics, fiber, and jewelry, Fiddlehead specializes in eclectic pieces from North American artists and was named the top Vermont craft gallery by Yankee magazine in 2017. Stop in for a visit and you’ll quickly discover why

Where to Buy Awesome Gifts for Kids

Knapps Toy Store in downtown Bennington, VT
Knapps – Bennington’s downtown toy store

Bennington is fortunate to have some great downtown stores that cater to kids of all ages. If you’ve got young people in your life, you are guaranteed to find some unique gifts for them downtown. 

Knapps is a toy store like no other. It combines modern and retro toys and games with a large selection of musical instruments and hobbies for young and old. Visit on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday for 25% off toys and music accessories and 20% off hobbies. 

The self-proclaimed geeks on your list will love a one-of-a-kind gift from The Gamer’s Grotto, which specializes in role-playing games, video games, unique board games, and DVDs. Enjoy free Wi-Fi and snacks while browsing for your favorite kiddos. 

The Bennington Bookshop is the oldest independent bookstore in Vermont with an incredible array of children’s books that will please all the littles on your shopping list. Of course, you’ll find great selections for big people too, including lots of books from New England authors. 

Where to Find Gifts for Men and Women

Featuring both Ed Levin Designs and Jeff Gray Jewelry, Hawkins House is well known as the place to buy handcrafted jewelry, but there’s also a lovely selection of handbags, scarves, boutique clothing, toys, candles, and more. With over 3,200 square feet of carefully curated items, you’re certain to find a gift for your favorite someone.

Shaffe’s Men’s Shop has been selling the highest quality men’s clothing since 1932. Bestsellers include Vermont made Darn Tough socks and Johnson Woolen Mills clothing. You’ll also find a unique collection of hats, ties, and suits for your favorite guy. Shaffe’s is located right downtown on Main Street. 

Paula’s Weaving Workshop is a bit off the beaten path on Washington Avenue, but still close enough to walk from downtown. With an unparalleled selection of rocks and gemstones, unique hand-crafted gifts, birdhouses, jewelry, and more, Paula’s is a fun and mesmerizing shop to explore.

An inside view of Paula's Weaving Workshop in Bennington, Vermont
Paula’s Weaving Workshop on Washington Avenue. Photo credit: Paula’s Weaving Workshop

Gifts for Makers

We’ve all got a few crafty folks in our lives, and Bennington has a great selection of remarkable gifts for all the DIYers out there. For the artist, stop into Jay’s Art Shop & Frame Gallery on South Street, where you’ll find canvases, paints, and brushes, plus a great selection of frames and cards. 

The Scarlett Creation on Main Street offers a full line of quilting, knitting supplies, and needlecraft supplies. 

For crafty kits of all shapes and sizes, check out one of Bennington’s newest shops, the Beyond Gallery, where you’ll find string art kits, felt animal sewing kits, and cross stitch kits, not to mention one-of-a-kind pieces from local artists and crafters.

Beyond Gallery & Gift Shop
DIY Kits at Beyond Gallery. Photo credit: Beyond Gallery

There are dozens of unique shopping experiences in Bennington, so this is not a complete list. Check out our shopping page for a complete list of great local stores in Bennington, Vermont.