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Buying local in southern Litchfield County this holiday season

Nordica ToysWith Christmas season bearing down on us in southern Litchfield County, Black Friday looming large, stores posting notices they are open on Thanksgiving Day, I have been thinking more and more about buying local as opposed to online or in the big chain stores.

I know, money is tight. We want the biggest bang for our buck. And I admit that when it comes time to replace that HDTV that was broken by my grandson 2 years ago I know I will have to buy it elsewhere, there is no local store than carries what I want, at least not nearby me.

But when was the last time you gave those local stores a chance?

Here is the thing. If we support local businesses, they stand a better chance of sticking around. Stop in and see what they have to offer, you might be pleasantly surprised. Take New Milford, CT for instance. We have lost stores over the years, we have gained some. Each time a store closes down and a new one doesn't take it's place we moan and groan about the empty store fronts, we blame it on the economy. But we never shopped there.

An "ah ha" moment!

We have a store in the center of New Milford, CT called Nordica Toys. It used to be on Bank Street, now it sits on Main Street. The store has been here as long as I have been in New Milford. It has changed a bit, the old Nordica used to carry gifts AND toys for kids. I loved the gifts and I used to shop there all the time. Now it is a toy store only. And it is an amazing toy store. You can find things there that you can't find in any big box store around. I have gotten my grandsons some pretty cool toys there, and the quality of the toy is fantastic. Everything I have purchased there is still kicking around, passed down through the grandsons. They have withstood pounding after pounding, and the boys still find them fun to play with. And I don't think I spent any more money by purchasing there! (PS, they do FREE gift wrapping!)

I have a plan to spend some time shopping in local stores this year, checking them out to see what they offer. It helps me by getting some awesome things for those on my gift list, and it helps me by supporting local businesses because the more businesses we have in our towns the better off we are. And it gives the local business some ... business! A win-win all the way around!

And nothing gets you in the mood for the holiday season like a stroll through downtown New Milford, or Kent, or Washington. The shops and streets are decorated, the people are smiling, the feel is different than the feel of being in one of those big box stores. It is local people, people who live with you and I, working hard to keep their stores open in this economy, who provide us with the vibrance our towns need! They are at the heart of our communities and they deserve a chance.

And after a day of shopping has worn you to the bone, you can stop in at any of the local coffee shops and restaurants and enjoy some more of what makes our towns in southern Litchfield County so special!

A few ideas.

  • Even if you have an artificial tree, how about stopping at a local nursery and buying a fresh wreath or centerpiece? I love Fieldstone Nursery in New Milford or Painter Ridge Farm in Washington.
  • That hard to buy for person just might enjoy a gift card from a local restaurant. I know a few I would welcome a gift certificate from.( Santa needs to know I like The White Horse Pub in Marbledale and Bulls Bridge Inn located in South Kent, in case he was wondering.)
  • Check out the local hardware stores. I am planning a trip to the Washington Supply Company, I love to walk through the building and check out what they are selling. I find things there I will never find in a big box store, they have some pretty interesting things and the prices there are often better than you think!
  • My girls have always loved any article of clothing I got them at Foreign Cargo up in Kent. And they last for years! Always a bit different, and of very high quality.
  • We have three fantastic book stores in New Milford, Washington and Kent. I love to go in there and see what they have. Kids love books! And so do I...
  • Check out Spruce Home and Garden on Bank Street in New Milford. They have a great collection of things for the home and some hand made items from local artisans. And the prices aren't bad, you will be surprised!
  • Applebrook at Home on Bridge Street in New Milford has an amazing array of "stuff". It is other people's stuff, or it was, there are some very good finds there. A set of antique tea cups, spoons for a spoon collection, all sorts of art objects, paintings, anything you can imagine. If you like the idea of recycling, this is a perfect place to go.
  • I like to go to the local Goodwill store and get plates, all different colors and styles. Then I make 5 minute fudge (awesome recipe, everyone raves about it), I deliver it to people on my list. The plates are theirs to keep, the fudge doesn't stick around long I have been told.
Plan a day shopping locally, you will be glad you did!

Think Local!
And if you find that you are looking to buy a new house for Christmas, check out what we have for you! Start your home search here in southern Litchfield County.  Or you can call us at 860.946.0686 to talk about your new house for the holidays!
Shopping local for your new home is the most fun of all!
Home for sale candlewood lake

Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 12 commentsAndrea Swiedler • November 19 2012 09:08AM


Hi Andrea, fabulous post about shopping local in Litchfield , CT!. I think the one thing that stops people is that they want more for their money. Never hurts to shop local because there may be a gem of deal that people are missing out on.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) over 6 years ago

Love it!

Posted by Karyn Smith Woody (Harry Norman Realtors) over 6 years ago

Andrea, you're going to be the Dear Andrea of New Milford for 'What can I get Cousin Ed for Christmas"

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 6 years ago

Jackie, I get such great things in town when I shop, you just have to take the time to check it out!

Karyn, thank you!

Cousin Ed, I will be thinking of you while I am out on my shopping expeditions, that's for sure. Did you send your letter to Santa?

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 6 years ago

Andrea, I hate to shop so shopping locally is an easy decision for me.  They usually have what I want, at a good price, and the trip is short.  Those are all winners for someone like me that does not like all the aggravation at the Malls :)

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 6 years ago

George, I can't stand going to the mall, ever. And certainly this time of year is out of the question!!!! I love to shop local.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 6 years ago

Hi Andrea.... I haven't been to a mall in years.... I shop locally whenever I can or it's online....I buy all of my meats at a local butcher and there are many small bakery shops that I prefer over grocery stores....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 6 years ago

Andrea: You have a wonderful selection of stores to choose from. I really like the restaurant gift card idea. Can be used in any city.


Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 6 years ago

Barbara, going to the mall for me... well... I would rather set my hair on fire, LOL. I do prefer to buy local too.

Hella, we do have a fantastic selection of stores. And to me it is also about the process, which is so much fun!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 6 years ago

Keep the money local where it turns over seven times! Helps create a local economy that is the "oil can" to keep things from rusting, folks employed.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 6 years ago

Andrea, oh my!  Can I buy a house from you?  I want to get on your list for the fudge!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Andy, so true!

Pat, you can, you can! I can even send you the 5 minute fudge recipe, it is so easy and way too good, LOL.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 6 years ago