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Our Favorite Online Shops

Online shops and vendors that have won our hearts (and often our tummies too!).
Note: places we have personally shopped at (either in person or online) are marked with a little birdie - those not marked are on our 'to try' list!


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Favorite Shops

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams     

The why and wherefore: We've bought Jeni's both locally and online - and, we've been the grateful recipient of their pint club subscription. Perhaps you can tell that we're devoted fans? Favorite flavors include: Roxbury Road, Gooey Butter Cake and Bangkok Peanut but, really, we've enjoyed every flavor we've tried. The amazing thing is that ice cream shipping is totally a thing - and a thing Jeni's does well - making the gift of delicious ice cream a reality! Note: some of Jeni's flavors are only available seasonally.

Tags: delicious, food, ice cream

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Earlywood     

The why and wherefore: Looking for unique, yet gorgeous, kitchen utensils? We've got the shop for you. Based in Montana, Brad Bernhart founded Earlywood in 2003 in the lawnmower shed of his backyard. Fast forward a decade or so and his stunning work has found its way into the likes of Bon Appétit and is handily available via a dangerously easy-to-browse website. We've ordered the trifecta (pictured) and gifted it to others. High marks for beautiful craftsmanship, excellent customer service and a lovely packaging job.

Tags: cooking, home decor, kitchen, useful, woodworking

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Sheridan's Cheesemongers     

The why and wherefore: We ❤️ cheese like you wouldn't believe and are ever alert to cheese shops when we travel. Sheridan's is arguably the best cheese purveyor in Dublin, offering not just delicious comestibles but excellent customer service that we have been fortunate enough to experience both in person and online when placing an order for a pair of newlyweds. If you are looking to source excellent cheese in Ireland, be sure to check them out. Side note: if you're looking to sample delicious Irish cheeses, we're quite partial to Ardrahan and Coolea and recommend giving them a try!

Tags: cheese, delicious, food, pantry, wine

Country: Ireland

Country code: IE

Have shopped there: yes

EHChocolatier     

The why and wherefore: This one’s a local favorite! Elaine Hsieh and Catharine Sweeney make chocolates right up the road from us, in Somerville, MA, and are doing some of the most delicious work with chocolate we’ve tasted in these United States. Perfectly balanced flavor-wise so that neither the chocolate nor the combining flavor dominates (to the detriment of the other) and perfectly sized so you feel positively glamorous eating them, we can't recommend their delicious goodies highly enough. EH’s bonbons and caramels are supremely scrumptious, but do yourself a favor and don’t miss out on their other treats as well. Some of our all-time favorites from this dynamic duo include their peppermint bark (available during the holiday season), their red hot crunch bars (a Valentine’s Day special), and our year-round go-to, their Coconutty Bars (pictured), a must-try if you love coconut. Gifting-wise, we often like to send their sampler, The Big Tasty, which offers a great introduction to some of their most popular signature items.

Tags: chocolate, delicious, food, sweets

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Brand Name Pencils     

The why and wherefore: Bob Truby is the gentleman behind Brand Name Pencils, buying and selling pencils of all sorts - be it colored, graphite, or otherwise - from all over the world. Looking to up someone's pencil game? Gift something unusual to the inveterate list maker on your list? You can scrounge around on eBay or, do yourself a favor and go straight to Bob's marvelous online shop for a wide selection of beautiful and unusual pencils. Added bonus: Bob is super helpful and a pleasure to correspond with if you have any questions. Look no further for your vintage pencil needs.

Tags: letter writing, specialist, useful, vintage, writing

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Rough Linen     

The why and wherefore: A couple of years ago we were introduced to the beauty of linen sheets. It's true, they are a little more labor intensive, but they're totally worth it at the end of a long day, especially in the middle of summer. When we went about doing our research on where to source quality linen in the US, we came across Rough Linen. Since then, we have ordered several items and could not be happier. In addition to bed linens, they also make (among other items) towels, robes, napkins, table cloths - oh, and perhaps the most adorable pinafores we have ever seen, lovely for any cook or gardener (big or small). Needless to say, if you're looking to give the gift of linen, we suggest checking Rough Linen out. Pro tip: request a swatch card to easily compare the different linen weights and colors. You can order with greater confidence as a result.

Tags: apparel, bedding, clothing, linen, useful

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

L.A. Burdick     

The why and wherefore: Our first encounter with L.A. Burdick was in college when a visit to their Cambridge location taught us what hot chocolate (aka drinking chocolate) should taste like. No Swiss Miss here - only, deeply rich, deeply dark, spectacularly luxurious chocolate flavor. Since then, our love affair with their cafés and handmade goodies has only deepened and grown - from European-style cakes, to perfectly chewy salted caramels, to their signature (and eminently adorable) chocolate mice, we have been and remain ardent fans. Their bonbons are some of the most well balanced chocolates around and are perfectly sized so you can sample several (ahem!) without feeling like an utter glutton. Highly recommended if you want to spoil someone something proper!

Tags: chocolate, delicious, food, sweets

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Bauer's Candies     

The why and wherefore: Bauer’s Candies is a family business based in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The current owner and president of the company, Anna Bauer, is the great-granddaughter of the man who, in 1889, began producing what were then called “caramel biscuits” and are now called “Modjeskas.” The Modjeska is an absolutely scrumptious confection, a marshmallow center surrounded by gorgeously chewy caramel. We think of them as little pillows of deliciousness. They are available in both traditional caramel and in chocolate caramel and, we’re not gonna lie, the traditional ones in the Classic Modjeskas Gift Box are our hands-down favorite. At first a Modjeska looks like a hulking big mouthful of straight-up caramel - which isn’t necessarily a bad thing - but in this instance, you’ll be gustatorily transported by a pillowy, airy blend of marshmallowy sweetness and perfectly buttery-salty, splendidly chewy caramel. Highly recommend.

Tags: candy, delicious, food, sweets

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Henry Bear's Park     

The why and wherefore: There are several Henry Bear's Park locations peppered throughout the Boston area and in Providence, Rhode Island. We have tended to frequent the locations in Cambridge and Brookline Village, two of our favorite shops to visit in all of Boston - and not just because the trips invariably bring out the child in us. Do you remember the delight of going to a toy store as a wee one? Well, we've found that delight dims little as the years march on - now it's fun picking out presents and projects for the wee ones in our lives. The Henry Bear's Park team excels at their work - selecting excellent products and toys for their shelves, often ones they have personal experience with thanks to parenting or babysitting. Staff members are ever-friendly, ever-helpful and bowl us over every time with their offer to gift wrap our purchases for free. Online shoppers can also avail of their free gift wrapping service, as well as flat rate shipping of $9.99 to anywhere in the contiguous 48 states. Whether in person or online, we think you'll find shopping at HBP supremely easy and eminently satisfactory.

Tags: children, toys

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

BloomNation     

The why and wherefore: Have you ever been in the situation where you wanted to send flowers to someone in these United States, but had no idea how to find a top notch local florist? Enter BloomNation, a network of well regarded local florists. Browse bouquets online and order there, or use the site to find a florist that suits your aesthetic, ringing them directly to discuss a custom order. We found out about BloomNation from our fave local florist here in Boston, Hallie Krechevsky of Hallie's Garden (incidentally, a transaction at Hallie's counter was the inadvertent catalyst to building this site!) and thanked our lucky stars when we found ourselves on a first ever visit to Kansas City and in need of a quality florist. BloomNation to the rescue!

Tags: florist, flowers

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Peterboro Basket Co.

The why and wherefore: Founded in 1854, Peterboro Basket Co. is the oldest continuous manufacturer of baskets in the United States - and it shows. We have not personally ordered from them ourselves, but our mom has, and she ringingly endorsed including them on this list. Though we haven't been direct purchasers as yet, we've had the opportunity to use and inspect this company's goods and, well, we can see why they've been in business for more than 150 years. They've got the expertise and some gosh darned beautiful baskets. So, if you are looking to give a picnic basket, something to hold firewood, a laundry basket, a bicycle basket - or, almost any other kind of basket - we suggest checking out this New Hampshire institution.

Tags: baskets, home decor, specialist, useful

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: no

Fine Old Posters     

The why and wherefore: We kind of happened upon the amazing world of vintage posters a bit by accident - the amazing baker and cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan, shared an image of a World War II era poster on Instagram back in 2015 which sent us on an online voyage of discovery. Government issued posters were only the tip of the iceberg - the first half of the 20th century seems to have been particularly rich with beautifully designed posters advertising all sorts of things - from cars, to movies, to Champagne, to perfume, to exotic travel destinations. Depending on your recipient’s hobbies, passions and interests, you may well find that the perfect poster is out there, just waiting for you to gift it! As to where to start? Well, we’d recommend checking out Fine Old Posters, a shop based in Maryland with an excellent online catalog and high standards when it comes to packaging and shipping. Looking for something specific? Let them know and they'll keep an eye out for you!

Tags: art, posters, specialist, vintage

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Liberty Puzzles     

The why and wherefore: Despite being a fairly recent find for us, we have been given and been gifted jigsaw puzzles from Liberty Puzzles. We hear you asking - what makes them special? First up, Liberty puzzles are wooden, making them more substantial than their cardboard counterparts and a real delight to handle. Second, as was the case with many old puzzles, the tend to contain a goodly number of novelty pieces - not just the usual wiggle shaped pieces we've become accustomed to - pieces that are actually shaped like things, often things pertaining to the puzzle's theme or picture. On top of all that, factor in a wide range of pictures and topics to choose from, in varying levels of difficulty and maybe you'll understand why we have this Boulder-based maker on our list of favorite places to shop. If you're looking to give a gift to a puzzle fiend, it'd be hard to go wrong with a jigsaw from Liberty Puzzles. Pro tip: go truly old school when you order and opt not to have a picture of the completed puzzle on the box, making the challenge that bit greater and the final reveal that much more exciting!

Tags: fun, jigsaw puzzles, puzzles

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Garden Tool Co.     

The why and wherefore: Gifting to a gardener and looking for some top notch tools? Definitely check out the Garden Tool Co. Personally, we're quite partial to our Sneeboer transplanting trowel. Unlike its predecessor (which snapped at the join), our Sneeboer was hand-forged and built to last, just to give you an idea of the caliber and quality level we're talking about. Functional, attractive and long lasting, it's hard to beat a gift like that when you're giving to a gardener. Oh, and, word to the wise: do check out the hori hori, one of the most useful new tools in our gardening arsenal, a tool that does the impossible - making weeding a pleasure rather than a pain!

Tags: gardening, useful

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Formaggio Kitchen     

The why and wherefore: Mary, our founder, worked at Formaggio Kitchen for almost six years as a baker and cheesemonger. In fact, it was while working there that she got the idea for Little Birdie Me. Formaggio Kitchen has three locations - in Cambridge and the South End of Boston, as well as in Essex Market in New York - and stocks a wonderfully wide selection of cheeses and other comestibles. Prioritizing quality over flashy packing and marketing gimmicks, the Formaggio Kitchen team is on a never-ending quest to suss out the most delicious edibles in the world, working with small farmers and makers to bring customers the best in class. They import a large portion of their products directly, giving them the freedom to work with artisan producers, not just in the States, but overseas too. If you're looking to source a scrumptious array of goodies, you can't go wrong with Formaggio Kitchen. Pro tip: many products are not listed on their website so do give a ring and chat with a staff member if you are looking for something in particular!

Tags: baked goods, bread, cheese, delicious, food, meats, pantry, sweets

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Murray's Cheese     

The why and wherefore: Back in the day when Mary, Little Birdie Me's founder, was training as a pastry chef, she worked part time at Murray's Cheese in Greenwich Village. Today, the fond memories remain - of both her fellow cheesemongers, and of all the marvelous cheeses she was introduced to and tasted while working there. Murray's footprint has since expanded greatly, thanks to a partnership with Kroger. Still, we think it's hard to top the flagship Bleecker St. location where you'll find a dizzying array of delicious cheese and other goodies to complement your cheese board. And, if you wish to be someone's dairy fairy, sending the gift of cheese, we'll bet our bottom dollar that the current Murray's Cheese crew will take care of you in top notch fashion.

Tags: cheese, delicious, food, meats, pantry, sweets

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Crown Jewel Popcorn     

The why and wherefore: Anyone else a popcorn fiend? In addition to the traditional role of accompanying movie-watching, we’ve also been known to have a big bowl of popcorn in lieu of dinner. Initially, we were pretty indiscriminate in our popcorn choices and, don’t get us wrong, we’re still totally down for movie theater popcorn. However, we were tickled pink to discover that there are many kinds of popcorn out there and that there can be a fairly noticeable difference in flavor. Some are naturally a little sweeter, others more corny tasting. Texture is another thing that distinguishes some corn from others: how crunchy and how large the popped kernels are. Initially, when exploring the various popcorns out there, we experimented with a Crown Jewel sampler, gradually tasting our way through a selection of corns. Now, when we need to restock the popcorn larder, we tend to reorder the same two varieties – our favorites – the Petite Princess Amber and the Baby Blue Sapphire. It’s all down to personal preference though, and trying lots of different varieties was fun so, if you are gifting (be it to someone else, or to yourself), we recommend a variety pack as a fun starting point!

Tags: delicious, food, snack food

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Tallulah's Satchels - Etsy     

The why and wherefore: Christine Samardich is the talented maker behind Tallulah's Satchels, creating everything from buttons, to pillows, to scarves, to baby hats - all out of recycled cashmere. We've personally been a repeat customer, purchasing throw pillows, a tooth fairy pillow and several hats for the little ones in our lives. The shop's selection is ever-changing, dependent on the sweaters Ms. Samardich finds to repurpose, but you invariably get to choose from a wide variety of cheery colors and designs. Not only is her work exceptionally beautiful, it's also eminently affordable (especially considering she's working with cashmere!).

Tags: accessories, apparel, babies, children, clothing, Etsy, home decor, infants, notions

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

RMorales Pottery - Etsy     

The why and wherefore: Based in Miami, Florica, ceramic artist Ray Morales' stated goal is, "to create pottery that’s unique, inviting and elegant." We think he succeeds on every level. Mr. Morales makes everything from bowls, to cups and tumblers, to teapots, to mugs - and more. Each piece is unique and the glazes he uses are richly opulent. If you (or someone you know) is the type of person to notice how a mug feels in your hands, or who might be thoroughly enchanted by a beautifully jewel-like brush of red, we think you'll enjoy checking out RMorales Pottery.

Tags: art, ceramics, Etsy, home decor, kitchen, pottery, tableware

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Dreambirds - Etsy     

The why and wherefore: Janeen Shagman is the mom and grandmother with oodles of talent behind this Etsy shop. She started sewing in what she refers to as the "lean years," when her first daughter was about two years old. Over the years, she has honed her craft and we're now the lucky beneficiaries of her hard won expertise as today she makes absolutely gorgeous dresses, pantaloons, skirts, bow ties, hats, bibs, blankets, burping cloths - and more! Personally, we've ordered a pillowcase dress and were super impressed, not just with the garment itself (beautiful fabric! top notch stitching!), but with the way it was parceled up. What's more, we're big fans of children's clothing that's not only attractive but is comfortable for wee ones to wear and Janeen's work ticks all those boxes. If you're on the lookout for some lovely children's clothes - or looking to find a gift for new parents, we recommend checking out Dreambirds.

Tags: accessories, apparel, babies, children, clothing, Etsy, infants

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Artvarkk - Etsy     

The why and wherefore: Artvarkk specializes in paper ephemera and vintage goods - things like packets of canceled postage stamps, vintage photos, sheets of music, and/or book pages. Rescued from a trip to the dump, these items are granted a second life - moreover, they arrive beautifully parceled up, primed for whatever project you or your gift recipient might have in mind. We've purchased vintage pics, book pages and stamps for various projects and could not have been happier with our order. If you are gifting to someone who likes crafting, especially with paper, or someone who likes still life photography (and might enjoy some nifty props), you may wish to check out Artvarkk's shop.

Tags: ephemera, Etsy, crafting supplies, postage stamps, specialist, vintage

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

J.B. Prince     

The why and wherefore: J.B. Prince specializes in top of the line cooking equipment - and the folks that supply some of the best chefs in the world with the tools of their trade. They do not have a street level shopfront so are not well known outside culinary circles but folks who are not professional chefs are absolutely welcome to shop there, both in person or online. It's always fascinating to see what new machinery and plating accessories are making their way to Michelin starred kitchens - more practically, it's fantastic to have a place to source things like a high quality German-made cookie scoop, an über reliable chinois, or some fab new cake pans. If you are gifting to an aspiring chef, or to a passionate home baker, it may be worth your while to check out J.B. Prince for something a little out of the ordinary, or simply for top notch, professional-grade tools.

Tags: cooking, kitchen

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes

Kustom Haus     

The why and wherefore: Know someone who loves to write letters? Who is a fan of The Scarlet Pimpernel (either Baroness Orczy's book, the Broadway musical of the same name, or the fabulously dramatic film version starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour and Ian McKellen)? Or, perhaps someone who loves slow living, doing things by hand, putting care and thought into every act? If so, they may well love a wax seal (or two) to gussy up their correspondence, as a throwback to centuries past, and/or to pep up their gift wrapping efforts, or their journal. Whatever it may be, we do not think you can go wrong with Kustom Haus which not only stocks a range of stellar seals (many evincing a cheeky sense of humor), but offers a top notch custom seal service. We had the pleasure of corresponding with Karl in their customer service department who patiently and painstakingly worked with us until we got our beloved little birdie just right (see photo). Check out their great kits for wax seal newbies, browse a wide selection of individual seals, or stock up on accessories such as flexible wax, highlighting ink pads and/or melting spoons. Final note: if you're having Kustom Haus ship to a recipient directly, they do a fab job packaging up their goodies, making for a lovely parcel to receive by post.

Tags: letter writing, specialist, wax seals

Country: Australia

Country code: AU

Have shopped there: yes

Lie Nielsen Toolworks Inc.

The why and wherefore: We've taken some woodworking classes and, looking at the Lie Nielsen site, it's hard not to feel covetous. Their No. 60-1/2 Adjustable Mouth Block Plane has been crowned the "best overall" block plane by Fine Woodworking multiple times and, in 2015, was named "top tool" by Wood Magazine. Block planes aside, though, we also eye with admiration the range of saws, files, rasps, and chisels (among other tools) they have on offer. If you are looking to give a special gift to the woodworker in your life, Lie Nielsen may well have what you're seeking.

Tags: tools, woodworking

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: no

Mrs. Kibble's Olde Sweet Shoppe     

The why and wherefore: We first happened upon Mrs. Kibble's Olde Sweet Shoppe somewhat accidentally while exploring the rather magical St.Christopher´s Place, just off of Oxford Street in London. It felt like something out of Harry Potter or a Roald Dahl story - a semi-secret pedestrian street, a candy shop, and a mind-boggling array of old-fashioned sweets. Needless to say, on the first visit (and on subsequent visits), we got a bagful. Unfortunately, Mrs. Kibble's shopfront is now closed, but that's only because online trade has picked up to such an extent that they have decided to focus their attention there. We have since placed an online order by way of gifting to a wee one and, if you are looking to gift something to a sweet tooth in the UK, you may well find what you're looking for there too. Tip: the hard boiled rhubarb and custard candies are especially delicious, wethinks!

Tags: candy, delicious, food, sweets

Country: United Kingdom

Country code: GB

Have shopped there: yes

Kings Wax     

The why and wherefore: Kings Wax focuses on one thing and one thing only: sealing wax. And, as you may have gathered by now, we're huge fans of folks who focus on one thing and take it to the nth degree in order to make the best possible product that they can. Some facts about Kings Wax: 1. The company's founder invented glue gun style wax. 2. He also invented the technology to make "peel and stick" wax seals. 3. Kings Wax' recipes are over 200 years old. Needless to say, these folks know what they're talking about when it comes to wax. We placed an order with them for flexible gun wax sticks and have been extremely impressed with the quality of their product as well as the ordering process which allowed us to pick and choose from a huge range of color options. If you are giving a gift to someone who loves using wax seals, a selection of colorful waxes may well be a winning present and, in that context, we think Kings Wax is definitely worth a look.

Tags: letter writing, specialist, wax seals

Country: Canada

Country code: CA

Have shopped there: yes

Zingerman's     

The why and wherefore: We have dreams of actually visiting Zingerman's in person some day - so far, our experience has only been by mail. But, what a great (and delicious) experience! Our founder, Mary, first became aware of Zingerman's back in the day when she first started working as a cheesemonger in New York City. She asked senior staffers for advice on what to read to learn more about the various foodstuffs she would be selling. Their unanimous response was: Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating by Ari Weinzweig, one of Zingerman's co-founders. That book proved to be a stellar introduction, covering everything from prosciutto, to olive oil. Perhaps it should come as no surprise then, that someone like Weinzweig - and his co-founder, Paul Saginaw - have established such a marvelous food emporium in Ann Arbor, MI.

Tags: baked goods, bread, cheese, delicious, food, meats, pantry, sweets

Country: United States

Country code: US

Have shopped there: yes