This year, Clutch MOV has invited me to explore small/local businesses on the WV side of the Mid Ohio Valley, finding new favorite places (and visiting a few of my own classic favorites) to shop for Holiday gifts. Tucked into all kinds of corners throughout the Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown neighborhoods (plus a pit stop in Harrisville), I’m pretty happy to discover just how much variety is here in our local businesses. While not all of my favorite places could fit into my 20 (ish) stops for the year, I’m proud to share some of the places where I’ll be shopping this season, and why:
Berdine’s Five and Dime
The only stop outside of the immediate area-I love Berdine’s. In a nutshell, Berdine’s is nostalgia in one spot. Inside, you’ll find candy from when your parents (and you) were kids, new versions of wind up, metal toys, old-school salves, ointments and extracts, quirky foods like popcorn on the cob, and really, tons of things that would make great, unique stocking stuffers. The lady who works there was awesome with my daughter, and very patient with all of my questions. I could easily get lost in there for hours (and I did). Before making the trip out to Harrisville, please note this store is cash or check, only- though there is an ATM across the street. You also may want to call first, to check hours (though I’ve never had a problem with someone being there).
106 North Court St.
Cash or Check, only
The Painted Cupboard
The Painted Cupboard is a space shared by a handful of different vendors and artisans, selling everything from sewn gifts, to furniture, art and antiques (and a bunch of items I haven’t listed). Many people go to The Painted Cupboard for a variety of “primitive”, country decor. For DIYers, they also sell an assortment of old doors, shutters and mantles for your latest creative projects. It’s fun to browse through the whole building, and I always see something I love. However, if you happen to be into a more industrial, rusted metal, well-crafted, reclaimed wood/“junk” work, I also highly suggest taking a walk to the back section of the store, to the area created by “Sy’s Son”, Shaun. He makes super cool reclaimed barn wood photo frames and furniture, including an awesome metal and wood drink cart that sold almost as soon as it was delivered. Shaun loves creating custom work, and recently made a coffee table from a window, removed from an 1800s home, which made it’s way into another 1800s home. So fun!
901 Highland Ave.
M-F: 10-5, Sat: 10-3
Sy’s Son’s info: 304-916-2020
Open Hands Gallery
Mad love for Open Hands Gallery. What started as a project to help our community members who may have disabilities and challenges, what was originally called the “Open Hands Seed Project” was originally a plot of land, set aside to grow plants (from seeds) and sell to the public, as a small business opportunity for those involved. The founders of this project were pleasantly surprised by the discovery of such a wide variety of creativity within the group, which lent itself to a whole new adventure. Having opened a storefront in Williamstown in 2013, the Open Hands Gallery sells hand made gifts and furniture year-round, as well as the seasonal plants in April-July, in unique planters and containers made from recycled and up-cycled materials. Open Hands loves to make unique gifts from your ideas. I’m especially fond of their corner units made from old doors, their resin and stone jewelry, and the conversation that can be had while visiting there. I could have stayed all day!
2198 Williams Highway, Unit 107
Williamstown, WV (between Williamstown and Boaz, Rt. 14)
Scot’s Landscape Nursery
Did you know that, in addition to top notch lawn service and supplies, Scot’s Landscape Nursery also has a year-round food market, filled with local produce, with a really cute gift shop, right above? I was blown away, walking through their main doors, to see local fruits and vegetables, apple cider and other yummy goodies, all beautifully displayed. While the produce is waning for the season, next year there are talks of including local meats and in-house ice cream. The staff was very friendly and helpful (and patient with me as I drooled over the amount of local food they offered in their shop), and suggested I run upstairs to the gift shop, to get the full experience. I’m so glad I did. Playful, fun gifts, things that made me laugh, and many positively message-d, inspirational signs for your walls, gave a good variety of gift options. I also loved the US map pillows, and had a happy time looking through their well-filled store.
6303 Grand Central Ave.
M-F: 8-5, Sat: 9-1
Any time I get the chance to stop by Holl’s Chocolate, I enthusiastically take it. Not only do they have (in)arguably the best chocolate in town (or in my opinion, the whole world), they also offer the creamiest hot cocoa mixes and dessert sauces, coffees, and pre-packaged gift sets and candy (or make your own boxes, choosing from around 30 different types of truffles, caramels, clusters and general yum). During the Holiday months, Holl’s also offers gingerbread cookies covered in their fine chocolate, as well as traditional German stollen bread (a fruit-filled bread, sometimes likened to an “airy fruitcake”). You could easily satisfy the person who has everything with Holl’s-and grab a free sample for yourself, while you’re there (or make your own box of favorites).
2001 Grand Central Ave.
Gift Gallery of Vienna/Fashion Gallery
Such a large number of my friends have been telling me about the Gift and Fashion Galleries of Vienna, that I had to check them out for myself. The Gift Gallery of Vienna and the Fashion Gallery are “neighbors” (within the same strip of stores), owned by a local gal named Victoria, who is born and raised, MOV. Her stores are both full of humor and heart. She collects some really fun, quirky, beautiful and stylish items for her stores, and has made me an instant fan. As several of my friends have shared, you can do a wide variety of gift shopping (with a modern edge) in these two stores. I’m smitten by the “moon phase” charms at the Gift Gallery, as well as so many of the other gift choices offered throughout both stops. The Fashion Gallery is very cozy, with a variety of fun, comfy and cute clothing-ranging in sizes from XS to 3X-and some of the coolest, free-form-looking jewelry (Uno de 50), too. Love, love, love.
The Gift Gallery of Vienna
1515 Grand Central Ave., Ste 6
M-F: 10-6, Sat: 10-5, Sun: 12-5
1509 Grand Central Ave., Ste 5
M-F: 10-6, Sat: 10-5, Sun: 12-4
The Wine Basket
Want to meet two of the sweetest people ever, while getting expert wine paring suggestions (from the largest wine selection in the area), and access to mix-n-match, make-your-own beer packs from the widely assorted wall of beers? Hop on over to the Wine Basket. Always a friendly place that I love to visit and shop. Seriously. They can pair wine with pretty much anything, and will do so enthusiastically and with passion.
1509 Grand Central Ave, Ste 11 (in the back)
M-F: 11-7, Sat: 10-4
Bond’s Drug (and the #1 Fan Shop)
Do you have a WVU fan in your life? You wouldn’t think a drug store would be your best bet for WVU gear. But Bond’s Drug has a mind-blowing assortment of pretty much anything you could hope for, WVU-style. If there’s anything missing at Bond’s, a quick trip down the street to the #1 Fan Shop (owned by Horner & Harrison) should fill in the gaps. Bond’s has practically everything, while #1 Fan Shop also had some fun golf items and polo shirts in Big N Tall sizes that are hard to find outside of a catalog.
800 S Grand Ave, Ste 5 (Behind Grand Central Mall)
M-F: 8:30-6:30, Sat: 10-4
One Fan Shop
2715 Murdoch Ave.
M: 9:30-8, T-Th: 9:30-6, F: 9:30-8, Sat: 9:30-6
While we do have several wonderful jewelers in the area, Buttermore has made me a life-long customer for treating me like gold, without reason. I went in to have my wedding ring repaired (I had a loose setting), expecting to have to send it away. But with their in-house jeweler, they surprised me by fixing it on the spot, with a smile on their faces. I’d never bought anything from them, before this point. But they didn’t care. Awesome. Did I mention they have an in-house jeweler? He is wildly talented, and specializes in custom work-if you can show your idea, he can do it. Amazing. I also love the variety of beautiful jewelry they offer, as well as the children’s play table/area (to help the grown ups shop). So good.
3607 Murdoch Ave.
M & W: 10-8, T, Th-Sat: 10-6
If you have a music lover on your list, you should stop by Sound Exchange. In business for over 2 decades now, Sound Exchange has new and used vinyl/records and CDs, as well as t-shirts and new record players/turntables. Their friendly and music-savvy staff can help you find the perfect musical gift (and they offer fair prices on trade-in of your well-loved music, too). Be on the lookout for Record Store Day deals, on Black Friday weekend (the big, “official” Record Store Day is in April…but many don’t know there’s a second Record Store Day on Black Friday, every year…more than several new releases come out this day, with only a limited number of copies available per store. Stay in touch on Facebook for what’s in stock).
3417 Murdoch Ave.
We’re lucky enough in the Mid Ohio Valley to have quite an impressive art center (the Parkersburg Art Center), which brings us national and international art exhibitions, cultural events and educational opportunities for artists of all ages (through classes, workshops, preschool programming, and summer art camp offerings). Did you know The Parkersburg Art Center also has a gift shop, showcasing more than a large handful or local artists’ work? Stop by and find ceramics, paintings, prints, jewelry and other wearables, in addition to a variety of other gift items, and help support local artists and our Art Center at the same time.
725 Market St. (Inside the Parkersburg Art Center)
CrazyBone Dog Salon
If you have a dog lover in your life, you’ll be happy you stopped by CrazyBone. I first met the owners of CrazyBone when they were selling their homemade dog treats at a festival. I bought some for my dog, and he devoured them. Their love for canines quickly spread outside of the treat-baking business (though their treats are still wildly popular) to thoughtfully fill a store, full of toys, treats, clothing, party supplies (and cakes-made to order), and healthy food and supplements-everything to lovingly care for your pup. They also offer top-of-the-line grooming services and, starting in early 2016, will be offering boarding services in their new location on 19th Street (right in town). I always love talking with the gang at CrazyBone. So excited for their new expansion!
212 7th St.
(New address for 2016: 153 19th St., also in Parkersburg)
M-F: 10-6, Sat: 10-3
Market Street Yarn & Crafts/Sew Creative
Right in the heart of Market Street, Parkersburg, yarn enthusiasts rejoice! If you have a friend who loves to knit or crochet, or if you’d like to make your own gifts from wool, alpaca, llama, silk, cotton or soy (in spun or unspun fibers), you can find it all at Market Street Yarn & Crafts. Recently combined with Sew Creative, this duo shop also houses sewing machines and fabric, in addition to the widest variety of knitting needle sizes for miles around. Looking for a “learning experience” gift? Market Street Yarn also offers knitting, crochet, spinning and weaving classes, if you call ahead to schedule them. The staff also had a hidden stash of sweet toys that kept my daughter fascinated when I was poring through the different yarn colors. Awesome.
615 Market St.
T-Sat: 11-3:30 (or by Appointment-304-615-2376)
Classic Plastics Toy Store
A brand new store has opened in downtown Parkersburg that I’m excited to watch grow. Classic Plastics is a new and vintage toy store, which also specializes in toy repair, helping collectors find and help to complete their collections/sets, and being really nice people. I instantly felt comfy when I walked into the store. It was fun looking through classic toys from my childhood, all at (what seemed to me to be) fair prices. Be sure to check out the wall of Funko vinyl figures at the entrance, and the vintage arcade in the rear of the store, with classics such as Galaga and Mortal Kombat (plus a free play machine that includes Donkey Kong and the entire Pac-Man Series!) filling out the collection. One day, some of the arcade games may also be available for purchase. But for now, you can play your heart out and save up for their availability. And while you’re there, you can buy some cool toys.
406 Market St.
M-Sat: 10-6, Sun: 12-5
Blennerhassett Museum and Gift Shop
I had no idea the Blennerhassett Museum had such an impressive gift shop. Truly. If you’ve never been there, it’s worth it to stop by and check it out. If you ever need a book about West Virginia, or by a West Virginian author, there’s a very good chance they have it. Their WV book selection is pretty extensive. I also loved their old-fashioned wooden games and toys, sweets, and decor-all well laid-out and easy to look through. It’s a nice blend of past and present, and a great way to support our historical society.
137 Juliana St.
T-Sat: 11-5, Sun: 1-5
Point Park Marketplace
While the Marketplace is similar to the Painted Cupboard in that it’s a collective of vendors, the energy and interactivity that buzzes around the Point Park Marketplace is infectious. Even on a “slow” Wednesday night, each artisan was engaging and knew lots about what they were making and selling. The focus at the Marketplace is primarily foods and drink (though occasionally other gifts are available, too). And while the “Farmer’s Market” selection is slower in the Mid Ohio Valley this time of year, it didn’t stop local businesses from selling breads, soups (and mixes), meats, wines and a variety of WV made foods. Breads & Beyond Bakery-which makes a variety of yummy, fresh baked goods-also offers pre-made mixes and spices-many of which are gluten-free (the owner and head baker has celiac, so the “gluten-free” is not taken lightly), and several of their holiday sweets (and trays of sweets meats and cheeses from their deli) can be made to order for your Holiday dinners. Go to Point Park Marketplace on a Friday night for live music while you shop, too.
Point Park Marketplace
113 Ann St. (at the entrance of Point Park)
W-Th: 10-6, F: 10-7, Sat: 10-6, Sun: 1-5
C.A. House Music
Maybe they don’t just like listening to music. Maybe the people on your shopping list like to play and perform music? I sometimes forget we have one of the best musical instrument stores for miles and miles, right here in Parkersburg. If you’re seeking a huge selection of guitars and want to try them before you buy them, this is your place. If you want to play a set of drums before you take them home (or on tour), again, stop here. If you need to rent an instrument, are looking for sound equipment (or need a sound system installed), and/or want to learn how to play a variety of different instruments, this is the place to send the people who buy you the things. The staff is wonderful, here. I always love being here.
3700 Cavalier Circle
M-Th: 10-8, F: 10-6, Sat: 10-4
Mulberry Lane Country Store
Say you want to walk into a space that looks like a house that’s filled, absolutely filled-to-the-brim with decorating ideas for the Holidays. Say you wanted to walk into a room and order an entire room, decorated just the way you see it. You could do that, here. This place is absolutely jam-packed with gift ideas, decorating ideas, a Christmas shop, a pantry…a fan shop, a Vera Bradley spot, everything sorted by theme…and the space just keeps going on and on. I bet if there’s something you haven’t found yet…it’s probably here. If you’re looking for something for your kitchen, your living room, your entry to your home, or even something like a fancy scarf to keep you warm, stop here. There’s a huge selection of candles, super friendly staff, but it’s very low-pressure, at the same time. It’s easy to get lost in here, and take your time looking around.
4009 Emerson Ave.
M-F: 10-6, Sat: 10-5, Sun: 12-5
Mother Earth Foods
Every time I go in to Mother Earth, I learn new ideas for cooking and living healthy. If you need a supplement for pretty much any reason, whatsoever, please give this place a try. If you’re shopping for gifts, Mother Earth is projecting to carry gift baskets this season (yay!). This spot is a haven for any of your vegan or vegetarian friends, as well as those who just enjoy healthy eating/living. And if you’re seeking essential oils, and/or organic herbs/materials for handmade bath and beauty gifts, please stop by the center part of their store. You can measure your own ingredients, right on the spot. Mother Earth also carries sage, healthy pet treats and foods, and a wide variety of local and organic craft beers and wines for a bunch of different tastes. And if you forego the shopping bags for your purchases, you get to make a donation to the charity jar of your choice (all year long-see store display for details). Love it, here.
1638 19th St.
M-Sat: 9-7, Sun: 12-5
And there you have what’s on my highlight reel for local shopping, this year. While this list feels pretty massive to me, it still doesn’t cover all of the local places I love in the Parkersburg/Williamstown area-and definitely not the whole mid-Ohio Valley. We’re so lucky to live in a community with a wide variety of services, gift ideas and such friendly people, all helping to shape a great shopping experience that will help me to cross off every person on my list, and leave me happy, too, knowing I’ve helped support small businesses, and get to know my neighbors a bit better. Hope I’ve helped you discover at least one place or new offering you may not have realized was out there, yet, and have given you another reason to shop local for your holiday gifts.