Now that the first snowflakes have fallen and we’re merrily turning the calendar pages to the season of giving, it’s the perfect moment to celebrate the bounty of creativity and talent here in our North Shore neighborhoods. Did you know our backyard is brimming with bakers, chocolatiers, jewelers, artists, and entrepreneurs creating their own brand of magic?
We’ve curated a list of a dozen local gems that are shining this holiday season and beyond. Whether you are looking for handcrafted candles, homemade jams, gourmet cookies, or bespoke baubles, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy the local love with your family and friends.
Farm + Sea, Amesbury
Looking to perfume your home with pure beautifully fragranced scents? Farm + Sea creates handmade candles, home fragrances, and bath and body products in their Amesbury shop. Choose from seasonal scents like fir tree and fireside, and a plethora of delicious aromas including grapefruit and sea salt, lemon and lavender, and beach girl. Shop their studio during pop-up events, find their products in select stores or order online.
12 Oakland St., Amesbury, farmandsea.com
Lark Fine Foods, Essex
Foodies will rejoice to learn that right here in Essex a 100% woman-owned and operated company is creating sumptuous treats. The upscale line of baked goods and specialty products features cookies for grown-ups, savory biscuits, and an array of fine gifts. Think Russian tea cakes, burnt sugar and fennel shortbread, and Mexican chocolate cha-chas. Available in grocery stores and gourmet shops throughout the North Shore.
Wire by Ryan, Byfield
Byfield sculptor and wire artist Ryan Kelley, best known for his signature wire trees, has created solid copper hand-hammered roses. The talented artist, who loves to collaborate with fellow creatives, shows his romantic side with the pretty posies which are stunning displayed as a single stem or grouped in a vase.
Pam Older Designs, Newburyport
Visitors to Pam Older’s studio in Newburyportwill delight in the beauty of her handcrafted collection of jewelry. Using semi-precious and precious stones, Older creates bespoke pieces that celebrate your signature style.
42 Merrimac St., Newburyport, 978-358-8352, pamolderdesigns.com
Grace Gardens, Ipswich
Grace Gardens sources raw goat milk from a neighboring farm in Ipswich to create a line of gentle goats milk soaps with natural and therapeutic essential oils. Curate your own gift box with scents like wildflower and honey, or oatmeal, honey, and milk.
Carolyn’s Farm Kitchen, Haverhill
Carolyn is quite busy cooking up magic in small batches in Haverhill. Her line of old-fashioned foods using premium all-natural ingredients is designed to pair with the growing seasons in New England. Favorites include signature farm baking mixes, jams and preserves, baking kits, and custom gift boxes ingredients. Available at partner retailers, farmers markets, and online.
Harbor Sweets, Salem
Harbor Sweets has been creating their own brand of magic in Salem for almost 50 years. Favorites include Sweet Sloops, Sand Dollars, and Marblehead Mints. Using wooden paddles and copper kettles, the company uses its original cooking techniques in its non-automated red brick factory. Visit their Salem store, shop one of the many retail locations that stock the sweets, or order online.
85 Leavitt St., Salem, 978-745-7648, harborsweets.com
Rockport Candle Company, Rockport
Candles inspired by the sea, life, and the coast hand-poured in small batches are made with love at Rockport Candle Company. Favorites like Salty Sea Breeze and Fog Horn join a holiday collection including Limited Editions Christmas Candle 2021 and 12 Days of Christmas in Rockport for great gift ideas.
5 Bearskin Neck, Rockport, 978-675-6001, rockportcandlecompany.com
The Salty Cottage, Beverly
Oh the joy of a comfy pillow! Especially one that has been hand-pieced and stitched at The Salty Cottage in a seaside studio in Beverly. You’ll love the vibe and feel of the colorful pillows featuring bold images of lobsters, anchors, and life in New England. Available in retail locations and on Etsy.
Annarosa’s Bakery, Salisbury
Bread fans will get a slice of nirvana at Annarosa’s Bakery in Salisbury where you’ll find heavenly loafs along with savory and sweet treats. Owner Bill Malatesta, a former mechanical engineer, says partner Jane Kenny, bought him a bread machine for Christmas back in 2000 and they opened the bakery 20 months later. You’ll find holiday panettone if you hurry!
175 Elm St., Salisbury, 978-499-8839, annarosas.com
After years in the fashion industry, Stonehamresident Tamara Lord in 2003 launched a successful handbag collection carried by luminaries like Britney Spears. She later pivoted to a clothing line sporting flowers, hearts, nautical themes, inspirational words, and seasonal themes. The winter line is ideal for cuddling and holiday gifts. 165 Green St., Stoneham, 781-962-1021, tamaraboston.com
Ipswich Pottery, Ipswich
Master potter Nancy Kemp-Soucy has been throwing forms to create functional pottery inspired by her passion for gardening and the coastal landscape. Her Ipswich studio is brimming with endless possibilities for the pottery enthusiast. 315 High St., Ipswich, 508-527-2747, ipswichpottery.com