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Shop Local 2020: An Austin, North Lawndale, Garfield Park Holiday Gift Guide

Read the Full Article to see all the listed vendors and other neighborhood gift guides

GARFIELD PARK — Small businesses everywhere have been hit hard, and the holiday season can give shops the boost they need to stay afloat.

But on the West Side, commercial areas were struggling even before the recent crises. Some areas like the Madison Street corridor in West Garfield Park suffered from decades of disinvestment punctuated by the 1968 riots following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The area never got the support needed to recover, and businesses were again set back by this year’s civil unrest. Along the main stretch of Madison, about half of the shops are still closed.

Due to the area’s reputation, West Side businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs are often forgotten and overlooked, owners say. Because of the myth that there’s nothing going on out west, people from other areas in the city typically don’t even think to patronize shops in the area.

“It’s because they don’t know the West Side,” said Marie Henderson, who has run businesses with her husband along the Madison corridor since 1964.

But those familiar with the West Side know there is an abundance of local entrepreneurs to support this holiday season. Here are some shops and retailers to consider as you start your holiday shopping.

If you want your local shop to be featured, please fill out the Google form at the bottom of the full article. 

Garfield Park

Out of the Past Records, 4407 W Madison St., Facebook page

This record shop is a treasure trove of vintage music for those willing to dig through piles stacked high of records, cassette tapes and 8-tracks.

“Most people like coming in just to search,” said Marie Henderson, who owns the store with her husband. “You may not be looking for anything, but you’ll find it.”

Henderson has an eclectic mix of music in the decades-old record collection. Many of the older people on the West Side come to the store looking for jazz, gospel and blues. But Out of the Past has everything from classical music to soul to hip-hop.

“If they’re looking for something they can’t find anywhere else, they come to us,” Henderson said. “We really cater to people who love music. If you’re a vinyl lover, you’ll love the store.”

The shop also sells gift baskets stuffed with toys for kids in the holiday season.

Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.

Justice of the Pies, 135 N. Kedzie Ave., Website

Justice of the Pies is a social enterprise bakery that makes pies, quiches and tarts while fighting food insecurity across the city.

Owner Maya-Camille Broussard created Justice of the Pies, based out of the Hatchery Chicago, in honor of her father, whose upbringing on the West Side was mired by food insecurity, she said.

“The emotional trauma of growing up with those food insecurities were very evident … it can be passed down from generation to generation. So that’s why I wanted to do what I could fight food insecurities,” Broussard said.

The artisanal baked goods available to ship include a caramel apple baked pie ($75), a salted caramel peach pie ($75) and a bourbon pecan pie ($75).

Justice of the Pies also sells various merch.

Triple A Gourmet, 135 N. Kedzie Ave, Website

A West African sweet snack known as chin chin is the specialty of Triple A Gourmet Treats. The company makes the fried snack in three flavors: original, cinnamon and sweet and spicy.

773-609-4538 or tripleagourmettreats@gmail.com.

Basix Soap, Online shop

Basix Soap is a favorite at the Garfield Park Neighborhood Market.

The company produces handmade soap, liquid soap, body cream, candles and alkaline water using organic, natural and cruelty-free ingredients.

The Art of Soap Collection ($25) bundles together loafs of handmade soap scented with essential oils.

Their all-natural African black soap ($7) is made using traditional methods in West Africa with ingredients like palm kernel oil and burnt cocoa pod ash.

Basix Shea Butter ($24.99) is a bestseller for dealing with dry skin, eczema and skin inflammation.

702-825-0452. In-store shopping is available 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays. Email info@BasixSoap.com. Free shipping is available for orders over $100.

Tubby’s Taste, Online shop

The vegan baked goods made by Tubby’s Taste are inspired by the Jamaican roots of founder Danielle Tubbs.

Many of the recipes for Tubbs’ specialty cookies are tied to her memories of her mother, her grandmother and her upbringing in Miami. Her Speakeasy Cookie adds a splash of rum to a typical oatmeal raisin cookie, inspired by the secret ingredient to her mother’s signature fruit cake.

Tubby’s Taste offers a holiday sampler box ($20), which comes with a variety of cookies, including ginger molasses cookies and hibiscus, ginger and lime cookies.

The vegan bakery also has a cookie club subscription ($20) that will deliver a batch of cookies in a different flavor each month.

779-324-3392 or hello@tubbystaste.com.

Posted in Garfield Park Retail and Real Estate, Garfield Park Partners and Initiatives