One of the things that is really important to me is shopping local and supporting Manitoulin Island businesses. Yes, there are times my family goes off island or makes online purchases, but for the most part, we try to support local as much as we can.
Many people ask me about shopping local Manitoulin. There have been quite a few new and exciting businesses that have popped up since I moved to the island back in 2004! More and more, we’re seeing talented artisans and entrepreneurs. Here are a few businesses of note. I will continue to update the blog with more local businesses, but these are some great ones to start with!
Shopping Local Manitoulin: Chocolatey Treats
Chocolate lovers are in for a treat. Manitoulin Island boasts two first rate chocolatiers.
It’s a given that whenever people visit the Bridal Veil Falls in Kagawong, they always head over to the Manitoulin Chocolate Works for a little treat (or two)! Their confections include barks, bars, cupcakes, toffee, popcorn, and other treats. Some of our favourite chocolate treats include their Mint Meltaway, Macaroon, and Bear Claw.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I love Ultimately Chocolate‘s creations. Lisabeth’s artisanal chocolate and gourmet chocolate confections are handcrafted on Manitoulin Island and made with high quality ingredients.
Ultimately Chocolate has earned a name worldwide with awards for some of their bean-to-bar creations. Chocolate aficionados will appreciate the bean-to-bar chocolate, chocolate TOFFLES, chocolates and truffles, and cacao cookies.
Shopping Local Manitoulin: Clothing & Apparel
In terms of shops, The Outpost General is one of my favourite stores on Manitoulin Island. It’s my one-stop shop! I always find the perfect gift item for people on my list at the Outpost! The Outpost features local, handmade, one of a kind products. Whether you’re local, a tourist, or someone who comes back every summer, keep a little piece of the island with you!
The Outpost General has apparel for the entire family as well as gifts for foodies and decor for your home or cottage!
Dreamer’s Cove is a great place to shop for women’s clothing, footwear, and accessories on the island. Honestly, when I first moved to the island, I wondered where on earth would one buy clothing? I needed a somewhat dressy black top and black skirt or pants to wear when I was singing with the Island Singers. Someone had told me to go to Little Current and try Dreamer’s Cove so I could save a trip to Sudbury. Sure enough, I found the perfect outfit…and I didn’t have to leave the island!
They’re a trendy clothing boutique and you’re sure to find the perfect gift for people on your list there!
Eenvoudig Simply Unique – One of the things I had difficulty finding on the island when Little One was a baby was baby clothes! I’d have to go to Sudbury or wait until I made a Toronto or Montreal run to buy her clothing. I wish Eenvoudig Simply Unique was around back then! If you’re looking for fun, functional baby and toddler clothing that is handmade on Manitoulin Island, check out Eenvoudig Simply Unique.
Shopping Local Manitoulin: For the Foodie
It’s no secret that one of my absolute favourite spots to go to for lunch with a friend is Main Street Cafe in Kagawong. I also like going there for a snack while taking out of town guests and family to the Bridal Veil Falls. Everything on their menu is delicious, and I can say this because I’ve tried pretty much every menu item. Every time I pop by, I always make sure to bring something from their baked goods section home for my husband.
The food is good, the atmosphere is great, but what I love most about Main Street Cafe is the owners – Jean and Jamie.
If you have any foodies on your list, Main Street Cafe has gift cards, gift baskets, fine foods, and more. They even have prepared food in their takeaway section!
Follow Main Street Cafe on Facebook.
For the eco-friendly foodie, The Island Jar is the place to shop. The whole food market and cafe not only carries local produce, local honey, bulk items, coffees and teas, but they also serve delicious and healthy menu items, smoothies, and carry an array of eco-friendly items. They also have yoga and host events.
For the foodie, how about making a gift basket with some of your favourite Island Jar items? Or perhaps get them a gift certificate so they can treat themselves to their favourite items? While you’re shopping there, make sure to order their soup of the day or a samosa! You can never go wrong with their samosas or soups! So good!
Love hot sauce? You’ll love Uncle B’s! Uncle B’s Maple Chipotle BBQ Sauce is one of our favourites! He also has salts and seasonings — Every home cook who likes a little spice in their life will enjoy being the recipient of Uncle B’s products! Connect with them on Facebook here.
Coffee anyone? Loco Beanz is a place to go to where the baristas know your name. They’ve got signature drinks, breakfast sandwiches, lunchtime menu items, baked goods and more. With three locations on the island, you can get your favourite menu item on various ends of Manitoulin – Loco Beanz Little Current, Loco Beanz Gore Bay, and Loco Beanz Manitowaning! I have to say that my favourite item is the Chicken Pesto Panini (with extra pickles on the side)!
Loco Beanz also has items to purchase as gifts (or for yourself)! If you don’t know what to get someone, you can always get them a gift card!
Shopping Local Manitoulin: For the Collector of Cool Things
Heirloom Island – The first time I saw Heirloom Island’s work, I was blown away. Heirloom Island is known for her original art work which includes lake art, hand drawn maps, prints and cards! Her work is a reflection of life in Northern Ontario.
Island Home Outfitters is another favourite shop of mine. They have everything I want to decorate my home with! The items in their shop just make me feel like they would make my home look so comfy and so dreamy! The Moffat sisters and their husbands bring rustic decor and modern apparel to both their neighbours and visitors to Manitoulin Island.
Every time I walk into their store, I feel like I want to hire them to give our old farm house a makeover and make our house look like it should be on a cover of a home decor magazine.
I love this wreath I purchased from them a few years ago.
Island Home Outfitters also has great items for gift giving. Last year, I purchased all of the Christmas gifts for Little One’s teachers, principal, secretary, and bus driver from there!
I have purchased quite a few gifts from Ashley Vinyl Creations. I love the idea of personalized gifts, especially when it comes to things like baby’s first Christmas ornament. Last year, I bought my friend a Mama Bear Mug and I bought John a Papa Bear one. The funny thing is that John had bought one for me! He and I have matching mugs!
Ashley Vinyl Creations can do custom coffee mugs, custom wine glasses, custom beer mugs, baby onesies, wedding party gifts, vehicle decals, and more!
Modest Makings – Thank goodness for Instagram! I somehow came across Modest Makings because they somehow showed up in my feed. I’ve been following them since. Inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds, you can see that this is reflected in the artist’s work.
I really admire the paintings, ornaments, and natural decor. You really must check out Modest Makings’ work! She can also do custom orders.
Shopping Local Manitoulin: Jewelry
Whenever I think jewelry, I immediately think of Anchored Jewelry. If you’re looking for unique pieces that are handmade on Manitoulin Island, you’ll love Anchored. With a great selection of fun designs, you’ll want to buy one for your gift recipient and one for you! Rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets — There are so many items to choose from. They really do make great gift items.
Shopping Local Manitoulin: Beauty
Bare Naked Beauty has made a name for themselves when it comes to natural beauty products. I have to say that I am a big fan of their facial masks and every time I’m in Kagawong, I make sure to pick up a couple. One of the things Little One is obsessed with is spa days. We both have extremely sensitive skin, but because the ingredients in Bare Naked Beauty products are natural and gentle on our skin, we are able to use them without any issues.
Bare Naked Beauty has a huge selection of natural beauty products ranging from face creams, foaming hand soap, face wash, bath bombs, to deodorants and more!
Speaking of Bare Naked Beauty, they’re giving away an amazing gift basket on Instagram! Actually, several of the local Manitoulin businesses mentioned in this post are joining Life on Manitoulin’s Instagram giveaway! You’ll want to check it out!
Head on over to my Instagram post and enter for a chance to win some great items from some fabulous local Manitoulin businesses!
- $25 gift certificate from Eenvoudig Simply Unique
- Set of wooden coasters from Island Treasures
- 8 x 10 print Swing Bridge print from Modest Makings
- 8 x 11 Lake print of your choice from Heirloom Island
- Gift Basket filled with all-natural products from Bare Naked Beauty
- Chocolate from Ultimately Chocolate
These are but a few of the many great businesses on the island. I’ll be sharing more shopping local Manitoulin posts.