By Bill Sniffin, Columnist
Despite the temptation to buy on the internet or Amazon, there are some great reasons to shop local this Christmas season.
After consulting with some friends around the state, here are some ideas from them for Cowboy State products.
But first, let’s just give a plug to all the locally-owned stores in your city or town. They range big to small. Spending your money there not only helps them, but that money spreads itself around your community.
To me the two biggest advantages of going downtown and shopping are both seeing the store employees and seeing my fellow townspeople buying locally.
If prices are slightly higher, please still buy. Look around your town. The number of local-owned stores are diminishing. Perhaps your shopping spree will help keep some of them in business.
Across Wyoming, the business, getting the most votes, was from tiny Lovell where Queen Bee Honey Candy is located. Both Publisher Dave Peck of the Lovell Chronicle and Cowboy State Daily reporter Kevin Killough recommended them.
Another honey producer that deserves a look is the Miller family’s Wonderful Wyoming Honey enterprise in Crowheart. They have a store in Dubois that has an actual honey bee hive buzzing away. Pretty neat.
Pat Henderson of Sheridan touts Legerski Sausage Co. in his town. They make wonderful sausages, cheeses, and hams, he says. “It is a multi-generational business for a reason,” Pat says. “Great products with great ownership.”
He also loves the Jackalope Ranch in downtown Sheridan with stylish clothes, accessories, and fine jewelry. Pam Gable is the owner.
Before we leave Sheridan, I am not sure another town in Wyoming has such a vibrant main drag. Folks in that town really support their downtown. Kim Love has spent a lifetime helping businesses there and has spurred an amazing selection of amazing bronze statues up and down the streets. Even the side streets have original bronze statues.
Debbie Disney Pummel of Casper understands small towns. Her favorite local-owned stores in Casper range from big like Lou Taubert (one of my all-time favorites) to smaller places like Ugly Bug Fly Shop. She also lists Donells Candies, Cadillac Cowgirl, Fashion Crossroads, Mustard Seed, Gear Up and Get Out There, Toy Town, Merry Peddler, Grant Street Market, WY Shirt and Gift (another of my favorites), and the Metro Coffee Shop.
Wendy Corr is a Cody booster and touts Wyoming Buffalo Co., which will send out boxes of meats, cheeses, jams, and other goodies.
She also touts Cowtown Candy with an additive treat called Cowtown Crunch. Sounds yummy.
Cowboy State Daily Political Reporter Leo Wolfson likes Legends Bookstore and the Thistle Gift Shop (two of my favorites, too) in Cody. He also likes Cody Craft Brewing.
The Wyoming 307 Store is a great place in Cheyenne for local products. Along with that is the gift shop at the Wyoming State Museum. It is amazing.
Wyoming Whiskey always has some great offerings at Christmas as does the liqueurs made by Koltiska up in Sheridan.
Various Wyoming Cowboy gear is recommended by my brother Ron in Cheyenne, as our team prepares for a bowl game.
Retired publisher Holly Dabb always promotes Farson honey and Kronski’s sausages from Boschetto’s European Market in Rock Springs.
Former Wyoming Tourism Director Gene Bryan says “do not forget to mention Chugwater Chili! A true Wyoming institution.”
Please buy Wyoming books by the Michael and Kathleen Gear, CJ Box, Craig Johnson, Cat Urbigkit, Candy Moulton, Steve Horn, Mark Spragg, Karen Schutte, Mary Billiter, John Davis, Glenn Woods, and you can even find coffee table books by yours truly. Also check out your favorite local bookstores – they are just great. Some super ones are The Storyteller in Thermopolis, Sheridan Stationery, Whistle Stop in Douglas, Wind City Books in Casper, Messenger Girls in Lander, The Wandering Hermit in Wheatland, and Second Story Books in Laramie.
Andy Gramlich touts Wild Iris and Gannett Peak Sports in his home town of Lander. He suggests gift certificates to our locally-owned restaurants and coffee shops, too.
In Jackson Dina Mishev promotes Stio Shot 7 Parkas and Give’R gloves. She says both are her winter essentials. She also loves Fat Biking Pants and something she called Grateful Dead-inspired road biking kits.
These are just a few of the wonderful gifts available locally around Wyoming. Happy shopping and remember to also support those charities doing important work this season!