By: Dr. Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS
'Tis the season to be jolly - and find the perfect gift for the loved ones in your life! But often, that's easier said than done. Online shopping makes it easier than ever to buy without long lines, but sometimes that happens at the expense of exploring items closer to home. Living in Germantown, and spending lots of time in Memphis, Cordova, and Collierville, we're lucky enough to have access to a huge offering of unique local businesses that have something to offer for every occasion. To encourage you to get out there and make the most of it, our favorite SCO shopaholics have put together a special holiday gift guide specifically for Memphians! Feel free to share this with your friends, suggest additions for next year's list, and definitely support local 901 businesses this Holiday season!
This local favorite enjoys a modest amount of fame, too, having served several well-known faces over the years, from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to Aerosmith and Senator Bill Frist. Their barbecue is consistently rated as some of the best in the country! They offer shirts and sauce samplers at their South Germantown Road location.
Central is another Memphis staple and has ranked in the Top 3 Memphis BBQ joints for over a decade. The restaurant has also been featured on several TV shows, including Pitmasters and BBQ with Bobby Flay. You can purchase various merchandise and seasonings at one of their three locations.
Phillip Ashley Chocolates
Handcrafted, small batch chocolates made by a designer chocolatier? Yes, please! Chef Phillip Ashley Rix is known internationally for his creative take on traditional luxury chocolate, and has been named as one of the best chocolatiers in America by TasteTV. Their studio in the historic Cooper Young district offers gift certificates as well as a wide range of designer chocolates and seasonal collections.
Looking for something beyond BBQ? What about Memphis's "Best Burger" (according to Memphis Magazine)? This quirky local favorite has a huge menu of burgers and sandwiches, and offers great brews and live music at locations all over the city. They have gift cards, seasonings, and apparel available for purchase.
The Mighty Olive
A store dedicated to olive oil? We know it sounds weird. But these are artisan olive oils and vinegars! Over 50 different varieties, in fact, and you can sample and compare every one of them before you buy. With premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from all around the world, you're sure to find something here for the cooking aficionado in your life.
Gifts For Her
Located in the upscale Shops of Saddle Creek, this unique jewelry store allows you to touch and try on the merchandise, as well as design your own meaningful pieces. They also offer a huge selection of beautiful gifts for under $100.
Another Shops of Saddle Creek boutique, this little gem carries fashion forward clothing and also specializes in designer denim, carrying 12 lines you aren't likely to find anywhere else. In spite of its boutique status, Indigo has holiday gifts starting at under $25.
More than Words
Did you guess this next one was going to be another Shops of Saddle Creek location? You win! What can we say, we love it. More Than Words bills itself as having "Germantown's Most Unique Gifts," and we can't say we disagree! They're an authorized Pandora dealer, and also stock candles, bath supplies, books, and accessories. It was voted the #1 gift boutique by Memphis' Most, so you're guaranteed to find something special here.
Located on Houston Levee near Poplar (and our Collierville office!), Bella Vitta is one of the top-rated gift shops in Memphis. There are plenty of luxury items to choose from, like jewelry and scarves, as well local art, pottery, candles and decor. And if you've got a lady in your life who watches way too much HGTV, be sure to check out their beautiful home collection.
A one stop contemporary boutique that specializes in the latest in women's fashion, More Therapy doesn't stop there. They also stock handmade soaps, candles, jewelry, and many other one of a kind items. Conveniently located on Poplar Avenue, "It's not shopping, it's retail therapy!" is their tagline for a reason!
Gifts For Him
Conveniently located on Houston Levee, Kinnucan's is one of Memphis's premier outdoor and lifestyle stores, perfect for the guy in your life who loves to camp, hunt, or fish. They also have a large selection of college wear, and plenty of cold weather gear now that we seem to finally be having a winter.
It might have a reputation for being a store that grandmothers love, but with personalized items like flasks, decanters, and lighters, Things Remembered offers some really lovely options for men, especially if you're looking for something special for husbands or fathers. They have two convenient locations in Memphis, one at the Wolfchase Galleria and another at Carriage Crossing.
Although this isn't a Memphis-specific store, it is the only J. Crew in the city, located in the Shops of Saddle Creek. The brand is well known for its upscale men's clothing and accessories.
Oak Hall is one of the oldest family-owned businesses in America, and we're lucky enough to have its flagship store right here on Poplar Avenue in Memphis. Timeless style is key at Oak Hall, whether it's the upscale fashion on offer, or accessories such as premier shaving supplies, sunglasses, and designer pens.
Another popular Poplar Avenue offering, Vineyard Vines features preppy clothing, designer sports shirts, and polos and knits with the landlocked sailor in mind. They also have their own gift guide with selections starting at under $50.
Gifts For The Kids
The American Girl of stuffed animals, Build-A-Bear is adored by kids everywhere, and we have two Memphis locations to choose from: one at Wolfchase Galleria and another at Carriage Crossing. From the old teddy bear standbys to brand new character plushes, children love to create their own furry friend, so gift certificates are a great choice here. There are also oodles of outfits and accessories if the tiny tot in your life already has a special stuffed someone.
The Village Toy Maker
This old fashioned toy store is chock full of cool things for kids. Located on Poplar Avenue, The Village Toy Maker has all the major brands you'd expect to find in the bigger box stores, plus a large selection of unique items you'd have a hard time finding anywhere else. Dress up, wooden trains, paper dolls are just some of the specialties you can expect here - and since they're open seven days a week, you can pop in anytime to take a look around!
Itty Bitty Bella
The little sister store to Bella Vitta, Itty Bitty Bella has all kinds of high-end treats for babies and children, from newborn essentials to unique toys and clothing. They're conveniently located two doors down from Bella Vitta, so you can knock two shopping trips out in one go!
We are proud of our "little" zoo, which has been ranked as the best in the country more than once and is consistently in the top 10. With its multiple unique attractions and 3500 species, it's hard to take it all in in one day, which is why a membership is the perfect gift that keeps on giving! And don't forget the many gift shops within the zoo grounds - they're full of whimsical and wonderful items for any age.
Children's Museum of Memphis (CMOM)
CMOM is hugely popular with Memphis families, and with good reason! With numerous hands-on exhibits to choose from, outdoor play areas, a splash pad for warmer weather, and multiple programs and events throughout the year, gifting a membership will ensure endless hours of exploring and fun. CMOM also has a fantastic gift shop with many unique items.
We know Amazon Prime is the obvious choice for shopping in your pajamas, but we hope that this SCO gift guide will inspire you to venture out into Memphis and see a little of our beautiful, historic city. Lots of the places we've listed are very close to both our Germantown and Collierville offices, too, so if you find yourself nearby, we'd love for you to stop by and say hi!
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS