The holiday season is upon us. During this time, your patronage is a welcome gift for locally-owned businesses. You might not realize it, but every time you pick up a cup of coffee from your favorite neighborhood cafe or buy a gift from a local artist’s online store, you’re shopping small and making a difference.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving – November 27 this year – has come to be known as Small Business Saturday, a great way to focus on supporting our hard-working small business owners. Plus, supporting small invigorates the local economy. For every dollar spent at a small business, approximately 67 cents stays in the local community. So, when you support small businesses, you can help create a big impact.
According to data recently compiled by AMEX, more than 60 percent of consumers surveyed agree they have spent more on wellness products in 2021 than they did a year ago. So, for this year’s Small Business Saturday, we’re showcasing local establishments that can help you eat healthy, get fit, find a creative outlet and, most importantly, take a little time for yourself.
Grab a Bite at a Local Restaurant
We have no shortage of unique, local restaurants to frequent all season (and year) long. And of course, gift cards are a great way to show your support and spread the love. Here are just a few to get you thinking about your next meal:
With three locations in Omaha, Blue Sushi is bound to be just a short drive away. Besides lots of yummy sushi options, you’ll find vegan and gluten-free options—and even Bento boxes for the kids. But Blue Sushi is thinking beyond the creative, fresh sushi on your plate. The restaurant wants to make a positive impact on our Earth and oceans. With their Conscious Earth program, Blue Sushi has committed to responsibly sourcing their seafood and respecting our Earth’s ecosystems, both land and sea—this includes keeping animal welfare a top priority.
Hook & Lime
Hook & Lime, located in North Downtown, serves up some of the freshest Mexican cuisine in Omaha. The restaurant makes everything in house—from fresh corn tortillas to house-made, slow-cooked brisket. Their menu features several seafood dishes and vegan options (the Crispy Sweet Potato Vegan Tacos sound amazing). But, if you’re looking to unwind, you’ll definitely want to indulge in one of their nine margaritas (which have been voted Best in Omaha).
Located at Midtown Crossing, Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza’s pies stand out because of their unique and perfectly textured crust, with the flavor of seasoned oak. The restaurant takes freshness seriously—there’s no freezer in the kitchen. That means you’re guaranteed the freshest ingredients in “Made from Scratch” recipes. If you’re staying away from grains, try their cauliflower crust. Owners Dan and Maribeth Yaksich describe their pizza as “Simply the most flavorful pizza we’ve ever had.”
Find a Creative Outlet
Creative hobbies are a great way to destress and focus on something that “fills your cup.” There are plenty of places around town that are ready to spark your creativity.
Hot Shops Art Center
A magnet for creatives, Hot Shops hosts more than five dozen artists that have studio space in the north downtown complex. They offer workshops on everything from glassblowing to watercolors. If you’re less into making and more into acquiring, you can browse the work of some of Omaha’s most talented artists and complete your holiday shopping list with flair during Hot Shops’ Winter Open House December 4-5.
You can find supplies for just about every hobby and craft under the sun at family-owned Mangelsen’s. Gear up for cake decorating, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking and more at Omaha’s “go-to” for arts and crafts supplies since 1961. Start a new holiday tradition this year by making your own holiday decor and gifts. Jumpstart your holiday spirit in their year-round Christmas Traditions room where you’ll find trees decorated in the latest trends and gift options galore.
That Pottery Place
You can’t go wrong spending a few hours painting some pottery. Whether you choose a piggy bank or a serving plate, you can just relax and enjoy the process. Whatever your vision, creating it is fun and easy at That Pottery Place. Walk-ins and reservations are welcome.
Take Time for a Little Self-Care
If someone you know needs to blow off some steam, relax head-to-toe or be pampered, Omaha’s small businesses have you covered.
District Manager Mike Lake and the whole team at Planet Fitness Omaha (133rd Plaza) strive to create a workout environment where everyone feels accepted and respected. Open seven days a week, they take care to make sure their club is clean and welcoming; the staff is friendly; and their certified trainers are ready to help. If your body needs a break, the gym also offers hydromassage beds and massage chairs.
M. Vince Nail Spa
Whether you want to look your best (to the very tips of your toes) for holiday events or you just need a little pampering, then M. Vincé Nail Spa at One Pacific Place is a good place to start. The modern nail spa offers clients trendsetting, advanced nail care and beauty treatments. Besides their range of manicure and pedicure services, everything from eyelash extensions to back waxing can be found on M. Vincé’s menu. Plus, you can shop their line of original nail products that includes dipping powders, gel top coats and tools.
Aksarben Massage Associates
Becki Dahlhauser of Aksarben Massage Associates wants to help you achieve a higher level of health and wellbeing. Her and a team of other licensed massage therapists provide a variety of therapies—hot stone therapy, integrative massage, pre-natal/pregnancy massage, Swedish massage and more—from their location near 72nd and Pacific. So, just drive past the cookie shop and treat yourself in a healthier way this holiday season.