Maybe you need to find a gift for someone who has everything. Or perhaps you’re tired of presenting gift cards to the mall year after year.
We hear you. That’s why we scoured the region for out-of-the-box crowd-pleasers for the 2015 holiday season.
The North Fork offers plenty of options for unique, artisanal items and memorable experiences for people of all ages. Here are 10 unique gifts to help you finish your list.
GROWLER OF THE MONTH CLUB
A beer of the month club from a North Fork brewery sounds like a no-brainer for the holidays and Moustache Brewing Co.’s growler of the month club is the program that keeps on giving.
“Basically, the way it works is they buy the membership for $150 upfront,” explained Moustache co-owner Lauri Spitz. “With that they get an empty growler to start and a punch card for the year. So every month they come in with their growler and their card, they’ll get a growler full of pretty much anything. Once in a while we have an exclusion, but there haven’t been that many.”
But the program doesn’t stop there: Members also receive $1 off each additional growler, a free pint on their birthday and 10 percent off all merchandise.
While you can buy a Moustache growler of the month gift at the brewery or online, there’s only one way to claim it.
“You still have to come in and get your growler, “ Spitz said. “We won’t ship them.”
For more information, visit moustachebrewing.com/gotmclub/.
Moustache Brewing Co. is located at 400 Hallett Ave. in Riverhead. Call (631) 591-3250.
DRIFTWOOD SIGNS FROM COAST
This Southold shop has a gift so unique that no two are the same: a handmade sign displaying the longitude and latitude of a specific address.
According to Coast owner and artist Maggie Merrill, they’re the store’s most popular item.
“I’ll take someone’s address and look up the coordinates, so it’s the actual pinpointed numbers on the map,” she said.
Merrill has been painting signs for at least 15 years, selling them at shops like White Flower Farmhouse. Three years ago, she opened Coast, which also sells items made by local artisans including jewelry, artwork and furniture.
“Being out here on the North Fork, I feel there’s an appreciation for things that are local and real and handcrafted, and people value that. I want to share what’s out there and there’s a lot of talented people out there,” she said.
Merrill hand-paints her signs on reclaimed pieces of barn wood or driftwood she finds on the beach. She also paints smaller signs of local towns, or fun quotes.
“I charge three dollars a letter and people can also bring their own piece of wood. That’s even better; then I don’t have to go traipsing to find it,” she joked. “Not that I mind walking on the beach; it’s not a hard job.”
Coast is located at 53965 Main Road in Southold and is open Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (631) 876-5477.
SOUTHOLD FISH MARKET TEES
There are T-shirts and then there are T-shirts.
Southold Fish Market’s T-shirts are part of a 25-year tradition owner Charlie Manwaring started when he was a student at Greenport High School.
“I was 14 when I started making these shirts,” he said. “We silk-screened them in class. We’ve changed the style from years ago, but it’s basically been the same for 25 years.”
Now made professionally, these shirts are still making a name for themselves.
“Our shirts are everywhere,” Manwaring said. “We get people all the time saying, ‘We were in Florida and saw your shirt,’ or in Hawaii. One was spotted in Trinidad last winter, so that’s pretty cool.”
From standard colors like navy and black to orange and yellow and even tie-dyed, there’s a color for every personality.
Made with 100 percent cotton, the shirts come in all sizes, including toddlers for $8, children for $10 and adults for $14. Southold Fish Market baseball cap are also available for $15 each.
Southold Fish Market is located 64755 Route 25 in Southold. Call (631) 765-3200.
ALTMAN’S KNITTING CLASSES
Have a knitter or sewer in your life but aren’t sure what to get them? Stop by Altman’s Needle and Fiber Arts and that problem will disappear.
The Mattituck shop’s shelves are stocked with supplies like needles, yarn, notions, detergent and thread, as well as crafted goods including pillows, blankets and pot holders.
Owner Kate Altman knows that sometimes what a knitter needs to finish a project is a second set of eyes, which is why the store also offers numerous classes and private lessons. The instructional classes cost between $25 and $100 and are open to anyone age seven and up.
“The reason people come here is for expert advice, fine quality materials and community,” Altman said. “Taking classes is fun. You learn a useful skill and you meet nice people.”
The shop offers sewing, knitting, crochet, needlepoint and embroidery lessons to people of all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. Gift cards are also available and you could always get one for yourself to ensure the present you’re making for a loved one has a little extra expertise.
Altman’s Needle and Fiber Arts is located at 195 Love Lane in Mattituck. Call (631) 298-7181.
THE WEATHERED BARN TERRARIUMS
Anything you grab from The Weathered Barn in Greenport would make a standout gift, but we are especially smitten with their boxed, hanging and aqua terrariums.
There’s the handmade branch planter with turtle vine ($22), which would make a handsome addition to anyone’s work space. Then there’s the lovely Marimo moss ball aqua terrarium, which features a green ball floating in a pool of water. (Prices vary.)
“It’s sort of like bringing the outdoors in, especially going into colder weather,” said Weathered Barn co-owner Rena Wilhelm. “It gives people who like planting a chance to have an indoor garden. And these are easy-maintenance plants. They’re for anybody who has a black thumb.”
The terrariums range from $10 to $45 and make great gifts for friends or co-workers.
The Weathered Barn is located at 41 Front St. in Greenport. Call 631-477-6811.
NORTH FORK ROASTING CO. GIFT PACKS
North Fork Roasting Co., which makes our favorite coffee around, will offer coffee and candle gift packs this holiday season.
The candles, which are made with SerendipiTEA tea leaves (the tea is available at the coffee shop) comes in delicious scents like fireside and apple jack. The candles are made by Fire and Gold, owner Cory Browne of Greenport.
The rich coffee and yummy scented candles might come in handy if you’re wondering what to get your child’s teacher.
“I think these are great gifts for this time of year,” said North Fork Roasting Co. co-owner Jess Dunne. Price is to be determined.
North Fork Roasting Co. is located at 55795 Main Road in Southold. Call (631) 876-5450.
BROWDER’S BIRDS HERITAGE WOOL
Stay warm and toasty on those cold winter days with these knitted accessories made from Cotswold sheep at Browder’s Birds organic poultry farm in Mattituck.
Milled and woven on vintage looms in New York State, the lovely items include a beret ($175), cowl scarf ($175), cable knit leg warmers ($100), fingerless gloves ($75) and a headband with suede tie ($75).
There are also heritage blankets, which measure 52” by 72” and retail for $400. Those luxurious throws are “farm chic” and will add a homey, country feel to your living room or bedroom.
Plus, they’ll last forever.
“Even though they are light, they’re actually super warm,” said
Browder’s Birds is located at 4050 Soundview Ave. in Mattituck. Call (631) 477-6523.
NORTH FORK ONESIES
For the littlest recipients on your list, a North Fork onesie designed by East Marion resident Jackie McKee will help instill a lifelong sense of NoFo pride.
The tiny T-shirts come in two sizes: 0 to 6 months and 6 to 12 months. The hand-stamped items feature the word “North” overlaid on a green “N” above a vertical fork.
“I do a lot of North Fork items that are hand-stamped and I thought it would be nice to have something for babies,” McKee said.
The shirts make a great gift for expectant parents or for a baby’s first Christmas. They are available at Verbena in Greenport ($21) and also through Local Lure at Orient Linen Company in Orient.
Verbena is located at 123 Main St. in Greenport. Call (631) 477-4080.
Orient Linen Company is at 1050 Village Lane in Orient. Call (631) 702-3306 for holiday season hours.
AROMATHERAPY FROM NORTH FORK NATURAL
Know anyone in need of a little self-care? The aromatherapy oils, lotions, sprays and soaps at North Fork Natural in Cutchogue are sure to lift someone’s mood — especially during the hectic and oft-draining holiday season.
“The smell doesn’t linger, but the effect it has on the emotional part of your brain lasts a while,” said owner and certified aromatherapist Fernanda Menegassi-Lojac, who makes most of the store’s items. “It helps to balance emotion and release stress and anxiety.”
For $20 and up, North Fork Natural will also prepare customized gift baskets. Some of our favorite scents include bergamot, cedar wood, lavender and lemon.
North Fork Natural is located at 28080 Main Road in Cutchogue. Call (631) 229-7485.
NORTH FORK CHOCOLATE GIFT BOX
You can rarely go wrong with a box of rich, decadent chocolate made with care by a North Fork chef.
At North Fork Chocolate Co. in Aquebogue, you can either select a pre-arranged holiday gift box, which has the benefit of a card identifying the chocolates, or you can select your own candies for your assortment.
Some of the favorite holiday pieces include Rough Rider Bourbon, made with liquor from Long Island Spirits, hazelnut and Grand Marnier Truffle.
What do you get from the locally made chocolates that you can’t get from candies purchased at a big box store? For one, local flavors and better ingredients, said chef and co-owner Steve Amaral.
“It’s our own recipe that no one can duplicate,” said Amaral’s partner, Ann Corley. “It’s locked in Steve’s head.”
A gift box of 12 assorted chocolates is $26 and a box of 24 is $49. The boxes will be available through January
North Fork Chocolate is located at 740 Main Road in Aquebogue. Call (631) 599-4944 for more info.