Hi. My name is Rachel and I LOVE Ohio. Like, I really, truly, have a passion for my home state. We produce amazing people, products, and industry. I always try to buy as local as possible, but it’s especially important for me at this time of year. There are just so many local options from amazing creators right here in Northeast Ohio.

Not sure where to start knocking off your holiday gifts? I’ve rounded up my favorite local ideas below!


Pope’s Kitchen Bloody Mary Mix. 

I am a recent convert to the Bloody Mary. The spicy aroma has always been something that has reminded me of my grandmother. But Pope’s Kitchen puts a fresh, local, and extra spicy spin on the traditional bloody mary. When I was pregnant with Remy I used to just drink the mix straight up (I had a craving for spicy!).

Find it in any local Market District or order online here ($12/32 oz.).

Coffee from Akron Coffee Roasters.

Want fresh, locally-roasted coffee? Look no further than S. High Street in Akron! Their love for their coffee and the roasting process is evident in each pour over they serve.

Their coffees are available online for purchase to ship directly to your loved ones, or you can go right into their store on South High Street (and then head over to The Nightlight to catch a flick!). (from $12/10 oz.)

Middlebury Butter from Akron Honey Company. 

Akron Honey is a family operated, artisan honey company, and they have recently opened up a brick and mortar store at the Northside Marketplace in Downtown Akron. I’ve personally tasted all of their honey, but the Middlebury Butter remains my favorite. I put it on everything — bread, apples, you name it!

It can currently be found at a variety of pop up markets (like the Cleveland Flea, Crafty Mart, etc) and their store in Northside Marketplace.

The Vitamix Ascent Series A3500. 

Vitamix is the leader in culinary blenders and food processors — and they are also a local Ohio company, with their headquarters located in Olmsted Falls!

Their products are produced, manufactured, and distributed here locally — and for those of us in Northeast Ohio, that means we’re lucky enough to get the first peak at new products! This past year I received the A3500 and was able to get rid of my old Vitamix. Let me tell you, this new version is incredible and so easy to use!

You can pick one up in their local store in Solon or online here (A3500 $549.99).

A Family Membership to the Akron Zoo.

With the slogan “You’ve never been this close,” the folks at the Akron Zoo truly mean it! The zoo itself is the perfect size to take children of all ages for a few hours or an all day excursion. The recently renovated exhibits are absolutely stunning! And members are able to get discount admission on events ranging from Brew at the Zoo to Wild Lights!

Order a family membership online here or pick one up on-location in Akron (Family Membership, $80/year).

Tickets for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The CVSR, operated wholly by volunteers, leaves either the Rockside Station in Independence or the Northside Station in Akron. You can hop on with a round-trip ticket or bike one way and take it one way back! Besides just regular train rides, the CVSR offers a variety of special events, such as The Polar Express and Ales On Rails!

Not sure when your recipient would like to go? The CVSR offers gift certificates in denominations ranging from $15 – $150 and can be purchased by calling 800-468-4070 x 1.

Shirts from The Social Dept.

We have a lot of options when it comes to local t-shirts here in Northeast Ohio. My favorites, by far, come from the Social Department. Located in my town of Cuyahoga Falls, they offer an eclectic variety of Midwest apparel.

Their sizes range from kids to adults, so no one will be left out! My personal faves are this Cleveland Indians shirt (which I bought for my husband last year) and this Go Local Sports Team shirt (which I should totally have because, sports!).

You can visit them in store at their Front Street location in Cuyahoga Falls, Tuesday through Sunday, or you can order online here  with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve if you order by December 18th (Prices range from $22+ but gift certificates available in $10+).

Growler of the Month Club at HiHo Brewing Co. 

Located right next door to The Social Department, HiHo Brewing Company is a welcomed addition to Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls this last year. And their beers are incredible, too! Former teachers turned craft brewers, Ali and Jon, have turned this spot into one of Northeast Ohio’s most popular breweries!

They offer a range of beer, from blond ales to stouts, and tapas style food options. Don’t know what you want? Try a flight!

Open Wednesday through Sunday, you can purchase the gift of their Growler A Month Club or just a plain old gift card! (Growler of the month: $180 – includes growler and punch card for 12 fills; gift cards available in all denominations).

The Gift of Play from Café O’Play in Stow.

Café O’Play, located in Stow right off of Route 8, is a safe and fun indoor play place for kids ages crawlers through tweens! They offer climbing activities for young and old, as well as a special toddler-only zone for a safe-space for those who are just past the crawling stage, 7-days a week.

In addition to being a safe place to play, owners John and Carolyn make sure that parents feel like they have a partner in this parenting journey. Sure, it’s not all fun and games, but they make it easy for the kids to have fun while the adults can (kind of) sit back and relax a bit on the café side!

You can purchase gift cards in person or online here (gift cards available in denominations of $25, $50, and $100).

There are so many more options that I could go into — soap from Saint Augustine and Suds; tickets to Playhouse Square; hot sauce from Not Yo’ Daddy’s; just to name a few!

Not from Northeast Ohio and still not sure what all of the fuss is about?!? Well how about this for a reason — Cleveland was recently ranked #14 in the 21 places you need to visit by none other than National Geographic! So get your butt to Northeast Ohio and see exactly why I’m freaking out about where I live all of the time!


{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna December 11, 2017 at 7:53 am

I’m up in MN, but this is such a fun list! I’ll have to send it to my friend who goes to Ohio State!


Anna December 11, 2017 at 8:05 am

Thanks for sharing your ideas for Christmas presents. I haven’t even started looking for them, as always I’ll probably leave it for the last minute… but it’s good to get some ideas! It will definitely make my shopping easier.


Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine December 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

What a fun local gift guide!


Leslie December 11, 2017 at 1:27 pm

You have put together the real Ohio cream of the crop in gift ideas! Makes we want to visit Ohio.


Kate December 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Great roundup of local gift ideas!


Britney Kaufman December 11, 2017 at 11:11 pm

That cafe and railroad looks awesome! How fun!


ashley peavey December 12, 2017 at 1:01 am

These look so fun! I love supporting local 🙂


Katie Tabor December 12, 2017 at 5:26 pm

I’m not local but a Vitamix is definitely on my Christmas wish list 🙂 Awesome list, I wish the honey butter was sold online, it looks amazing!


Miriam @butstillbreathing December 12, 2017 at 5:27 pm

What a fantastic idea! I’m in Texas, not Ohio, but making a list of local products is wonderful! Kudos to you for the research and care to you took to put together this post.


Stephanie December 12, 2017 at 7:48 pm

I love fun, local gifts! Such a good idea!


Sharon Glascoe December 12, 2017 at 7:55 pm

I love local gift guides. The Middlebury Butter sounds really good.


jaclyn December 12, 2017 at 8:59 pm

Great round up of all things Ohio! I love Pope’s mixes too! My parents love taking the kids to the Akron Zoo.


Becca December 12, 2017 at 9:07 pm

Oooh! I lovelovelove the idea of creating a gift guide using local shops in your area, that’s so fantastic… kicking myself for not thinking of it! 🙂 also… that butter looks like something I need in my life, too bad I’m not in Ohio!


Shannon | Shannie Chic December 12, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Love the concept of a local gift guide! Great finds!


Raina December 13, 2017 at 1:01 am

I love how you’ve found all these great local gifts! Also I desperately want a vitamix!


Crystal @EatDrinkCLE December 13, 2017 at 9:54 am

Great list!! I really want to try that honey butter. And we still need to plan a date at Hi Ho…maybe when you can finally drink again! haha


Carly December 13, 2017 at 12:33 pm

I’m from Ohio, too! Northeast Ohio, actually. These are great gift ideas!


Bee December 13, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Wow what I great list! That honey butter looks AMAZING 🙂


John Green December 13, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Rachel, thanks for giving Cafe O’Play a shout out on your list! I thought I’d return the favor so, for you and readers of your blog only I’ve added a special discount of $5 off a child admission to our Noon Year’s Eve party on December 31st. Go to this URL: https://noonyears2017.eventbrite.com to register and use the discount code of ItsAHero to get $5 off that child’s ticket. Always great to have you and the kiddos visit. Hope you have a great holiday.
John Green
Owner, Cafe O’Play


Merichelle December 14, 2017 at 10:18 pm

I LOVE myVitamix!! AndI love your passion for your home state and buying local! I feel the same way about my home state too!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: