Philadelphia’s locally-owned small businesses need support all year long, not just during the year-end holidays. So, following the suggestions of our social media followers, Philadelphia City Council members and staff will be posting small business shopping recommendations throughout 2017.
Why should we support the city’s small businesses over, say drugstore chocolates and floral wire services for this Valentine’s Day? As a reminder:
- Small businesses reinvest in the surrounding neighborhood.
- Local shops donate more to local causes.
- Small businesses work together as a team to create energetic, unified neighborhoods.
True to our name, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection has more than a few small businesses that can help you celebrate Valentine’s Day, whether you’re looking for a romantic evening or a fun day with family and friends.
Like many entries on our #ShopPHL list, Oteri’s Italian Bakery is a small business calling upon multiple generations of family tradition. We list Oteri’s at the recommendation of the office of Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (9th District), though you can now find four locations of Oteri’s throughout Philadelphia, all serving cakes, pies, doughnuts, cannolis, cookies and other treats.
Stock’s Bakery has been selling their famous pound cake in Philly for five generations. What else is there to say? It’s Stock’s pound cake, you want some. (But call or check Facebook first since they often sell out. Because of course they do.)
Another long-time Philly favorite (90 years!), Swiss Haus Bakery specializes in both European-style cakes and pastries (strudel, sacher cake, etc.) and American favorites like cupcakes and muffins. Both the South Philadelphia and Old City locations double as cafés so you can dig into your treats right away.
35 S 19th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
No offense to the Pennsylvania-based Hershey’s intended but you can find great chocolate made a lot closer to home. Here are three great Philly-based small business options:
For chocolates that are as beautiful and detailed as they are delicious, check out Marcie Blaine Chocolates in Center City. These sweets are handmade and painted in a small kitchen located in the fashion boutique Verde. Staffers’ favorite flavors include the Liberty Bell (dark cacao and vanilla bean) and the Love Park (raspberry ganache). Those flavors combine chocolate made of organic cream from Lancaster County and ingredients from local farms.
Did you know that chocolates Gourmet magazine once called their favorites and placed on the cover of their Valentine’s issue are made right here in Philadelphia? Moreover, did you know that those chocolates are made using ingredients grown locally in neighborhood and school gardens? John and Kira’s make bars, toffees, caramels, and shaped chocolate assortments that make great gifts. If you missed them in the Dilworth Park Christmas Village this year, you can visit their website or find them at any of several local markets and retail locations throughout the city.
Family-owned and operated since 1980, Mueller Chocolate Company is a great Terminal Market stop for everything from chocolate covered cookies, pretzels and house-made peanut butter cups to unique hand-crafted shaped chocolates. Need a gavel for a lawyer friend? An anatomically-correct heart for a doctor? They’ve got it. Or they can make it.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Another recommendation from the office of Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, faithful customers call Paul Beale’s Flowers a “Philadelphia landmark.” This minority-owned shop has been serving the city and suburbs for over 40 years.
The Philadelphia Flower Co. is a great example of how skipping the floral wire services in favor of locally-owned personal service can pay off. At this Far Northeast shop, you work directly with the floral designer (who is also the owner) to get a truly custom arrangement, at your price point.
The office of Councilman David Oh (At Large) recommends Robertson’s Flowers, a family owned florist that has been serving Philadelphia since 1927 and grows most of its stock on three acres in nearby Wyndmoor.
Another recommendation from the office of Councilman David Oh, family-owned Panepinto Jewelers specializes in engagement rings, wedding rings, and watches, presented in a customer friendly, low-pressure environment.
Panepinto Jewelers | Directions
702 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Billed as a trip to “1930s Paris” in Chestnut Hill, the Paris Cafe specializes in classic French café fare and live jazz on the weekends, making it perfect for a romantic meal (and a lot cheaper than airfare to France). Check out their website for a schedule of upcoming performers and menu specials.
Suggested by Councilwoman Cherelle Parker and Councilman Derek Green (At Large), both of whom live in the area, West Oak Lane’s Relish is frequently named among the city’s best southern/soul food restaurants. Relish is a great option for a special brunch or dinner. Check their website for specials and live jazz events.
Vincent Thompson, host of Philadelphia Council Live, the live weekly broadcast of Council proceedings that airs on 900 am WURD, also weighed in with a brunch recommendation of his own. He suggests the Rose Petals Cafe in Germantown for brunch or lunch, specifically one of their 10 different waffle offerings!
Be sure to share your favorite local small business finds on social media throughout the year using the hashtag #ShopPHL.
Photo: K. Rankin for Visit Philly, used with permission.