Baltimore Gift Guide: Local Goods by Baltimore Makers
Where to shop for the best only-in-Baltimore gifts for everyone on your list.
Ready to shop till you drop? We’ve got plenty of recommendations for all your gift-giving needs, even if it’s just to yourself. Whether you’re looking for home goods, skin care or tasty treats, you’ll find a thoughtful souvenir here. Take home a piece of Baltimore made by a local as a memento of your time in Charm City.
Home Decor, Furniture & Goods
This artisanal candle company makes all natural, hand poured soy candles with classic scents. Browse KSM Candle Co.’s selection, which includes other home goods and apparel, at the shop in Woodberry, or sign up to make your own your own wax and custom fragrance in under an hour.
Hand-poured in Baltimore, 228 Grant St. Candle Co. soy candles come in soothing scents like sea salt and orchid, cedar and vanilla and Meyer lemon and lavender. You can find them at the Maryland Center for History and Culture shop, Flourish in Charles Village and The Baltimore Museum of Art, among others.
The custom and ready-made cutting and serving boards by Words With Boards might have been featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things, but they’re most at home in their Hampden studio. Look for whimsical wooden pieces with sayings like “pig out” or “happy hour.” Plan in advance and you’ve got the perfect wedding or housewarming gift, complete with your loved one’s name(s).
Show someone how they light up your life by gifting a one-of-a-kind light fixture from La Loupe Design. Inspired by the ideas of observation and discovery (“la loupe” is French for “magnifying glass”), Jorgelina Lopex and Marco Duenas create pieces that combine traditional craft and contemporary design. From origami-style and knit pendant lamps to intimate wall embroideries, these fixtures are like nothing you’ve seen before.
Aromatherapy and Skincare
SoBotanical is the only custom aromatherapy bar in the Baltimore region with 100% pure and genuine essential oils that are grown free of chemicals. Founded by certified aromatherapist Theresa Cangialosi, the shop also offers hand-crafted skin, hair and pet care products. Stop in the shop in Federal Hill to purchase ready-made blends or create your own custom mix of personalized essential oils.
Shop B. Willow‘s collection of indoor houseplants and flowers, specifically tropicals, succulents, cacti and air plants. Get everything you need for an indoor oasis, including all kinds of planters, candles and other local goods. The shop in Remington also offers plant care and terrarium building workshops.
Know someone who wants a garden but isn’t too excited about all the physical strain? Urban Roots Company seed bombs are the way to go. Flower seeds and compacted compost form colorful “bombs.” Toss, water and watch them grow. Available at the art supply store at MICA (the Maryland Institute College of Art), which features plenty of onsite galleries.
Stationary & Paper Goods
The writer in your life is always in need of a new journal. Buy them one that’s truly special from Drama MaMa Bookshop. Find hardcover or wooden journals with tribal designs, nods to local rowhouse architecture or inspirational quotes by powerful Black women like Audre Lord. Order your own custom design, or learn how to make a notebook yourself with a virtual “wine and bind” class.
Get colorful letterpress cards, in city-inspired or floral motif designs, by Tiny Dog Press, a woman-owned studio. Buy a pack for that friend who loves writing letters, or send with your own notes inside. Find them at Love That on Belvedere Avenue, The Baltimore Museum of Industry gift shop and Chase Street Accessories & Engraving in Mount Vernon.
Clothes, Jewelry & Accessories
“Create and Conquer” is the message of Creative King, a brand specializing in handmade headwear and limited apparel including t-shirts and bags. Most of the pieces are upcycled and reworked, created from vintage denim, silk, workout gear, swim trunks or bags. The bold, bright colors are sure to make a statement.
Artist Alison Fomich, owner of Tigerlillyshop jewelry, is “finding the place where nature meets the city,” creating jewelry and accessories from recycled textiles and items collected in parks and gardens around Baltimore. Look for one-of-kind pieces like a pressed cicada wing necklace, necklaces made from acorns dipped in sterling silver, and hair ties created from buttons covered in vintage Japanese kimono fabric. Look for Tigerlillyshop at Mount Vernon Marketplace.
If vintage styles are what you’re looking for, we have plenty of options in Charm City. Find some of our favorite vintage stores.
Sweets, Spirits & Edible Goods
Hex Ferments uses the traditional method of fermentation to preserve and transform local, organic produce into nourishing foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha. Hex is committed to reducing waste and allows you to refill your empties for a discounted price. Find Hex at Belvedere Square Market and other locations around the city.
Charm City Chocolate is a retro modern candy shop in Hampden. Take home handcrafted chocolates like peanut chews, spicy almond bark with cayenne pepper, chocolate crabs, or Old Bay-tinged Chesapeake Crunch, just to name a few.
Based on a family recipe, Mouth Party Caramel features only simple ingredients like butter, sugar, sea salt and heavy cream—nothing you can’t pronounce. Buy bags of individually wrapped candies with special Baltimore flavors like the Old Bay-infused Chesapeake flavor.
Natasha Wainwright is a Baltimore native with a passion for creating sweet treats in her hometown. Natasha’s Just Brittle features sweet, (sometimes) nutty, crunchy treats, like turtle pretzels, caramel brittle crunch and Muddy Buddy Bites. She even holds weekend brittle-making classes at her storefront in northeast Baltimore.
MFG Toffee owner Kathy Nelson keeps it simple with small-batch English walnut toffee. MFG stands for “Maryland’s Finest and Greatest” Toffee. So good that even a priest once said, “I’m not sharing this.” Find it at: Eddie’s of Roland Park, Cheese Galore & More, and Culinary Architecture.
Spend a Saturday afternoon touring the veteran-owned Old Line Spirits distillery in Highlandtown, and bring home a bottle of their signature single malt whiskey. Mark McLaughlin and Arch Watkins met in the Navy flying EA-6B Prowlers. More than a decade later they decided to launch their own craft distillery. Take a tour with a complimentary tasting, and enjoy a cocktail at the Ready Room, the distillery’s bar.
In Port Covington, Sagamore Spirit is distilling new bottles of whiskey every day at their facility, which is open for tours and comes complete with a gift shop. Grab a bottle of their award-winning signature rye and pair it with whiskey BBQ sauce or whiskey cherries and a whiskey-inspired candle.
Coffee and Tea
In Baltimore, Zeke’s Coffee is a morning staple. You can enjoy a cup at area restaurants and delis, or share the flavor with friends by buying a bag to take home. Just look for the sign in the window to see if they are “Powered by Zeke’s.”
Priding themselves on sustainable sourcing, Thread Coffee Roasters was recently named the best coffee in Maryland by Food and Wine magazine. You can visit their cafe at in Station North to try a cup or to pick up a bag of their “community supported” coffee to savor the flavor at home.
Founded and run by a brother-sister team, Wight Tea Company features handcrafted tea blends, such as Fireside Fig, Smoked Chai, or Maryland Mint. Find it at their stall in Whitehall Market, at B. Willow in Remington, Su Casa in Fell’s Point, or Greedy Reads in Remington or Fell’s Point.
Looking to enjoy a cup of joe while you’re here? Check out some of the best coffee and tea shops in the city.