Support Local

The Midlands MagazineJanuary 30, 2023

From handmade to ethically sourced, we look at a few local stores worth supporting during our Christmas shopping.

What’s on your Christmas list this year? We know shopping for the best gifts, which will make everyone happy in your life, can be pretty stressful, especially if it needs to be ordered online or sent from another outlet – what if it gets lost in the mail or the online store is a scam? What if Christmas shopping can be really easy? Shopping locally allows you to buy unique gifts for those you love while supporting business owners right here. We have asked six local business owners about their shops and what gifts they are offering that will be ideally suited for the festive season, whether you are buying for a 12 or 70-year-old.


The Ellenbird

Christmas is an extra special time at The Ellenbird, which is located at 2 Quarry Road in Hilton. The shop is transformed into a wonderland of festive décor, stocking fillings, special gifts, and delicious treats and with over 100 suppliers there is something for everyone. From homemade toys, garden games, beautifully thought out and crafted gifts, a thank you for that special teacher, gifts for dads, stuff for boys, and pretty and glittery for girls. The perfect Christmas outfits, whether it’s rainy or hot, and jewellery to dress it up. The smell of freshly-made mince pies coming from the kitchen, mixed with the boxes of shortbread, and fruitcakes on the table will make your mouth water, and knowing you can also get them gluten-free will hopefully add some cheer for those who always have to miss out. There is table décor to be the envy of all, Christmas wreaths, crackers, stockings, bags, and even Christmas jerseys! Incredible fondant cake toppers, delicious chocolates, and fudge for that extra sweet tooth. If you are Christmas crazy and looking for something special and affordable, visit The Ellenbird – it is a treasure trove. The longer you stay, the more you will find! The shop is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, and Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm.


The Old Creamery

The Rosslands Farm is situated along Caversham Road, about 4km down the road on the left, which is also located The Old Creamery (a converted dairy) and the Lidgetton’s Crafter’s Guild,  a home industry shop. As an upliftment centre, it was started by Lynette and Eddie Lion-Cachet in 2019 and did not operate during the worst of   but soon started up again when the lockdown eased. Various ladies from the community, some in their 20s to their 90s, have been coming together to create handcrafted products that they sell to supplement their income.

From sewing, looming, and crocheting, you will be able to buy a unique never-before-made gift here. There are dinner mats, tablecloths, handbags, denim bags, mohair scarves, baby clothes, children’s jerseys, hats, patchwork picnic blankets, crocheted rugs, bath mats, and toilet sets, you name it, and they probably have it. In addition, there are also other items, from books to bottled goods like jams, marmalade, apple jelly, quince jam, and more. New additions are constantly being added to the shop and visitors are urged to come and have a look. The shop is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm, and can also be opened by appointment. It is run by the ladies who do the sewing, knitting and looming.

The Old Creamery  (Facebook)


Taste Buds Farm Stall

Situated along the Dargle main road, come and enjoy the amazing views, space, and tranquillity whilst enjoying a delicious meal, a great cup of coffee, and even a bit of festive season shopping. Taste Buds Farm Stall is pet friendly for your beloved fur balls to enjoy the surroundings whilst you tick off a few items on your Christmas list!  There is not much that you cannot find here at Taste Buds as it holds the finest range of local products from the pantry to the freezer to cakes and braais as well as gifts and clothing.  Also a fantastic setting for small year-end holiday functions that you may need and will cater to all your needs with their amazing warm friendly service and Midlands hospitality.  It is a definite “MUST” and has doors open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 4 pm, Fridays from 9 am to 4 pm, and then Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 3 pm.  Plenty of time to browse this great gem that holds so many festive delights.


Taste Buds Farm Stall (Facebook)


Scarecrows Gifts & Antiques

Situated on the R103, Nottingham Road, Scarecrows Gifts & Antiques offers a variety of “bright” and “quirky” locally-made homeware, bath and body products for men and women, and an assortment of personalised gifts. Some of the items that would make lovely Christmas gifts include crossbody and weekender bags, scarves, beautiful wallets for the ladies, as well as a plethora of fun accessories like toys, puzzles, and stationery. For the men, there are braai caddies and accessories as well as biltong boxes, among so much more to choose from. Christmas gifts include the wildlife Christmas range, earrings, tree decor, Christmas cards, as well as other items like scatter cushions, table runners, and ceramics. The shop also sells cheese and serving boards. If you have no ideas there are also gift hampers available suited to any age and gender. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm.

Scarecrows Gifts and Antiques (Facebook)


Flowers & Leaves

You can find them at Shop 4B in the Piggly Wiggly Country Village in Lion’s River. The scents from their various (ethically sourced) plant oils fill the surrounding area with uplifting fragrances. The products are handmade and the ingredients are all intentionally chosen to create a selection of essential oil collections, from Lavender, Tea Tree, Ylang-Ylang, and more. There are also different bath salts available, from “Cedarwood, Vanilla & Bergamot” to “Rejuvenating Lavender, Lemon & Rosemary”. Other items from their collections include scented candles, wax melts, linen and room sprays, foam bath, a hugely popular body butter, body balm, and palm oil soap made with RSPO-certified palm oil, among others!  The Flowers & Leaves products are presented with a modern, herbal apothecary sensibility and are suited to various tastes and styles, for men and women. There are also gift vouchers available as well as the option to place orders online. The shop is open Monday to Sunday, from 9 am to 4 pm.

Flowers & Leaves (Facebook)


Eclectic Magpie

Also located at the Piggly Wiggly Country Village, Eclectic Magpie has gifts for absolutely everyone – from toddlers to tweens, to 99s! There are varieties of high-quality toys from the Die Spiegelburg brand, from dinosaurs, horses, and sharks, to princesses and pirates. Other toys include Playmobil sets, from cars, helicopters, and robots, to princess castles and country fun. Other items include young kiddies’ musical instruments, stationery, puzzles, games, plush toys, and more! There are also other gifts like lap trays, jewellery, and various accessories. “Pocket money items” are also available to fill those Christmas stockings, and if you really don’t know what your loved ones will enjoy, gift vouchers are available. The shop is open Monday to Sunday, from 9 am to 4 pm.

Eclectic Magpie (Facebook)


Words by: Alicia du Plessis