PREAMBLE BY CHRIS TIESSEN; PHOTOS BY CHRIS TIESSEN & CAI SEPULIS 

WHILE THE SLOGAN ‘SHOP LOCAL’ HAS BEEN A SORT OF CALL-TO-ARMS FOR COMMUNITY-MINDED WARRIORS FOR YEARS NOW, IT’S NEVER BEEN AS IMPORTANT AS IT IS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. AND IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER TO UNDERTAKE, TOO, WITH SO MANY GLORIOUS OPTIONS ACROSS OUR REGION. 

AS ALWAYS, DOWNTOWN KITCHENER HAS ITS FAIR SHARE OF FANTASTIC INDEPENDENTLY-OWNED BUSINESSES WAITING FOR – AND WORKING FOR – YOUR BUSINESS. 

OVER THE PAST COUPLE MONTHS, THE TOQUE TEAM PAID VISITS TO FIVE INDIE DTK ENTERPRISES THAT HAVE PERFECT OFFERINGS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY GIFT LIST. FROM CHARCUTERIE BOARDS TO LEATHER GOODS, HOLIDAY SWEETS TO DIY RAMEN KITS, AFTER-SHOPPING COCKTAILS TO NATURAL WINES FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PARTIES – THESE FIVE SPOTS ARE HIDDEN TREASURES RIGHT CLOSE TO HOME. 

SO GET OUT THE DOOR. PAY THESE GEMS A VISIT. AND WALK THE TALK. SHOP LOCAL. 


The Grazing Table KW can set you up with the most mouth-watering grazing boxes, boards, and tables for any and every occasion. All fresh. Mostly local. And with no disappointing fillers. And get this: the business’ King St E bricks and mortar also offers an assortment of local goods – from Phlippens’ sauces to Indoorsy Co candles. So grab a box, board, or table today. They’re fun, oh so indulgent, and always announce a celebration. 



GOLDIE’S CONVENIENCE 
98 QUEEN ST S, KITCHENER 
GOLDIESCONVENIENCE.CA 

This natural wine bar with public pool vibes (honestly – those tiles alone have us coming back for more) is a recent addition to the downtown scene. And it’s the perfect spot for intimate dates with that special someone, for small gatherings with friends, or for alone time with a glass of something wonderful. Looking for that perfect bottle for home? Goldie’s sells wine (and other curated items) to-go too. 


THE CAKE BOX 
70 VICTORIA ST N, KITCHENER 
CAKEBOX.CA 

This award-winning bakery has been making cakes and taking names for almost two decades now. As the recommended vendor for such esteemed wedding venues as Langdon Hall and Cambridge Mill, owner Yvonne – along with her team – has built a solid business with a golden reputation. From cake pops to cookies, wedding cakes, cupcakes, and macarons – if you’ve got a sweet tooth The Cake Box can take care of it. 


BARBER & CRAFT 
141 ONTARIO ST N, KITCHENER 
BARBERANDCRAFT.COM 

Looking for a mean fade and new leather wallet – all from the same place? Then make an appointment with Adam at his barbershop that also features his own handcrafted leather goods. From messenger bags to card wallets, belts to totes, Adam’s leather goodness is the perfect solution to tighten up any wardrobe. And that new fade’ll certainly help too.