Seven Daysies Awards: Best place to buy a unique gift, 2023

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Best place to buy a unique gift 

Common Deer (Burlington) & Stowe Street Emporium (Waterbury)

click to enlarge Common Deer - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Common Deer

Common Deer — The family-owned shop combs the country for the best small-batch, American-made goods. Find a standout gift in this selection of ceramics, blankets, bags, jewelry, candles, clothing and Vermont souvenirs — or commandeer something special for yourself.

Other Finalists (Inside Chittenden County)

  • ArtHound Gallery
  • Golden Hour Gift Co.
  • Thirty-odd
  • Vermont Gift Barn

click to enlarge Stowe Street Emporium - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Stowe Street Emporium

Stowe Street Emporium — Now that we're back to in-person celebrations post-pandemic, the nearly 30-year-old Stowe Street Emporium is more of a destination than ever. This fixture of Waterbury's historic downtown offers a little bit of everything for anyone in need of a gift.

A decade ago, owners Larry and Kathy Murphy took over the store, founded by Jack Carter, a prominent local presence until his death in 2021. The Murphys' daughter, Kate Ruggles, often helms the shop, where she brings her interior design sensibility and comfortable conversation with visitors.

The store abounds with color — literally and figuratively — from the rainbow-hued kitchen utensils to the salty language on Blue Q socks. You can buy a dish towel that says "Fuck I love cheese," Stonewall Kitchen sauces and an appetizer tray on which to serve them, a purple knit poncho to ward off chilly Vermont nights, and a baby onesie printed with carrots and bok choy on eco-conscious fabric.

The emporium carries local products, too, including the Ursa Major skin care line, headquartered across the street, and gourmet bars from Rabble Rouser Chocolate & Craft in Montpelier.

Other Finalists (Outside Chittenden County)

  • Blockhouse Studio
  • Island Craft Shop
  • Remarkable Things at Stowe Craft

Location Details

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