Small Business Saturday: How to Shop Local This Holiday Season

Make these coming holidays filled with personal and artisan gifts by shopping local all season long, starting this Saturday. November 25 is Small Business Saturday where stores around your neighborhood will hold sales and bargains on their amazing products.

Our community members work hard to compete with big business and corporations throughout the holidays, yet their products are often one-of-a-kind and straight from the heart.

“We try not to just create clothes for the masses, but we work hard to create pieces that people will talk about and remember even after they’ve stopped using them,” says Valid Vibes owners Kristina Spinosa and Rosie Dapolito. 

The benefits to shopping small are quite clear for both the customer and the community. Buying from local businesses also means you are investing in your own neighborhood. Like with Valid Vibes, each purchase could also mean a large investment in a good cause. With every purchase, customers are creating jobs, boosting the local economy, and conserving vital resources and energy.

Erica Logan, a clothing boutique in Hauppauge, is run by the hardworking mother-daughter duo, Sidney Logan Mankowski and Tracy Mankowski of Nesconset. Their storefront on Wheeler Road is just under one year old, and excited for their first holiday season.

“We are running a deal for 20% off the entire store, something we have never done before,” says Tracy Mankowski, co-owner, and manager of the store. Erica Logan is the perfect place to grab beautiful and classy outfits for your holiday celebrations.

Valid Vibes is an online clothing brand that eliminates the stigma against mental health. Rosie D’Apolito and Kristina Spinosa started Valid Vibes in 2022 to encourage people to “stay valid,” meaning to remain their true, authentic selves. With every purchase, Valid Vibes donates a percentage of the proceeds to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

“Valid Vibes is grateful for NAMI’s efforts to heal the families that struggle with mental illness,” says Spinosa and D’Apolito. So far, the brand has donated thousands of dollars to NAMI’s efforts in their first year of business. Valid Vibes will be holding sales on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. On all three days, use code BLACKFRIDAY for 20% off your purchase. Valid Vibes creates the perfect gifts for those who love handmade, trendy, and positive merchandise for a good cause.

Blast from the Past, of Bayshore, is the perfect small business to buy games and toys from this holiday season. The store sells vintage collectables, toys, video games, and board games for children of all ages, and even some items that will make adults feel nostalgic! Action figures, Pokémon cards, Bratz Dolls, and even game consoles like the PlayStation and Nintendo Switch can be bought at Blast from the Past.

Ralph Rotten’s Great American Candy Shoppe in Centereach looks straight out of a Willy Wonka movie! Their candy bags make some kid-approved stocking stuffers, their nostalgic candies are great “white elephant” gifts, and their mixed nut and chocolate “Holiday Trays” make the perfect gift for a host of holiday parties. Customers can order online, over the phone, or in store, but be sure to order early!

Fall’s Favorite Recipe: Geller’s Thanksgiving Leftover “Moist Maker” Sandwich

My sister makes these amazing turkey sandwiches. Her secret is, she puts an extra slice of gravy-soaked bread in the middle; I call it the Moist Maker.”

Ross Geller is always one to be dramatic, however he is not overexaggerating about Friends’ Monica Geller’s Thanksgiving Leftover Moist Maker Sandwich. It truly is the best way to use up all those random leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner and make the best lunch for the office the next day. Just make sure there are no fridge thieves in your workplace.


  • 3 slices quality artisan bread (We used hearty, multi-grain sourdough bread, but any crusty bread with some body will do.)
  • 1/2 cup turkey gravy
  • 4-6 ounces leftover turkey meat, shredded
  • 1/4 cup leftover sweet potatoes or regular potatoes
  • 1/4 cup leftover stuffing
  • 1/4 cup leftover cranberry sauce, canned or homemade
  • 1/4 cup mixed greens, baby spinach or green leaf lettuce

Buttermilk-Herb Mayonnaise (optional, but recommended)

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh chives, minced


In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and buttermilk until smooth. Add the fresh minced herbs and fold in to incorporate. Set aside.

Next, toast your slices of bread. It should be no surprise that this sandwich has a lot of moisture. Toasting the bread helps it hold up and not fall apart as you eat it.

Warm the gravy in the microwave (or on the stovetop) until steaming. Then transfer the gravy to a shallow bowl or plate with a rim. Dredge one piece of bread in the gravy on both sides and then let it continue to soak in the gravy until ready to add to the sandwich.

While the moist maker layer soaks, reheat the turkey, sweet potatoes and stuffing until steaming.

Begin by laying down one piece of toasted bread on a cutting board. Next, spread a layer of cranberry sauce over the bread. Top with a generous amount of stuffing and then layer slices of warm turkey over the stuffing.

Top the turkey with the gravy-soaked bread (aka the moist maker). Next, add a layer of warm sweet potatoes followed by more turkey. Then, top the turkey with some fresh greens or lettuce and top everything off with the final slice of toast slathered with a generous amount of the buttermilk-herb mayonnaise.

Finally, enjoy the best sandwich you (and Ross Geller) will ever have.

Recipe provided by Taste of Home

Previous articleThe Gift That Keeps on Giving
Next articleLetter to the Editor: Support Your Local Small Businesses for National Small Business Saturday
Kaitlyn Foley is an Entertainment and Lifestyle Reporter and Staff Writer for the Messenger Papers. She is the weekly author of our Seasonal Column on Page 17. As a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology, Kaitlyn has a passion for fashion journalism and creative writing. In addition to writing, Kaitlyn also works as one of our Media and Website Associates.