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Huntsville Has A Lot to Offer in Off-the-Wall Christmas Gift Ideas

Deck the halls and walls and fill the stockings while you’re at it. Make the lists, check them twice, and shop local. No disputing it, Huntsville is rife with retail and the local treasures listed below barely scratch a dent into what the Rocket City has to offer.

For those of you who are stumped for gift-giving ideas, here’s a good starting point. From traditional “family and friend” presents to “Dirty Santa” and “White Elephant” gifts, there’s something for everyone.

Lewter’s Hardware

222 Washington St NE, Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 539-5777

Hours: Mon-Fri: 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat: 7:30 a.m.-noon

Lewter’s time-honored motto, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it” still holds true. The shelves at Lewter’s are filled with an infinite selection of tools, home improvement, and pretty much anything known to mankind to embellish one’s nest. Spoiler alert: Lewter’s also carries toys; a very quirky selection, at that.

Looking for a scatologically inspired stocking stuffer? Lewter’s has a can of Big Foot Scat for only $5.99. It’s a great way to keep the young’uns giggling and entertained for a spell.

What better way to pass the time – or gas for that matter? Windbreaking, as it’s referred to in polite circles, has taken on a life of its own in Toyland. As part of the “Fartist Club,” Ripping Randy and his pals, Farty Flip, Munchy Max, and Windy Wendy are here to show you how it’s done. All that’s required is $10.99 and 2 AAA batteries to get that office Dirty Santa party started.

“This is the first time we’ve had these,” said Dianne Douglas, merchandise buyer for Lewter’s. “Sometimes, the guys tease me when things like this come in.”

Railroad Station Antiques

https://www.railroadstationantiques.com

315 Jefferson St N, Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 533-6550

Hours: Mon-Fri: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun: 1-5 p.m.

Railroad Station has a dynamic assortment of merchandise. There are Gurgle Pots and Chirpy Tops for home entertaining. Unique items such as decorative concrete crosses, dragonfly tiffany lamps, and many other one-of-a kind items fill up the three stories of vendor space.

 

Turkish Treasures & Inspired at Cyn Shea’s

https://turkishtreasures.com/

https://cynsheas.com › inspired-gifts

415 Church St NW Suite E-5

Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 527-2488

Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am-3pm

Inspired

Located in Cyn Shea’s, Inspired is filled with an enticing collection of unique gifts from local, regional, and global artisans.

Turkish Treasures is a store within a store. A retail version of a nesting doll, if you will. Turkish Treasures features handmade gifts from Turkey and Central Asia.

Both Inspired and Turkish Treasures feature sustainable products made by artisans and companies that “give back” to their local communities.

Little Green Store

https://thelittlegreenstore.net

820 Monte Sano Blvd SE, Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 539-9699

Hours: Mon-Sat: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Open Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas

The Little Green Store and Gallery features a dazzling assortment of locally created art, pottery, and handmade jewelry. They also carry products by the socially conscious company Blue Q, makers of quirky socks, potholders, and more.

A solid collection of Houston Ilew’s “Spirtiles” are also available. The glass on copper enameled collectibles are beautifully designed; each “tile” has a theme with an accompanying phrase.

Art & Soul Inspired Home

2313 Whitesburg Drive, Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 270-7363

Hours: Mon-Thur: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Looking for gifts for that special guy? Art & Soul carries Duke Cannon Supply Company men’s products. With eye-catching names like “Mr. Perfect” Grooming Kit, “Bloody Knuckles” hand repair balm, and “Offensively Large” lip balm, the goods are guaranteed to deliver quality, along with a chuckle.

Along with men’s grooming goods, rock the holidays in style! Art & Soul also has a collection of quippy door tags that will ring in the season with a big laugh.

Green Pea Press/The Pea Pod at Lowe Mill

http://greenpeapress.com/

2211 Seminole Dr SW, Huntsville, AL 35805, Studios 111-122

(256) 679-7288

Hours: Wed-Thur: Noon-6 p.m.; Fri: Noon-8 p.m.; Sat: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Green Pea Press embraces the quirky, whimsical side of Huntsville . The group’s collective imagination makes for interestingly designed wearing apparel and products that celebrate our city, our state, and the denizens who inhabit it. Be an ambassador! The apparel makes a great gift for out-of-town family and friends.

 

Vertical House Records

theverticalhouse.com

2211 Seminole Drive, SW, Huntsville, AL 35805

(256) 658-2976

Hours: Weds-Fri: Noon-8 p.m.; Sat: Noon-5 p.m.

News Flash! Vinyl has never really disappeared and it’s back with a vengeance. Vertical House offers a wide selection of 33 1/3 playable discs; from Bobby Sherman to Alice Cooper and all points in between. Don’t have anything to play them on? There’s an assortment of turntables in stock, as well.

Located in the Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment Center, Green Pea Press/The Pea Pod and Vertical House Records are two of the many local artisan-retailers in the collective. Be sure to check out the other Lowe Mill artists while checking off your holiday gift list.

Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment

www.lowemill.net

2211 Seminole Drive, SW, Huntsville, AL 35805

(256) 533-0399

Hours: Weds: Noon-6 p.m.; Thurs: Noon-6 p.m.; Fri: Noon-8 p.m.; Sat: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Trash Pandas Emporium

https://www.milb.com/rocket-city

365 The Bridge Street, Huntsville, AL 35806

(256) 325-1413

Hours: Mon-Sat: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun: Noon-6 p.m.

Baseball bling is in, especially when the mascot is a raccoon with an attitude! Haters can hate, but quirky team names are here to stay. Just a thought: it sure beats a name like “Wind Surge.”

All team name grousing aside, the Emporium has an assortment of goodies from the big-ticket jerseys and hats to stocking stuffers like nail files, clippers, and decals. There’s even a stuffed unicorn!

Gifts from the Trash Panda Emporium will delight those rabid baseball fans, who are eagerly counting the days until the season opener.

 

Gold Sprint: A Tale of Bikes and Beans

Differentiation is in the details.

The cozy, eclectic interior of Gold Sprint is very welcoming. (Photo/Steve Babin)

With so many new tantalizing third-wave coffee hangs popping up in Huntsville, there’s only one that features a trike-riding stuffed raccoon that’s toting a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Add to that are felt pennants, elaborately designed skateboards, and a multitude of karate trophies.

Gold Sprint Coffee + Bikes is destined to be eclectic, funky, yet still serve you up a memorable cup o’ Joe.

The shop and its quirky décor promise to be quite the unique place to hang out or telework.

Within easy walking distance of the Huntsville Parks and Recreation office, Trailhead and Lowe Mill, Gold Sprint sits at the corner of 1st Street and 9th Avenue with Huntsville West and Urban Engine a good solid walk or bike ride away.

Everything about Gold Sprint has been well-thought out and carefully executed. From the bar design, to the kitchen and the main area tables and seating, there are no accidents.

“We want to be that third space between work and home.” (Photo/Steve Babin)

Although the vibe is geared toward avid and recreational cyclists, the space promises to have guaranteed appeal teleworkers, soccer moms, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“We want to be a destination location,” said owner Victor Burlingame.

Burlingame’s years of experience in the cycle shop world have prepared him for this moment.

“The bike shop influences how we work here,” he said. “We are the ‘fixed gears’ of coffee shops. Fixed gears appeal to different people. If fixed gears are what gets people into bikes, the same analogy can apply to coffee.

“There is no ‘wrong’ drink.”

Then, there’s the coffee.

“For our roasts, we are working with Domestique, a socially responsible coffee importer and roaster and also the best coffee in Birmingham,” said Burlingame.

The newly minted staff of established baristas is committed to providing a quality product and top-notch customer service.

“Personality is as important as coffee and we want to give customers the best product for their dollar,” said Burlingame. “We want to be that third space between work and home.”

Inspired by the iconic Bottletree café in Birmingham, Gold Sprint has plans to book live music.

“There’s a lot of homogenization of the world because of Pinterest and Instagram,” said Burlingame. “If we build something, they (our competitors) will have to copy us.”

 

 

 

 

Irons One Whiskey: A Personal Touch Every Step of the Way

In a small, second floor suite at Lowe Mill, there’s a highly personal, downright magical process taking place daily – the distillation of Irons One Whiskey.

Distiller Jeff Irons and his wife Vicki work together to create a preciously delightful adult beverage – one that’s meant to be savored slowly.

For over 40 years now, Irons has cultivated his love affair with whiskey, starting as a New Jersey teen crossing the state line with his buddies into New York state, because of the lower legal drinking age. Once over the border, drinks were pricey, and New York and New Jersey’s finest had a keen eye for drunken teens on the road.

As the group’s official designated driver, Irons selected whiskey because it could be savored, as well as it being cost-efficient.

While an engineering student at Virginia Tech, Irons had his first taste of “homemade” whiskey, later followed by samples obtained from his brother-in-law’s dad, who was a physician in West Virginia. When the good doctor’s patients couldn’t pay him with cash, they paid him with home-distilled whiskey.

Despite the long romance, the NASA engineer became interested in opening his own distillery only within the past few years.

“It has been a long and difficult process and it is expensive,” he said. “Regardless, my love of whiskey and my sincere desire to be able to offer a superior bourbon and bourbon mash whiskey to my friends and to our community will be well-worth all of the effort.”

Irons’ business model is to remain small and personally involved in the distillation process. 

“I love making whiskey,” he said. “From mashing to fermenting, to distilling, to aging and bottling – I love this process. The only way I know how to make the best whiskey is to be totally involved in every step of the process.

“I can only do that if I stay small enough in size to manage each step.” 

The love, patience, and commitment are evident in the final product. Irons One was recently judged as the Double-Gold winner by “The Fifty Best” in the category of bourbon whiskey, which is quite an honor.

In the selection, strict tasting rules are applied to the “blind” tasting of 46 bourbon whiskeys; all ranked by members of “The Fifty Best” spirits judging panel. Double-Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are also awarded, based on the final point scores received from the judges.

“Irons One is the small batch, single-hand crafted whiskey for those who savor a rich, smooth flavor –served neat, with a little water or over ice,” Irons said. “This is truly a whiskey from my hands to yours.”

For more information, visit  www.ironsone.com or email ironsonewhiskey@gmail.com