5 Small Businesses in San Diego for Unique Gifts

The only thing that makes giving the perfect gift more satisfying is buying that gift from a local business. Here in San Diego, there are hundreds of local businesses offering unique gifts that will make birthdays, weddings, or holidays extra special. Check out our five favorite local spots for one-of-a-kind presents.

Simply Local

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North Park, San Diego
simplylocalsandiego.com

If you love tchotchkes, then you’ll love the variety of San Diego vendors under one roof at Simply Local. Simply Local features handmade goods from over 80 merchants in San Diego. Peruse locally-made jewelry, natural skin care products (Smoked Porter Beer Soap, anyone?), candles, eco-friendly wood phone cases, clothing, blankets, home decor, and other unique gifts you never knew you wanted, but won’t be able to do without once you see them. 

Venissimo Cheese

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5 Locations in San Diego
venissimo.com

Who doesn’t love cheese? Okay, vegans don’t love cheese, but pretty much everyone else does. Venissimo Cheese has five neighborhood locations throughout San Diego offering some of the best cheese from all over the world, plus artisanal bread, crackers, salumi, olive oil, jams, chocolate, and more (wipe the drool off your chin). Imagine the surprise and delight on everyone’s faces when you stroll into your next party with a charcuterie tray from Venissimo. You might be called a hero. 

And for the hardcore cheese lover in your life, Venissimo also offers cheese-tasting and cheese-making classes at their Academy of Cheese (which almost sounds more magical than Hogwarts, don’t you think?). If you give the gift of a cheesemaking class, you’re sure to see return on investment when your giftee shares some of their homemade mozzarella with you.

Bottles & Wood

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Kearny Mesa, San Diego
bottlesandwood.com

Every good cheese needs a proper serving board. Bottles & Wood uses locally-sourced, sustainable and eco-friendly reclaimed materials to create new serving trays, glassware, lamps, tables, jewelry and more. They transform wine and liquor bottles into tumbler glasses and candles, and French oak wine barrels into cutting boards and serving trays. In addition to being beautiful and practical, these environmentally-friendly gifts are also great conversation pieces. 

Dolcetti Boutique

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Downtown San Diego
dolcettiboutique.com 

The word Dolcetti means “sweet little things” in Italian and that's what you'll find in this unique Downtown San Diego boutique owned by two local sisters. The shop offers both women’s and men’s clothing, jewelry, bags, shoes, and other accessories in addition to an eclectic mix of gifts like tea cups, aprons, vases, books, and perfume. While you’re shopping at Dolcetti for that perfect gift, you can make an appointment at A Style Concierge, the full service salon within Dolcetti.

Garnet Vintage Home Collections

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Pacific Beach, San Diego
garnetvintage.com 

There’s something alluring about owning relics from a bygone era. Located in the heart of Pacific Beach, Garnet Vintage Home Collections features vintage furniture and antiques. Own a bit of the past with a beautiful mid-century modern chair (channel your inner Don Draper), a silver tray to display perfumes on, a shabby-chic steamer trunk to store blankets in, or a limited edition leather-bound vintage book. 

Why Shop Local? 

An article from USA Today said that according to the research firm Civic Economics, for every $100 you spend in a local small business, $68 stays in your community, compared to only $43 at a local branch of a chain store. Buying local supports your community, reduces environmental impact, and offers unique and one-of-a-kind items. So skip the trip to the department store or big-box retailer and buy your next gift from a local small business.