PDD Gift Guide 2009

The time to spend money we don’t really have is upon us. So why not give that money from the future to our friends and neighbors? With that sentiment in mind, the folks at Perfect Duluth Day have compiled a selection of locally produced goods and services to add to your shopping list.

The fabulous showcase below is by no means comprehensive, of course. We at PDD would like you to contribute to it through the comments. If you know of a local something special for that special someone, let it be known.

EpicureanEpicurean Cutting Boards

What started out as waste from skateboard parks has turned into some of the finest kitchen cutting boards available. Epicurean also makes knife racks, barbecue trays and more.

Kenspeckle LetterpressKenspeckle Letterpress

Rick Allen has been making gorgeous prints for many years, and now technology allows him to make them more affordable and available. Through the Kenspeckle Letterpress, he sells posters, cards and more. Available online, at area galleries, and occasionally at the Kenspeckle headquarters in the DeWitt-Seitz Building.

Tim Kaiser GizmoTim Kaiser Gizmo

Tim Kaiser will build you your own retro-futuristic sonic doo-hickey. Peruse his site, Atomic Sonic, for examples of things he’s built for musicians around the world and for his own mesmerizing shows.

Fashions by Cut Loose CreationsFashions by Cut Loose Creations

A little bit punkrok, a little bit haute coutoure, Duluth’s Cut Loose Creations makes clothing, bags and more out of recycled clothing.

Taconite Jewelry from Raw ConceptsTaconite Jewelry

She says she wants a big rock for Christmas? Here’s the answer for the guy afraid of the big commitment, or maybe just really proud of his roots on the Iron Range.

Dog Treats from Joni's BarkeryDog Treats

Don’t forget Fido, Bo, Precious or Floyd when the holidays roll around. Keep the canines busy with their own stocking stuffer from Joni’s Barkery.

Chester Creek TechnologiesChester Creek Kid’s Keyboard

This keyboard for kids from Chester Creek Technologies separates vowels, consonants, punctuation and numbers — and has a smaller mouse for little hands.

WooHer Romantic ConciergeWooHer Romantic Concierge

For that sibling, friend or colleague who is totally clueless about the ways of love and courting, WooHer, a “romance concierge” service can help put the spark back in a relationship.

Cheese & SausageCheese and Sausage

Local cheese from the Hedquist family in the Carlton area. Available online at Green Pastures Dairy’s website, and also at stores like Northern Waters, Whole Foods Coop and Cloquet Natural Foods.

Chico Bon BonMonkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem

The sequel to Chris Monroe’s Monkey with a Toolbelt came out this year, and if you haven’t picked it up for your favorite niece or nephew, it’s available at the Bookstore at Fitger’s

Family PhotosFamily Photos

Granny always loves pictures of the kids, and several local photographers bring some new ideas and style to portrait photography. (Photo by Mark Fitzgibbons)

Magic Box Photography

Sailing on the HjordisSailing on the Hjordis

Set sail from Grand Marais for a two-hour trip aboard the Hjordis, a 50′ traditionally-rigged Schooner. Trips are purchased through the North House Folk School, where you can also sign up for classes in boatbuilding and sailing.

Growlers o' BeerGrowlers o’ Beer

Beer! Tasty local beer! There are many choices, and many varieties to choose from. Pick up some growlers for your next holiday hoedown from Thirsty Pagan Brewing or the Fitger’s Brewhouse.

Connolly's Tom And Jerry BatterConnolly’s Tom and Jerry Batter

Connolly’s Bakery in Superior began whipping up its brand of Tom and Jerry Batter 60 years ago. The bakery closed in the 1980s, but the yummy batter — perfect for serving warm with a shot of rum and a shot of brandy — remains a holiday tradition. Pick some up at Keyport Liquor.

Agreed! GameAgreed!

Agreed! The Tournament Game of Quotes is another local gem. It was created by Steve Benson of Two Harbors.



about 14 years ago


DVDs from homegrown filmmakers 4 Track Films - email [email protected] or go to www.4trackfilms.com!


about 14 years ago

I would love a gift of teas and such from Duluth Botanicals. There must be some Duluth-based Etsy shops, too. Links, anyone?


about 14 years ago


Don't forget the essential cocktail attire from Rachel Hart's Apron Elegance.

Tony D.

about 14 years ago

Here's a shameless self promotion:


Everything is on sale at X-Comm online, your one-stop shop for Duluth History--up to 66% off!

And X-comm and Duluth's Holy Cow! Press will be teaming up for a book sale at the Spiritual Deli on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 12 - 4. Seven local authors will be signing books and we'll be serving refreshments as well. Prices cut up to 66% off--many titles just $5--and if you spend just $20 on X-comm products, I'll give you a free Art Print or a copy of "Greetings from the Arrowhead: North Shore & Canoe Country."


about 14 years ago

Alakef (dotcom) has lots of fresh, locally roasted (right down the hill on Superior Street in the old Bridgeman's/Kolar building) caffeinated wonderfulness for you to give, as well! We've even got a bunch of gift boxes just for the holidaze to make shopping easier!

If it were any fresher, it'd still be on the tree...

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago


Alakef Coffee Roasters also make chocolate-covered espresso beans. Yummy.

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago


Get yourself some doodles from the likes of musician Steve Earle. (That's his doodle above, from his stop in Bayfield this past summer.)

The folks at Big Top Chautauqua asked visiting artists like Earle to contribute their scribblings for an auction, which starts on Friday, Nov. 20 at 5:30 p.m. and runs for 10-days on eBay. The proceeds all go to benefit Big Top Chautauqua.

There's doodles by Keb' Mo', Joan Baez, Suzanne Vega and even a collaboration between the Indigo Girls and Brandi Carlile.

In addition to the artwork, dozens of signed posters from the past season will be available for bidding. 

Pictures and links to all the items going to auction are available on the Big Top Chautauqua Web site.


about 14 years ago

@ paul: don't forget the Manitou River Blend...concocted by me...


about 14 years ago


Northern Waters Smokehaus took first place in Armandino Batali's Salumi Salami Challenge in Seattle, a national competition. Need I say more?


about 14 years ago

This is an awesome post! Almost every locally owned store has gift certificates or gift cards, too. Perfect gifts to give the Wal-mart shopper in your family to encourage them in a positive way to shop locally. Keep up all of the fantastic suggestions!


about 14 years ago

Big deal ... I win a salami challenge every morning. BuddaBing! Sheezow! Really though, these guys make a dynamite salami.

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago

The Club Saratoga sells camouflage T-shirts. I think it's so people can get out of there without being seen.

Seriously though, there are camouflage T-shirts with the Club Saratoga logo in a display case near the entrance. If you're planning a Saturday of intense holiday shopping, the best way to chill out afterward is Jazz at the 'Toga, from 3 to 7 p.m. And you can pick up a camouflage tee while you're there.

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago


Wear-a-Knit in Cloquet makes custom knit winter hats, beanies, scarves, mittens, earbands and stadium blankets.


about 14 years ago

Following Adam's lead ... anyone can buy me a Tom & Jerry at Carmody. Anytime...

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago


C-freak deserves it. She bought me one last night. They were the first two Tom & Jerry's of the season at Carmody, so we were told. Strangely, the container of batter was almost empty. I like to imagine Eddie Gleeson is eating it straight from the container when no one's looking.

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago

This might be stretching the word "local" a bit, but ...


Based on a recent post, I know many PDD readers dig the Replacements, so it bears mentioning that The Replacements: All Over but the Shouting: An Oral History, by Jim Walsh, was recently released by Voyageur Press of Osceola, Wis.

To make up for the moderately local suggestion, I'll throw in an ultra-local suggestion:


Mere Mortals is the latest from local rawk stars Cars & Trucks. Buy the album at the Electric Fetus or whatever tracks you desire on the band's MySpace.


about 14 years ago

I'm totally rawkin' the surly reindeer this year.

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago

I'm going to assume that Zra is referring to a seasonal beer from the Surly Brewing Co. of Brooklyn Center, Minn.

If not, I'm sure he'll be in the newspaper soon, between the exercise ball slasher and the deer carcass molester.

Barrett Chase

about 14 years ago

I think he means the PDD holiday shirt with Brian Barber's artwork, which is also a part of the link to this post over on the sidebar over there. Yonder.


about 14 years ago


For four years my husband and I produced a Duluth calendar.  For the last few years we switched to non-dated items - including Duluth notepads, bookmarks and notepads.  We have 5 different lift bridge pads available and this summer added 6 new Northland nature with Lake Superior or North Shore on the pads.  

Earlier this month we added a Duluth Matching Game - Lift Bridge edition with 15 pairs of Lift Bridge pictures.  Good simple game.  Find the pairs.  These will be for sale as the two upcoming local art & gift fairs that I organize - the Get it Local fair at the Peace Church, 1111 N. 11th Ave. E., Dec. 5 from 10 to 3 p.m., and at the Dec. 8 Get Great Stuff evening gift fair at Duluth Congregational Church, 3833 E. Superior St., 4:30 to 8:30.  About 35 local artists will be participating in each fair (only 5 overlap in both fair - so do visit each fair).  

The Get it Local fair also has local nonprofits including Mentor Duluth, Friends of the Duluth Library, Community Action Duluth, Humane Society of Douglas County and several others.  

Consumable gifts will also be for sale - wreaths, chocolates and new this year will be a Make It area with Bohemia Arts leading kids activities from 10 to noon, Dye a Silk Scarf from 12 to 1 and Learn to Felt from 1 to 2 p.m.  

Info on the fairs and the Duluth items are at wendyupnorth.com.  Thanks for supporting local artists.    

P.S. I'm also showing the Lakeside History video I made this Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) at 2 p.m. at the Lakeside Lester Park Community Club at 54th Ave. E. and Tioga.  Free.

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago

Doh! It turns out I'll be rawkin' the surly reindeer myself this year. How embarrassing.


about 14 years ago

@ Paul: surly reindeer...a'la Brian Barber graphic tee...

I named him Lou Bataglia, and he was really pissed about having to work on Christmas.


about 14 years ago


Duluthian vintage shopper extraordinaire Kate Lindello has a great Etsy shop.


about 14 years ago

Thanks for this discussion! 

My mom and I spend time today shopping on Superior Street and in the DeWitt Seitz building. I was reminded how many great little shops there are in Duluth and had so many gift ideas. 

Two and Company in the DeWitt Seitz building had a lot of nice stuff.

Steve Benson

about 14 years ago

Thank you much for the "gem" comment about "Agreed the Tournament Game of Inspirational Wisdom."  The magic happens when played with friends and family.  Nice over a beer too.  All the help to share this win/win game with the world is very much appreciated.


about 14 years ago

That meat market looks awesome.


about 14 years ago


If you've got the ching: Loll Designs

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is selling State Park Gift Cards. They can be used for campground fees, rustic camper cabins, vehicle permits, equipment rentals, gift shop items and so on.

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago

BeanersOneWeekLive6 MoorsMcCumber

Two more music options: 1) Beaner's Central is selling the past three volumes of "One Week Live" wrapped together in a bow for ten bucks. Available on the counter next to the register. 2) The new Moors & McCumber disc is available on JamesMoors.com and at the Electric Fetus.

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