With the holidays right around the corner, are you struggling to come up with gift ideas? 2020 is the perfect time to shop local. These area businesses offer something for each member of the family.

Chloe’s Closet

When Kathy Ilacqua’s first granddaughter, Chloe, was born, she struggled to find unusual bedding and clothes. That inspired her to create Chloe’s Closet with her daughter.

The pair rented some space in the corner of a gift shop, selling blankets, clothes and a few toys, before eventually moving to Brooklea Drive in Fayetteville. The boutique has remained at that location for the past 17 years.

“It’s been great fun,” said Ilacqua. “I’ve enjoyed every minute. Lots of watching babies growing up. Some of them come in now and they’re taller than I am.”

Ilacqua said that baby outfits are one of her most popular items, but Chloe’s Closet also sells blankets, booties, puzzles, puppets, stuffed animals, clothes, children’s books and more for a variety of age groups – “Whatever I see that looks like maybe something my grandchildren might like,” she said.

Location: 107 Brooklea Drive, Fayetteville.
Tuesday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
More information:

  1. Puzzle, $14.95
  2. Puppet, $39.95
  3. Book and stuffed animal, $39.95
  4. Outfit, $36



SYRACHA’CUSE has a new home for the holidays. The hot sauce producer recently opened a storefront in the village of Camillus.

SYRACHA’CUSE’s first two flavors were smoked jalapeno and maple garlic. Both are still part of its line, along with nearly 12 other flavors. During the holiday season, SYRACHA’CUSE is partnering with 1911/Beak & Skiff to offer a maple bourbon whiskey hot sauce– it will also introduce a Helping Hounds Habanero. Its sauces use local ingredients.

“Our emphasis is all about developing unique flavors that are different, but that are also about delivering flavor as opposed to sheer heat,” said Michael Sharlow, who started the business in 2015 with his daughter, Marissa, while she was a student at SUNY Cortland. “The other thing we try to emphasize is almost all of our hot sauces are vegan and gluten free. It’s a pretty healthy condiment.”

If you’re not a fan of hot sauce, SYRACHA’CUSE also offers wing sauce, jerky, mustard and a variety of products from local artisans.

Location: 74 W. Genesee St., Camillus.
Hours: Thursday – Friday from noon – 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
More information:

  1. Maple Garlic Hot Sauce, $10
  2. Recess Coffee Hot Sauce, $10
  3. 1911 Honeycrisp Habanero Hot Sauce, $12
  4. Ommegang Beer Hot Sauce, $12


The Gift Box 

Jan Constas started her career in corporate America. But after a few layoffs, she decided it was time for something new. Constas took an entrepreneurial course and begin designing various items from her home, eventually opening The Gift Box in Syracuse. The business will celebrate its 20th year in January.

Constas said items with black and white checks are among her most popular. The Gift Box also sells greeting cards, table runners, home décor, candles, jewelry and more – many of which are made locally (Constas estimates that her shop includes the work of about 15 artists from the area).

“Being an artist, I appreciate people who create things,” she said. “I work with each artist on designing a lot of the items knowing what my customers want.”

Customers can also place custom orders.

Location: 4317 Fay Road, Syracuse.
Tuesday – Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
More information:

  1. Kingsley Street Candles, $16
  2. Flameless candle, $32.99
  3. Syracuse wristlet, $34.99
  4. Merry and Bright sign, $55

Make sure to also check out these local businesses

  • Harrison Bakery – Visit Harrison Bakery for all your holiday needs – cookies, cupcakes, pies and bread. Customers can call ahead at (315) 422-1468.
    1306 W. Genesee St., Syracuse.
    Monday – Saturday from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    More information: harrisonbakerysyracuse.com.
  • Inlet, New York – This holiday season, treat a family member (or yourself) to a weekend away. Located along the Fulton Chain of Lakes in the Adirondacks, the town of Inlet is home to shopping, boating, fishing, snowboarding and more.
    More information: inletny.com.
  • La Fleur de Beauté – La Fleur de Beauté offers facials, massages and manicures and pedicures. Gift cards are available for purchase online.
    6900 Highbridge Road, Fayetteville.
    Tuesday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    More information:
  • Smith Housewares & Restaurant Supply – Smith Housewares & Restaurant Supply will help your coffee lover start the day off right. Hyman Smith Coffee offers a variety of blends, including Hazelnut, French Roast and French Vanilla, as well as coffee accessories and roasting supplies.
    Location: 3140 Erie Blvd E., Dewitt.
    Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Tuesday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Wednesday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    More information:

Courtney Kless is the Editor in Chief of Family Times. Courtney is originally from Maryland. She earned her Master’s degree in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism from Syracuse University. Courtney began her career as a sports journalist, then spent several years working in higher education, before joining the company in August 2019. She enjoys traveling, reading and hiking, and recently adopted a Labrador Retriever, Bailey.

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