With the holiday season quickly on its way, Kodiak residents need not look far to find gifts for friends and family.
“During the holiday season, the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce challenges everyone to shop locally,” said Sarah Phillips, executive director of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce. “Those shopping at small businesses make a big impact in the community, because — let’s face it — big online companies aren’t the ones supporting our Kodiak teams and clubs. Our local businesses and organizations are.”
To help keep money local through the holidays, the Chamber Small Business Committee created “Kodiak Bucks” — $5 gift certificates that can be used at numerous Kodiak businesses, including The Islander Bookshop, Arctic Chiropractic, Emily’s Alterations, Ovations, Norman’s Fine Gifts, Daniel’s Fine Jewelry, Kodiak Harvest Food Co-op, The Frame Shop, Sutliff’s, and the Kodiak Island Brewing Company. Kodiak Bucks gift certificates can be purchased at Discover Kodiak, located in the ferry terminal building.
For shoppers interested in more than just gift cards, the island offers a wide selection of shops to cater to a wide clientele.
For children, Grand Slam Toys & Games (1420 Mill Bay Road) is a good place to start holiday shipping.
According to co-owner Zach Koehler, board games are always popular during the holiday season. The store carries a wide range of competitive and cooperative games, card games, and dice games starting at $20.
New to Grand Slam this year is Lego. The store carries themed Lego such as Harry Potter sets, Star Wars sets and Friends sets. Grand Slam also carries My Audio Pet ($25), little bluetooth speakers that produce a roomful of sound. The speakers come in animal shapes such as puppies, unicorns and llamas. They pair with your phone to play any music or audio on your device.
For stocking stuffers, Grand Slam carries geek culture magnets and buttons with themes such as Harry Potter and Friends. They also carry World’s Smallest, a miniature version of popular toys like glow worms, hotwheels, magic 8 balls, and rubix cubes.
For outdoors enthusiasts, Big Ray’s, Orion’s Mountain Sports and 58 Degrees North carry a wide selection to satisfy your rugged cravings.
Big Ray’s (212 Lower Mill Bay Road) carries popular items such as flashlights, knives, fishing and hunting gear, and clothing. For outdoorsy fun, the store carries lightweight and durable editions of favorite family games like mancala — perfect for your next camping trip with friends. For a quintessential Alaska gift, Big Ray’s carries a variety of XtraTuf boots.
Orion’s Mountain Sports (1247 Mill Bay Road) carries lightweight gear, like the Seek Outside 17-ounce tipi, that retails for $244. They also carry skis, snowboard and packrafts for adventure junkies. To keep hydrated in style, they carry limited edition Hydroflasks.
For fine gifts, Norman’s (414 W. Marine Way) is a good place to start, where Christmas ornaments of every style take center stage. This year, the store is also stocked with salmon-skin wallets, which start at $35. The wallets are made in Soldotna and are very durable.
For other gift ideas, try The Frame Shop (2017 Mill Bay Road), which offers Kodiak buyers custom-made frames, alongside greeting cards and local artwork. For jewelry, Daniel’s Fine Jewelry (414 W. Marine Way) and Mecca Jewelry and Fine Gifts (402 W. Marine Way) offer a wide selection.
Kodiakans don’t have to rely on online stores and fickle shipping services this holiday season. There is enough to go around on The Rock, and with Kodiak Bucks, keeping your holiday shopping local has never been easier.
“As an island, we support one another and realize that we are stronger together,” Phillips said.