Rachel Brown of Lyman checks out bangle bracelets at Lacava in Biddeford on Small Business Saturday.

Rachel Brown of Lyman checks out bangle bracelets at Lacava in Biddeford on Small Business Saturday.

Did you think small on Saturday? Many shoppers did, frequenting small, independent businesses in their search for the perfect present or that perfect Christmas tree.

Black Friday may get lots of hype – and many consumers looking for deals at the big box chains – but Saturday was the day to check out the all the goodies at a local gift shop, a family owned furniture store, a brand new entry into the gifty-food market (think popcorn, lots of popcorn), or to pick a wreath or a tree, with a jug of apple cider on the side.

According to American Express, the company that coined the phrase and began promoting Small Business Saturday a few years ago, 77 percent of consumers nationwide said they planned to shop small during the holiday season.

There’s nothing like a striped bunny under the Christmas tree, like these two, seen at Lacava in Biddeford on Small Business Saturday.

There’s nothing like a striped bunny under the Christmas tree, like these two, seen at Lacava in Biddeford on Small Business Saturday.

And according to the American Independent Business Alliance, on average, 48 percent of each purchase made at local independent businesses was recirculated locally, as compared to 14 percent of purchases at chain stores.

At Lacava, located on Water Street in Biddeford, Saturday morning saw shoppers checking out all manner of goods, from stylish hats, lotions and soaps to jewelry, housewares, clothing, candles, vintage and antique pieces, stuffed gingham bunnies, cool stuff made in Maine and more.

Around 11 a.m. Saturday, owner Sharon Sevigny said business has been “very steady.” And historically, Small Business Saturday is a very good day for the shop, she said.

“We appreciate our customers coming back and supporting us,” Sevigny said.

Rachel Brown of Lyman was among the shoppers, checking out bangle bracelets. She’d been to the farmer’s market in Saco earlier and decided to stop by.

“This is my first time here,” she said, looking around the shop that was sporting an eclectic, fun array of merchandise. “There’s so much here.”

In Springvale, what was there was evident to the olfactory senses long before the visual. It was the scent of popcorn, lots of popcorn, with gourmet flavors like sea salt caramel and peanut butter cup. The store, which opened at Springvale Commons a month ago, also carries Haven Candies and a line of Stonewall Kitchen goodies.

“We’ve been very busy,” said owner Sandy Plaisted. “People love the popcorn.”

A couple of miles down Main Street in Sanford at Landry’s Furniture, Kyle Landry said the lunch hour saw a bit of a lull. But the previous day was a good one for the business.

“Black Friday was big; a lot of people did their shopping on Friday,” he said.

At Gile’s Family Farm in Alfred, where there were rows of fresh-cut Christmas trees and bow-trimmed wreaths and kissing balls outside, along with apples and cider, maple syrup and a lot more inside, Shirley Boucher said business had been brisk.

“It’s been very good,” she said.

Outside, Josh Cudworth and his father Bill wrestled a seven-foot-tall Christmas tree out of its wooden stand and into their pick-up truck.

When asked why he picked that particular tree, Josh replied, “Because it’s big.”

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


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