Prepare to embark on a journey through the various corners of the Waterloo Region! Our undercover employees spilled the beans on their secret local haunts, and we’ve gathered all the details for you. Explore the best destinations for home décor lovers, food enthusiasts, eco-warriors, and more. Show some love by shopping online, visiting their stores, or snagging a gift card. Let’s join forces and give our local businesses the holiday hug they deserve!
Let’s explore local shops in the Waterloo Region:
For the home décor lover:
Craft a living space that mirrors your unique style! Dive into local home décor shops for a curated selection of pieces, from vintage finds to modern gems. Uncover the artistry of local artisans and transform your home into a personalized masterpiece.
- Tepperman’s – find something for every room at Tepperman’s!
- St. Jacobs Furnishings – Canadian Company that provides local, handcrafted Canadian furniture
- Hauser – contemporary outdoor and indoor furniture and home décor
- The Art of Home – a home-lifestyle boutique
- Sweet & Spice Candles – 100% soy wax candles hand-poured in Waterloo
- Gifted Waterloo – specializing in gifts, home décor and paper goods
- Devitt House – curated goods for you and your home
- Cornerstone Home Interior – eclectic and classical home furnishings
- Krajewski Gallery – gallery and picture framing
- Not Just for the Garden – home décor, garden planters and furniture store
For the hobbyist:
Dive into a realm of entertainment at local gaming, collectible, and comic book stores. Whether you’re a gamer, collector, or comic aficionado, support these spots to find treasures that spark joy and connect with a community that shares your passions!
- J & J Cards and Collectibles – collectables, games and puzzles
- Good Time Games – video gaming store
- Carry-On Comics and Books – a one-stop-shop for vintage and new comics
- Lookin’ for Heroes – comics, action figures, trading cards, and other collectibles
- RetroReplay – video game store with a specialization in retro items
For the foodie:
Embark on a flavor quest in your community! From cozy cafes to gourmet galore, treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure. It’s like a food safari, but without the wild animals. Dive into unique flavors, support local spots, and let your palate party!
- Willibald Farm Distillery & Brewery – distillery, brewery and restaurant (check out their gingerbread gin)
- Block Three Brewing Co. – locally crafted beers
- Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts – gourmet food shop
- Aura-la Pastries and Provisions – craft bean-to-bar chocolate & gourmet food store
- Play a Latte Café – locally roasted coffees and espresso-based drinks
- Reid’s Chocolates – a variety of chocolates & nuts
- Vincenzo’s – specialty gourmet food store
- La Fromagerie on Lex – a one-of-a-kind cheese boutique
- Relish Cooking Studio – a cooking school and retail store located in Kitchener
- Swine & Vine – Uptown Waterloo’s newest upscale dining experience
- Fore Quarter Butcher Shop – butcher shop, serving local, hormone and antibiotic-free meats
- The Culinary Studio – Waterloo Region’s Premier Recreational Cooking School
For the music-lover:
Swap the digital beats for a vinyl adventure! Explore local record stores and instrument shops, where every purchase hits the right note. Whether you’re spinning vinyl or strumming a new chord, support local spots for music that’s as authentic as your love for it!
- Sherwood Music – offers a variety of instruments, music accessories, and lessons
- Folkway Music – specializing in guitar sales and repair
- Orange Monkey Music – record store with an impressive amount of vinyl
- Encore Records – everything from CDs and vinyl to even cassettes
For the one with too many plants:
Living in a jungle of your own making? Join the green revolution at local nurseries. They’ve got plants for days, and your home could use a few more leafy friends. Don’t be shy—let your indoor garden thrive, and support the local green scene!
- Air Life Greenery – creating home decor for air plants
- Living Fresh – floral art to celebrate life’s moments
- The Witty and Co – products that are well designed and celebrate the maker
- Charmed Flowers – modern flowers with delivery in the KW Region
- The Girl Floral – pretty things to bring you happiness
- Colour Paradise Greenhouses – an impressive selection of plants
- Gold Leaf Botanicals – Waterloo’s #1 tropical house plant boutique
- Belgian Nursery – Belgian Nursery is a specialized greenhouse destination for the community
For your eco-warrior:
Step into sustainable style at local vintage, zero-waste, and consignment stores. Find fashion that’s easy on the planet and supports the eco-friendly mission. It’s shopping with a purpose, one green choice at a time!
- Molloy’s – eco-friendly soaps, detergents, cleaning products and bath and body products
- House of Bamboo – sustainable lifestyle brand
- Carousel Clothing – consignment store and fashion boutique
- Artisanal Design Co – curated vintage and upcycled clothing and accessories
- The Clothing Exchange – making second-hand look Gucci
- Hello Again – designer fashion at consignment prices
- White Tiger Vintage – vintage clothing boutique
- Le Prix – curated sustainable fashion and lifestyle boutique
For someone special:
Find the perfect sparkle to make hearts dance! Explore local jewelry shops for a touch of elegance and sentiment. Whether it’s a classic piece or a unique design, these local gems will help you express your love in style. Because someone special deserves something extraordinary.
- Harmony – meaningful products for special memories
- F.J. Brown & Son – jewellery and giftware store
- Frank’s Jewellers – jewellery and diamond shop
- The Truth Beauty Company – natural and organic beauty products
For the fitness lover:
Explore local fitness spots for a tailored workout experience. Whether you’re into classes, gym sessions, or quality gear, these places have what you need to elevate your fitness journey. Support local businesses and prioritize your health at the same time!
- Proactive Training and Nutrition – a high-intensity interval training workout
- Hero Yoga Waterloo – hot yoga and barre classes
- The Fit Club by Price Health – fun and unique blend of personal training and group fitness classes
- SPINCO Waterloo – full-body spin classes
- Elite Training Facility – fitness classes and registered massage therapy
- The Sweat Box – group fitness boot camp
- Big Bliss Yoga – a community of people who step up for one another and champion each other
- Elite Training Facility – A Kitchener training facility offering classes for ALL levels of fitness from beginner to elite
- Grand River Rocks – A 14,000-square-foot indoor rock-climbing facility
- Hustle + Flow – Experience the magic of movement and connection
For the movie buffs:
Immerse yourself in the magic of cinema at local theaters. It’s like Netflix, but with better snacks and zero buffering issues. Show some love to your neighborhood theaters—because life’s too short for bad movie nights!
- Apollo Cinema – the best in contemporary, classic, and cult films
- Princess Cinemas – a true Canadian independent cinema, owner-operated and owner-programmed
For the bookworms:
Step into the magical realm of local bookstores—where ‘just browsing’ turns into a three-hour adventure, and you leave with an armful of books you didn’t know you needed. Support local bookshops and let your inner bookworm roam freely!”
- KW Bookstore – A used bookstore
- Words Worth Books Ltd – A valuable resource for procuring unique, quality books and magazines of all descriptions
- Old Goat Books – Amazing selection of old and new books
Why shop local?
Support Your Local Economy:
By choosing local businesses, you’re not just making a purchase; you’re investing in your community. Your support directly contributes to the livelihoods of owners, employees, and their families, helping them put food on the table and keep the lights on.
Discover Unique and Creative Gifts:
Small communities are hubs of incredible local talent. Explore the shelves of local businesses, where passionate owners showcase unique and creative products. Your gift choices become more than just items; they’re expressions of community artistry and craftsmanship.
Enhance Your Shopping Experience:
Enjoy a shopping experience with a personal touch! Local shop owners and employees are not just sellers; they’re knowledgeable guides eager to offer delightful and personalized service. Say goodbye to generic and hello to a shopping journey tailored to your needs.
Choose a Greener Approach:
Opting for local shopping isn’t just good for your community; it’s a win for the environment. Walking to local shops reduces car emissions, contributing to cleaner air. Additionally, by avoiding online shopping, you eliminate the carbon footprint associated with delivery and packaging materials.
Fuel Future Growth in Your Community:
Your purchase from a small business acts as a catalyst for community growth. Supporting local stores helps them stay open, thriving, and evolving. This cycle enables businesses to introduce new products, maintain their physical storefronts, and cultivate a truly exceptional brand. Your choice to shop local is an investment in the future success of your community.
Get social with us
Do you plan on supporting one of these small businesses during the holidays? Or did we miss one of your favourites? We want to hear from you! Follow and tag @builtbyactiva on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to be featured on our social pages!