Willoughby is celebrating the festive time of year during its Small Business Saturday, an event that bolsters the holiday season by engaging small businesses throughout the area.
Erie Street in the city is always decorated with Christmas lights and decorations this time of the year.
Arabica Coffee House, located at 4138 Erie St., has been a staple of Willoughby since 1996, and every year decorates its store with a variety of lights to bring in the holiday season.
During this time of year, the coffee shop offers a variety of festive beverages including Peppermint mocha. The Arabica Coffee House also uses activated charcoal to bring out the flavor in many of its beverages.
“Holiday season here is always great, everyone wants to come to downtown Willoughby because it’s always so festive this time of year. It has been a long few years but we are thankful and excited for this festive season,” said Tim Snider, owner of Arabica Coffee House. “We have holiday specials this time of year and many more of the classics. We do our best to make sure that everyone that comes in starts their morning right.”
Snider said that they will be putting out more festive foods as the season progresses toward December, and thanks his loyal customers for their patronage.
ETC. is a seasonal shop that sells a variety of bobbles, artwork and décor made by local artists. The shop, located at 4069 Erie St., opened in 2019 just before the pandemic.
“We have some wonderful customers that have gotten us through some pretty hard times,” said owner Marie Wickman. “We are a seasonal store that is always shifting and changing our store. The holiday season is our busiest time and we are always very excited to share it with the community.”
Wickman said that a great portion of her time goes toward constructing a theme for the holiday season and then setting up her festive displays accordingly.
The store offers a variety of candles, wicker decorations and this time of year, Christmas ornaments and décor available for purchase. Wickman said that she is thankful to her community for supporting not only their shop but the local artists they represent.
Barktown Willoughby is a specialty dog boutique and pet groomer business located at 4074 Erie St., that offers various gifts and products for canines.
“When we first opened, we were really happy to find out that our community was very welcoming to us,” Barktown Willoughby owner Gladi Reilly said. “We have a great groomer, and we are very happy with how we have progressed. The loyal customers we have are incredibly valuable to us.”
Barktown Willoughby will be hosting its Holiday Stroll and Open House on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their dogs and stop by the boutique to partake in the holiday deals.
“We did a lot of things this holiday season to promote foot traffic and help celebrate the dogs,” Reilly said. “We have a display in the back after the dogs are groomed that they can take festive photos with their pups.
Amid the recession in 2010, American Express created Small Business Saturday, which takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The day is intended to encourage people to shop small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses, according to American Express. With the first Small Business Saturday being a success, as well as the Shop Small Movement gaining momentum, local officials across the nation took notice and decided to promote the day. In 2011, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day.