Shop Local Products This Year to Help the San Diego Small Business Community

“I’m a big fan of small business ownership. I think it’s the backbone of American innovation. But to be successful, you first have to have the courage to go for it.” -Bill Rancic

san diego small business
Have you started your holiday shopping yet? We’re less than a week away from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the return of the Elf on the Shelf, the 12 Days of Christmas, Hanukkah, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Before you know it we’ll be ringing in 2017. Are you making your list and checking it twice? Are you gearing up to spend hours in line waiting for that must-have item at the big box stores? Planning to spend Cyber Monday glued to your laptop? What if this year you took a different approach and saved yourself some time and stress and shopped small businesses?


An unknown author said, “When you buy from a small business you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom put food on the table, a dad pay a mortgage or a student pay for college.” Small business owners are people who have been brave enough to make their dreams come true. Some businesses start with a very clear vision and others start with a passion that evolves into something bigger than they ever imagined. There’s a very different feeling you get when you get to know the owner and creator of a small business vs. when you walk out of a big box retailer.


San Diego truly has some of the best food from carne asada burritos to acai bowls and everything in between (read my latest food review here!), but did you know we have some amazing small food businesses as well? These local treats are perfect for stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, holiday parties, gift baskets, corporate gifting and soo much more. Here are my top 4 local treats:


Sugar Mamma Caramels

The owner and operator, Nancy Flint, turned her passion for making caramels into a very sweet business. She works in her home based kitchen making her award winning Sea Salt Caramels along with 16 other flavors. Everyone loves Sea Salt Caramels, but what about Bourbon Caramels, Meyer Lemon Caramels, or Chai Caramels? Her Sugar Mamma business motto is “Give Love, add a little Sugar” and she definitely puts a lot of love into each and every caramel, which are individually hand wrapped in biodegradable cellophane, and packaged with care. So instead of buying all that prepackaged candy this year, spread some cheer with these all-natural and delicious homemade caramels. Sugar Mamma caramels can be purchased from local retailers (find out where here!), ordered directly through her website, or you can contact Nancy directly by emailing: Follow Sugar Mamma on Facebook @SugarMammaDesserts or Instagram @sugar_mamma62 for upcoming events and promotions.

san diego small business san diego small business


Kip’s Nut-Free Kitchen

Jenny Stackle, the owner and operator of Kip’s Nut-Free Kitchen, who is the mom of a little boy with food allergies, felt it was important to make something safe for her son to eat. Food allergies can be life threatening and it takes a lot of diligence to protect your loved ones against allergic reactions brought on by food. As a result, Jenny has created a vegan, nut free, gluten free, top 8 free granola bark that you will want to eat and snack on whether you have food allergies or not. She too works from a home based kitchen and you can order by emailing her here: Follow @kipsnutfree on Facebook and Instagram for more product information, upcoming events and promotions.

san diego small business san diego small business


Bliss and Baker

Owners Natalie and her mom Laura share a passion for baking, which led to the creation of Bliss and Baker a year and a half ago, specializing in small batch rice crispie treats. This mother-daughter team is serving up flavored rice crispie treats like Salty Caramel Crispies, Peanut Butter Crispies, and El Churro Crispies just to name a few. You can find their delicious treats at some local retailers (find out where here!) or you can order directly from their website. They also enjoy making custom orders for local events, businesses, and corporate gifting. For more information, upcoming events, and new flavors, check them out on Facebook @blissandbaker and Instagram @blissandbaker or by email:

san diego small business san diego small business



Owner and operator, Michelle Johnson, has always been a foodie and while she was sampling marshmallows one day from a fair, she thought about how she could make them better…and boy has she! Once she mastered the perfect marshmallow, she turned her creativity over to the flavors and toppings. She buys authentic Colombian chocolate from a company called CasaLuker Cacao whose mission it is to give back to the community through sustainability and development opportunities. These artisan marshmallow pops come in a variety of flavors including S’mores, Key Lime, Cookies’n’Cream, Coffee Macadamia (infused with local James Coffee), and so much more. For more information, check out her website. To place an order, contact Michelle directly by emailing her at: Follow her on Facebook @shugasd and Instagram @shugasd for upcoming events, sales, and seasonal flavors.

san diego small business  san diego small business
These homemade San Diego treats will surely bring joy to the consumers and the business owners. Each company has been SanDiegoFoodGirls tested and approved! So as the end of the year approaches, consider making a change and pledging with us to shop local and support our community of small businesses in San Diego.
Have you shopped with these businesses before? Comment below and tell us about your experience.