The Dutch Store
An underrated gem in Grand Rapids is Vander Veen’s The Dutch Store, 2755 28th St. SW in Wyoming.
For more than 80 years, Vander Veen’s has served up classic Dutch products for the entire U.S., and the holiday season is a time for the store to shine.
With the rich Dutch heritage in West Michigan, even those who don’t share the lineage, it can be a fun adventure to check out some of their traditions. A classic is the Windmill cookie, a spiced almond cookie, in the shape of, you guessed it, a windmill.
Another fun option to try out are chocolate letters, which come in milk and dark chocolate. They are traditionlly given children to correspond with the first letter of their first name.
Art of the Table
Art of the Table, 606 Wealthy St. SE, and Aperitivo, 425 Ionia Ave. SW, are two great places to grab small gifts for hosts and loved ones across the board. From extensive wine collections to great cook- books and treats, both stores — under the same ownership — are great for perusing and picking up a quick, but delicious gift.
Downtown retail got a shot in the arm this summer when Periwinkle FOG, 125 Otta- wa Ave. NW #160, opened. The eclectic store focuses on providing tourists and locals alike a selection of “globally inspired, locally discovered” items. Sounds like a great spot to look around for a special gift for that hard person on your list.
Locally owned bookstores are also a great spot to check out, because a great book is never a bad gift to begin with. Schuler’s, 2660 28th St. SE, however, also offers an expansive selection of gifts, from home knick-knacks to board games and goofy stocking stuffers. There is also a great selection of children’s items. Earlier this fall, Schuler Books celebrated its 40th year.