As the holidays near, your good friends at Patch are here to assist you in getting through the season while still shopping locally.
With the holidays comes holiday parties, so the first installment of the 2011 Holiday Shopping Guide deals with items to bring along with you to a party, or to pick up if you’re hosting one of your own. Enjoy!
Laraia's Cheese Shop - 5 Seeger Dr., Nanuet - 845-627-2070
Laraia's has sold handmade mozzarella products since 1979, and it’s still going strong. Of course, we’re talking partly about the smell. As soon as you open the door, you’re nose is overcome by the power of the 250-plus kinds of cheese stocked in the store that’s just down the road from Rockland Bakery.
“If someone comes in and says they need something to bring to a party and know nothing about cheese, I tell them to buy one hard cheese and one soft cheese,” said Larry Laraia, the owner for 35 years until last year. “Usually that way everyone will find something they like.”
Last year, Laraia gave up ownership of the shop to Dorothy Clarke, although he still works there. He said two he suggests to people who might not be that familiar with cheese are aged cheeses and brie. Laraia said some popular holiday flavors include the wensleydale with cranberries, mascarpone with berries and d’Affinois, which is a double cream brie.
Laraia also said they can do platters and gift baskets for the holidays. Clarke said they have ravioli that is very popular as well. And for the holidays, they sell mozzarella cheese figurines in the shape of turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas trees, snowmen and wraths in the winter.
Monday-Wednesday open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday-Saturday open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pie Lady & Son - 366 N. Highland Ave./9W Upper Nyack - 845-535-3290
At one point while driving on 9W, there will usually be a handwritten sign in front of a tiny parking lot promising handmade pies, and sure enough nestled in the parking lot sits Pie Lady & Son. Deborah Tyler originally started selling pies out of her Nyack home as the Pie Lady, but eventually moved upstate. She returned just a few years ago with her son, Wil Tyler, and the two, along with Deborah's two daughters, now operate out of a storefront, where they make each pie from scratch.
“I’d say our pie crust is our claim to fame,” Wil Tyler said. “We make everything using the ingredients you’d find at home.”
He added that they like to make their pies based on seasonal fruit when they can, and right now heading into the holiday season some popular pies are pumpkin, pecan, cranberry and apple cranberry. Apple crumb, he said, is a favorite year-round, as well.
Tyler also said that orders for Thanksgiving are quickly filling up and to call soon if you want to place an order to enjoy after some turkey, and call early if you want to place an order during the holiday season.
Tuesday - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Chocolatier - 63 South Main St., New City - 845-638-3322
This family-owned store has been around for more than 30 years, and is the place to stop if you want to be the most beloved and hated person at your party for brining along whatever chocolate goodness you find. The Chocolatier has countless styles of chocolate and can create platters and boxes of any combination you see fit. The list of items covered in chocolate ranges from 20 different styles of pretzels to graham crackers to Oreos to waffles. And still, the most popular item this year heading into the holiday season is not even edible.
“The hot seller right now is the high-heeled shoe wine caddy,” said Sheryl Lorber, owner of the The Chocolatier. “If you bring in a bottle of wine, we can wrap it up and put it in one of them to give you a really nice gift to bring to a party.”
The store also has a number of other gifts you can check out, as well as some non-chocolate candy to sift through as well.
Monday-Friday open 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday open 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 8 N. Williams Ave., Pearl River - 845-735-2809
This liquor store has been around for more than 60 years and is a stop to make when heading to a party without the kids. Peckman’s carries a variety of liquor, including many affordable bottles of wine for less than $10, including some particularly interesting flavors for your holiday party.
Some popular ones right now are chocolate wine, red velvet cupcake wine and chocolate lab wine, according to owner Susan Peckman. Of course, there are also non-chocolate wines for sale at the store, as well as many mixed tequilas, which can make for a nice gift for those looking to spend a bit more, Peckman said.
She also said they can wrap any bottle of wine, and offer a two-bottle win package with free wrapping. There is also a deal where you can buy 12 bottles of wine, which will all be wrapped at the store, which Peckman said could be good if you’re looking for gifts for the office.
“We also have a lot of champagne,” she said. “You pick up a bottle of champagne and that’s your invitation to get into any party you want.”
Monday-Thursday open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.