Utah residents looking to purchase Christmas gifts made in their home state have a number of choices.
Within the state's borders are breadmakers, cheese producers and candlemakers. There are people who will build a custom skateboard, a hand-crafted piece of furniture and even a tent.
Buying from these producers and craftspeople not only means a unique gift for a loved one, but it helps build the economy and creates jobs. For every $1 spent on a Utah product, $1.50 to $2.50 is added to the state's economy, according to estimates by the Utah's Own program, which promotes state-made products.
This coming week is an especially good time to think local. Now through Dec.6 is the fourth annual "Buy Local First" week.
Utahns are being asked to "Make the Local Gift Shift" by pledging to shift 10 percent of their holiday gift budget to locally owned independent businesses. You can sign a pledge at localfirst.org.
Salt Lake City's Sugar House shopping district will hold a "buy local" holidays event Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shoppers who pick up a passport and get it stamped at five participating stores will receive a free scarf or a beanie. More than 70 locally owned businesses in the Sugar House area are participating.
Of course, you can shop local anytime with stores such as Lehi Roller Mills, which sells only products made in the state at its retail store.
"We are growing by leaps and bounds in all sectors," said store manager Dan Sutherland. Besides the outlet in Lehi, the company sells products at grocery stores and big-box outlets in Utah and out of state.
Deon Ruff of Highland and her mother, Virjean Call, who lives in Minnesota, made a special trip to the Lehi Roller Mills store recently. Call wanted to buy her favorite oatmeal in bulk.
"I like the homey atmosphere and will go out of my way," said Ruff.
Another Utah-owned business in Lehi is Rod Works, which sells iron and home-décor products.
"We try really hard to buy from local vendors," said employee Alexis Crockett. "If people don't make money here, they don't spend money."
The store at Thanksgiving Point also sells a number of Utah-made products. Employee Janice Westley said some of the most popular items are Salt City Candles, Cox Honey and RealSalt products from Redmond.
Kirkham's » 3125 S. State St., South Salt Lake; 801-486-4161; http://kirkhams.com" Target="_BLANK">kirkhams.com. Tent and canvas products.
Rowley's Southridge Farms » 300 W. 900 South, Santaquin; 888-754-5511; http://southridgefarms.com" Target="_BLANK">southridgefarms.com. Fruit and juice.
Lehi Roller Mills » 833 E. Main St., Lehi; 1-877-311-3566; http://lehirollermills.com" Target="_BLANK">lehirollermills.com. Grains, cereals, flour and mixes.
Cox Honeyland & Gifts » 1780 S. Highway 89-91, Logan; 435-752-3234; http://coxhoney.com" Target="_BLANK">coxhoney.com. Honey products.
Dairy Farmers of America Cheese Factory Outlet » 330 W. 300 South, Beaver; http://www.dfamilk.com/dfmart/cachevalley/home.html" Target="_BLANK">http://www.dfamilk.com/dfmart/cachevalley/home.html. Cheese, ice cream, gift boxes, crafts.
Ephraim Co-op » 96 N. Main, Ephraim; 435-283-6654; http://ephraimcoop.com" Target="_BLANK">ephraimcoop.com. Crafts.
Western Nut » 434 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City; 801-363-8869; http://westernut.com" Target="_BLANK">westernut.com. Nuts, candies, gift baskets.
* Balance Longboards » Salt Lake City; http://balancelongboards.com" Target="_BLANK">balancelongboards.com. Custom skateboards.
* Avenues Sweets » Salt Lake City; http://avenuesweets.com" Target="_BLANK">avenuesweets.com. Candies, gift baskets.
Young Living Farms » 3700 N. Highway 91, Mona; http://younglivingfarms.com" Target="_BLANK">younglivingfarms.com. Distilled oils.
Great Basin Natives » 75 W. 300 South, Holden; 435-795-2303; http://greatbasinnatives.com" Target="_BLANK">greatbasinnatives.com. Plants.
Rico Locals Food Co-op » 779 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City; 801-364-9700; http://ricolocals.com" Target="_BLANK">ricolocals.com. Various food products.
Peel Furniture Works » 565 W. Main St., Mt. Pleasant; 435-462-2887; http://peelfurniture.com" Target="_BLANK">peelfurniture.com. Hand-crafted furniture.
Quilted Bear » locations in Midvale, Provo and Ogden; http://quiltedbear.com" Target="_BLANK">quiltedbear.com. Crafts.
* Internet sales only
The following Internet sites can help you find Utah businesses and products:
Buy Local First » http://localfirst.org" Target="_BLANK">localfirst.org
Salt Lake Vest Pocket Business Coalition » http://vestpocket.org" Target="_BLANK">vestpocket.org
Sugar House Community Council » http://sugarhousecouncil.com" Target="_BLANK">sugarhousecouncil.com
Utah's Own » http://utahsown.utah.gov" Target="_BLANK">utahsown.utah.gov