Art & Culture

When it comes to Christmas, shop local

From food and drink to handcrafted items, area stores offer many unique options.
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Still looking for the perfect holiday gift for a friend or family member? Look no further than businesses in San Benito County.


If you need a one-stop spot for multiple gifts, Casa de Fruta is it. With several buildings dedicated to different product lines (including Casa de Wine and Casa de Sweets) you are sure to find something for everyone on your list. From adult beverages to dried fruit assortments, children’s toys, holiday decorations, sweets, as well as novelty gifts, Casa de Fruta has you covered.

10021 Pacheco Pass Highway, Hollister



Bill’s Bullpen in downtown Hollister is the perfect place to stop for comic books, baseball cards, trading cards and other sports collectibles.

“If you want to ask questions or talk to someone about comic books or Magic the Gathering everyone who works there is perfect,” said Hollister teen Gage Jumper.

207 Fourth St., Hollister



Thinking of getting a four-legged friend for yourself or a loved one? In San Benito County there are multiple options to adopt a dog or cat. Just make sure you are prepared to assume the responsibility of keeping an animal so that your new pet will be in its forever home.



For something handmade by a local artisan, stop by downtown Hollister boutique Johnnie’s Girl 535. Run by a daughter-mother team, one reviewer on their Facebook page stated, “Johnnie’s Girl store incorporates creativity, passion, and customer service within one visit.”

535 San Benito St., Hollister



Located in downtown Hollister, Beeswax Candle Studio sells homemade candles, wax melts, lotions, soaps, bath products and more.

“Our products are hand made with the purest ingredients. We only use 100% pure beeswax, pure essential oils, phthalate free fragrances and cotton wicks,” the company states on its website.

748 San Benito St., Hollister



Newly opened in Hollister, Studio MVG is comprised of three local stylists: Brittany Sims, Eva Padilla and Stacie Diller. If you’re looking to give something that won’t be put off to the side, a gift certificate for Studio MVG could be the right fit.

“Why give someone something that’s going to sit in a drawer when you can give a gift that someone will actually enjoy. Plus, shopping local supports our small business and downtown,” said stylist Eva Padilla.

843 San Benito St., Hollister



Located in San Juan Bautista, Season Handcrafts has an assortment of handmade goods. Some items currently in stock include handmade Day of the Dead and pan dulce ornaments, as well as numerous Santas wearing popular NFL team gear. The store also sells men’s and women’s gifts, Mexican cultural items, handbags and jewelry.

“Throughout the years I’ve listened to what people have asked for,” said co-owner Margaret Martinez. “[There is a] variety in gifts.”

203 Third St., San Juan Bautista



Bear Flag Gallery in San Juan Bautista is a co-op of eight women-owned businesses working together to bring items from around the world to one location. Countries represented in the store include Russia, Ukraine, Peru, Guatemala and Mexico. The store includes multiple styles of clothing, jewelry, art, souvenirs, children items such as crocheted finger puppets and more.

“It’s unique and beautiful,” said Irina Brown, who creates and sells jewelry specializing in natural and healing stones. “You just go ‘Wow!’”

207 Third St., San Juan Bautista



There are several locally owned restaurants in San Benito County where the foodie in your life would enjoy eating. Lolla’s in San Juan Bautista has become an instant favorite with its soups, salads and artisanal sandwiches made from locally and seasonally sourced ingredients.

“Give the gift of nourishment,” said co-owner Olivier Griss.

201 Third St., San Juan Bautista



Whether it’s a gift certificate to get a drink with a friend or a bottle of beer to wrap for Christmas Day, Brewery Twenty Five is sure to be a hit with anyone who likes to try new beer or is already a fan. Brewery Twenty Five also sells clothing items including hats and shirts.

“Try All Their Beers and show your support to a local Brewery Company,” said a customer who posted on the business’ Facebook page. “You will not be disappointed.”

106 Third St., San Juan Bautista



If you are looking for “Cali-Mex Folk Art” or shopping for a new skateboard for that special someone, Artsy Chica Boutique and Roll Forever Skate Shop in San Juan Bautista is your stop. Locally owned and operated by husband and wife team Anthony and Monica Shearer, the store is a blend of one-of-a-kind acrylic paintings, stained glass, purses, jewelry, and all the necessary items to create a custom skateboard.

“Everything I make is by hand,” said Monica. “It’s a blend of my two cultures.”

While Monica creates pieces for her Artsy Chica Boutique, husband Anthony runs Roll Forever Skate Shop within the same space.

“He’s a sponsored skateboarder,” Monica said. “We do mostly small localish companies. We aren’t a Zumiez shop.”

106 D Third St., San Juan Bautista



For the person in your life who loves home décor or restoring antique furniture, Lois’s Unique Home Furnishings in San Juan Bautista is the shop for you. Owned and run by mother-daughter duo Lois Long and Laurie Ponce, the store includes new and refurbished items that would appeal to a newly married couple or a grandmother celebrating another holiday season.

Describing what’s in the store, Lois said: “It’s French country. We have antiques, vintage, and new home décor. Our furniture is all refurbished. We give it new life.”

203 Third St., Suite C, San Juan Bautista  



Becky Bonner

Becky Bonner is a local teacher at San Benito High School who is passionate about sharing things to do in San Benito County.