You Can’t Shop More Local For The Holidays Than in Old Town Florissant

Andrea D’Angelo and “Roxanna” her Facebook mascot, of Andrea’s Boutique.

Story and Photos By Nicole Richardson

The hustle and bustle of another holiday season is upon us and it’s time to check Santa’s list to see who’s been good enough to warrant a gift this year. Inevitably, everyone on said list will be bought for and checked off. To cut down online time and find super unique gifts, look to your local vendors this year for treasures sure to please even the grinchiest of grinches.

Florissant, especially Old Town, is home to many small businesses you may not have had the pleasure of visiting. Now is the perfect time of year to venture out and support your community by shopping local. Tis the season to get creative and truly show loved ones you put thought into their gifts. What better way, than to find one-of-a-kind trinkets to match the one-of-a-kind recipients?

Florissant offers a touch of everything and depending on what theme you choose, our local stores can make it happen. From clothes to hair to food to novelties, we have it all here. When deciding what to buy someone, really think about what they would love or need and go from there. Something as simple as a framed picture from Korte’s or a gift certificate for a haircut can become favorite and much-remembered presents.

Debborah Knop, owner at Deb’s hair Salon, a long-time Old Town salon.

Debborah Knop, owner of Deb’s Hair Salon, has been in business a total of 38 years, 24 of which have been in Old Town. Debborah’s shop is brimming with cheer and jubilance. There is a very close-knit feeling in the shop, as some of her customers have been with her all 38 years.

“Some of them have followed me shop to shop,” said Knop, “I do their kids’ hair and their grandkids even!” Some of the customer’s even depend on the staff to pick them up and take them home so they can make their appointments.

For a practical casual gift, try Goeke’s Produce. Run by sisters Lynne Combest and Karen Wibracht, who have been in business 22 years, there is more than meets the eye here. The family owned store has lots of variety and offers custom made gift baskets, if ordered early enough.

Aside from the  fresh produce, the store is home to over 300 spices, 90 of which are under

Lynne Combest, her grandaughter Faith Combest, and her sister Karen Wibrach, co-owners of Goeke’s Produce.

one dollar. They also have chocolate, Chauvin gourmet coffees, Amish popcorns, dried fruits, homemade salsas and jams, among many other local products.

Another Old Town gem is Andrea’s Boutique. Opened two years ago by Andrea D’Angelo, it boasts a plethora of interesting items. From clothes to handbags, shoes to wall art, there is an eclectic blend of things in this quaint store.

D’Angelo refers to her inventory as a “hodge-podge of old and new” and the shop is immaculately organized for a consignment boutique, thanks to new shelving units. There is a real feeling of warmth from the moment of entry and Andrea takes the time to ask questions about what her customers are looking for in order to guide them to the best suited items.

There are many choices for gift giving in this cute little shop, but recently Andrea gave her father the best gift of all-the gift of life. Seven weeks ago she gave her father a kidney transplant and has become a huge advocate for the procedure.

“Going through this process has made me realize this issue is more present than we think and if anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to answer them,” said D’Angelo.

Jerry Ahlert, manager and jeweler at Henefers Jewelers in Old Town.

Maybe some fine jewelry from Don Henefers would do the trick. Their selection is vast and includes such things as fine jewelry, silver fashion jewelry, key chains, money clips, and even Henefer brand watches.

Manager and Jeweler, Jerry Ahlert, acknowledges they have been busier this year than in the last few, and suggests shopping early for the best selection. Henefers offers gift cards for any amount for those who aren’t sure what to purchase and their Christmas flier has many stunning items.

Henefers also offers fine jewelry and watch repair as well. Ahlert is very proud of the business that has been around since 1946. “We stand behind our products and our company is based on our reputation and trust,” he said.

Clearly, local shops abound in Florissant and with some time and thoughtfulness it is easy to score big this holiday season.

(Other Old Town shops to consider for that perfect gift  include: Brief Reflections, Florissant Old Town Marketplace, the Village of the Blue Rose and Dooley’s Florist and Gifts.)


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