King Drive Business Improvement District promotes local stores ahead of holidays

MILWAUKEE — Saturday is expected to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But before you head to the big box store or risk shipping delays, the Historic King Drive Business Improvement District wants you to keep your money local.

Bronzeville Collective, Maranta Plant Shop, Honey Bee Sage, Birdsong’s, Spinn and Pete’s Fruit Market are some of the businesses highlighted ahead of the holiday shopping weekend. We talked to some of these stores about what they offer.

Angela Mallett is the owner of Honey Bee Sage, an herbal apothecary and gift shop. The King Drive branch opened just three weeks ago.

Mallett is a trained massage therapist and has always been interested in herbs.

“Using natural resources or natural means to promote health has always been part of the African-American heritage, as well as the heritage of Indigenous peoples around the world,” Mallett said.

In the shop, they sell different herbs as well as their custom blended teas. They also sell natural body products from other local suppliers.

“It’s a big time for small businesses, especially as we get closer to the season when people are going home and probably won’t be doing as much shopping for the next few months. It’s an opportunity to help us boost Good timing,” Mallett said.

Honey Bee Sage also offers a place to go for those who might just need a break from the holiday craziness. Inside the store is a hot tea and non-alcoholic beverage bar.

That’s definitely part of our goal, building community in this space,” she said.

Just half a block from Honey Bee Sage, the Maranta Plant Shop exudes a tropical vibe this time of year.

Monse Tavares has been working at the factory since the factory store opened in 2021. She wants her neighbors to consider supporting local businesses this holiday season.

“It’s important because you’re helping the community, you’re helping the people in the community, and you actually know that the money is going to be reinvested in the business,” Tavares said.

Plus, she says plants make a unique gift and suggests giving a snake plant or zz.

“While flowers are beautiful, they are known to die eventually,” Tavares said. “Hence why a plant is such a beautiful gift…you can watch it grow for years and years.”

Another store worth checking out is Birdsong’s on the corner of King Dr. and North Street. This store is a King Dr. staple and has been on the street for 18 years.

“It’s very important to keep it in the community,” said owner Edgar Birdsong.

Birdsong’s is having their annual sale this weekend, which means 25% off everything in store.

“We sell over 700 different fragrances, oils and essential oils. We have lotions, body washes, body creams and massage oils.”

All of these businesses also belong to BIPOC.

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