Intentionalist: The Gift of Gift Certificates

by Laura Clise and Kristina Rivera

Intentionalist is built on one simple idea: where we spend our money matters. We make it easy to find, learn about, and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. #SpendLikeItMatters

‘Tis the season to #SpendLikeitMatters. It’s important we do our part — no matter how small it may seem — to help our South Seattle eateries stay afloat as they continue to navigate the loss in foot traffic due to lockdown restrictions. Gift certificates are the perfect, easy solution to get something thoughtful for everyone on your list. Whether it’s to their favorite restaurant or a new dessert place you know they’ll love, buying your loved ones a gift card to a small business is a win for everyone.

Make gift giving simple while helping local businesses by buying gift certificates this year.

Here are three Intentionalist suggestions for South End eateries you can support by buying a gift card this holiday season:

Taco Street

Image credit: Plate of Nations

Elonka and Marteen Perez opened Taco Street almost four years ago, fulfilling their dreams of opening their own restaurant. Taco Street brings the taste of Northern Chihuahua-style Mexican fare to Othello using recipes from Marteen’s mother. What makes Taco Street special is in the sauce — Marteen grows and harvests the red chiles they use as the base in many of Taco Street’s recipes from Chihuahua to bring the flavors of his home to South Seattle. When you come to Taco Street, make sure to try a plate of street tacos, chilaquiles, and Elonka’s favorite dish chile colorado (which you can learn how to make on Taco Street’s YouTube channel). Buy a gift card to Taco Street for yourself or a loved one and take a trip to Northern Chihuahua without leaving Seattle.

“Since day one, I’ve never felt like we were alone. The community was there making lines, being patient, watching us stumble, watching us grow, but always with patience and love and gratitude. It didn’t matter whether we stumbled a little bit in the beginning — they just kept coming back and reminding us how great everything was. So that, to me, was amazing to see people go out of their way to try to make sure we made it.” —Elonka Perez

Central Cafe and Juice Bar

Bridgette Johnson holding a smoothie inside Central Cafe and Juice Bar in the Central District. (Photo: Jeriel Calamayan)

Bridgette and Kevin Johnson created a unique and welcoming space where people can eat, drink, and connect when they opened Central Cafe and Juice Bar in January this year. Bridgette wanted to open Central Cafe to have a place where she could get to know her neighbors while bringing them good-quality food. Since the pandemic began just three months after opening, the cafe pivoted to takeout and converted their patio into a cozy space where people can gather at a distance. On the menu, you’ll find old-school deli items, like breakfast burritos and sandwiches, smoothies, and fresh-pressed juices all made in house. Plus, they offer vegetarian and vegan options so everyone can find something to eat here. Give the gift of a comforting drink (like their new Central Cider — a hot, spiced apple cider and whiskey beverage) and a warm meal this winter when you buy a gift certificate to Central Cafe and Juice Bar.

“We’re just making sure we’re making good-quality food to feed our community. I think of [Central Cafe and Juice Bar] as a meeting place where people can connect with their friends and family.” —Bridgette Johnson

Raised Doughnuts

Raised Doughnuts owner Mi Kim and her dog, Noodle, inside her doughnut shop. (Photo: Raised Doughnuts)

Raised Doughnuts owner Mi Kim grew up eating doughnuts with her dad after days she spent helping out at her parents’ restaurant. After 10 years at Macrina Bakery and successful pop-ups with her doughnuts, Mi opened Raised Doughnuts in the Central District with her business partner, Miun Liu. You’ll find your classic maple, glazed, and chocolate doughnuts here as well as fun and unique flavor combinations that rotate every month. Some flavors you can get your hands on in December are their cranberry thyme, everything bagel, and peppermint hot cocoa doughnuts that are made from scratch — fillings, toppings, glazes, and all. A Raised Doughnuts gift certificate makes the perfect present for a foodie with a sweet tooth.

“I always wanted the shop to feel like a place to make memories in and for it to be a weekend tradition with your dad or siblings or friends, or a stop you make after a bike ride — the kind of [place] that’s like a natural part of your life.” —Mi Kim

Laura Clise is the founder and CEO of Intentionalist, an online platform and guide to small businesses and the diverse people behind them. She serves on the board of directors for IslandWood and Athlete Ally, and can sing and/or order chocolate ice cream in Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Cambodian, Hebrew, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Kristina Rivera is the marketing and communications coordinator at Intentionalist. She graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in journalism and public relations and has worked with organizations ranging from local nonprofits to global PR firms.

Featured image: A plate of Raised Doughnuts’ new monthly flavors — pandan mochi, gingerbread fritter, cranberry thyme, and white chocolate peppermint bark. (Photo: Raised Doughnuts)