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Explorations and Curiosities

Where to Gift Your Grad

They've got the mortarboard—now support these worthy brick-and-mortars.

May-June 2021

Formaggio Kitchen’s newest location

Formaggio Kitchen’s newest location

It’s been an unusual year for students, and graduates deserve a little bit of extra love. Happily, there are plenty of options in and around the Square to help them celebrate in the style they deserve, from wardrobe consults for that all-important job interview to gourmet goodies for the perfect mini-celebration.

Mint Julep’s Fenway sweater

Help your favorite graduate prepare for the real world in style with a custom wardrobe consult from the Andover Shop (, known for classic, preppy threads. For even more personal attention, snap up a style consult from Looks Love (, which will customize a wardrobe box with just the right mix of options, from dressy to casual. Mint Julep ( is known for brightly patterned, whimsical clothes and accessories—and they just launched a Harvard Square soy candle (with notes of tea and leather), perfect for a new apartment. Complete an outfit with one-of-a-kind jewelry from Motto (, known for edgy, steampunk-style necklaces and rings. For a more timeless—and personalized—heirloom, visit Rebekah Brooks for jewelry engraving or antique restoration ( Speaking of timeless: Swiss Watchmaker (, in the neighborhood for decades, offers an array of classic timepieces. And don’t forget a card from Bob Slate to top it off (

To keep Harvard memories alive long after graduation season ends, pop into the Harvard Coop for an assortment of keepsakes and regalia, as well as Commencement-specific treasures like diploma frames, Harvard chairs, class and school rings, and more. The Harvard Book Store ( also stocks Harvard-themed adult and kids’ clothing—plus its vast selection of hardcovers, of course. Speaking of books, get your favorite bookworm a pair of John Harvard bookends from Leavitt & Peirce (, or even an antique map of campus circa 1936. 

L.A. Burdick’s famous chocolate mice

If you fear your celebrants will resort to ramen noodles and late-night snacks far from the dining hall, festoon their new kitchens with culinary delicacies. Stop by the newly expanded Formaggio Kitchen ( for an assortment of imported oils and spices, pastas, and of course cheese—including a handy cheese of-the month club to keep your grad’s fridge stocked. Cardullo’s ( carries a wide selection of sweets and wines, plus themed gift boxes for every taste, from snacks to truffles to nostalgic desserts. At L.A. Burdick (, you’ll find a sophisticated collection of gourmet chocolate—including chocolate mice made by hand over the course of three days, the only kind of mouse your grad wants in a new apartment.

For something even sweeter, Follow the Honey offers an array of honey-themed foods and beauty products, from lotions to soaps. Their brick-and-mortar is temporarily closed, but order online at Need to celebrate from a distance? Ship off a Milk Bar ( “cheerleader” assortment with chef Christina Tosi’s signature super-gooey pie and cookie tins in fun flavors like marshmallow and confetti.

Bacon cheeseburger at Charlie’s Kitchen

Restaurants could definitely use our support these days, too, so consider a gift card to one of your graduate’s local favorites, either to celebrate Commencement or for a fun return to campus. Go upscale with Benedetto (, Harvest (, or Henrietta’s Table (, or give your grad a reminder of a favorite watering hole like Charlie’s Kitchen ( or Grendel’s Den (

Brattle Square Florist bouquet

Last but not least, help your graduate’s new digs feel like home with special touches: Brattle Square Florist ( stocks beautiful bouquets and houseplants, with delivery throughout the Boston area. The Cambridge Artists Coop ( specializes in unique, juried art, from paintings to fabrics to sculpture, sold by the craftspeople themselves. Many prints celebrate Cambridge landmarks, too, such as the Anderson Bridge. Or go beyond Boston with eclectic, global wares from Nomad (, which stocks everything from Indian printed tablecloths to Mexican folk art. It’s a uniquely global shop with touches that make anywhere—even far from the Square—feel like home.

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