We’re making it easy to shop small and support the military community during the holiday season.
Whether you’re shopping for special holiday gifts for family and friends or something to treat yourself, and no matter your holiday budget, the Bunker Labs community has just what you’re looking for.
Check out 30+ veteran and military spouse-owned businesses we love:
Assault Forward is a 100% veteran-owned business that makes all of its products in the USA. Assault Forward features a wide collection of apparel and accessories, including pins for veterans to wear to show their pride for their service while still maintaining a professional look. The small personal touch of the lapel pin has allowed veterans to speak up about their military service in job interviews and workplace situations, allowing for better connection and a smoother transition back into civilian life. It is Assault Forward’s hope that by employing veterans within their own company and producing veteran-themed accessories and apparel, they can help to combat the high rate of unemployment among veterans. Learn more about them here.
Carolina Blue Cigars
Carolina Blue Cigars are handcrafted, specialty cigars designed and created by U.S. Army Veteran Christopher Moore. Moore served thirty years in the military, including three combat tours. After retirement from the military, he entered the cigar business. Carolina Blue Cigars are made in cooperation with master blender Francisco De La Cruz of Tamboril, a municipality in the Dominican Republic known for cigar production. Together, Moore and De La Cruz continue to uphold the tradition of handcrafted cigars. Moore caps production at 2,000 Carolina Blue cigars made each week to ensure quantity never overshadows quality. Carolina Blue cigars are sold in a variety of retailers across the country and can also be ordered online. Read more about the selection and Christopher Moore here.
Finn Walsh describes himself as a “true American rogue,” and his company, Jasper Keys, reflects his rough-around-the-edges lifestyle. Jasper Keys is a veteran-owned and operated company based in Denver, Co. specializing in accessories and apparel for individuals interested in forging their own path. Nothing about Jasper Keys is traditional, and that’s why their apparel and accessories would make the perfect gift for the rowdy crowd in your life. See what this American rogue is all about here.
When Theo Lee met U.S. Army veteran Mike Kim in business school, they became fast friends, quickly bonding over their love of Korean food and culture. Together with the help of professional chef Chris Oh, they created and launched KPOP Foods, a line of sauces, snacks, and recipes designed to encourage others to explore and discover Korean cuisine. The original KPOP Foods sauce is a gochujang sauce based on Theo’s grandmother’s secret recipe from seventy years ago, and it continues to be one of their most popular sauces today.
In addition to being a veteran-owned small business, KPOP Foods has also partnered with Team Rubicon. For every bottle of sauce sold until December 31, 2020, KPOP Foods will donate $1 to Team Rubicon to help provide disaster relief and support for veterans. Shop now and support KPOP Foods and Team Rubicon.
When Army First Sergeant Valerie Ellis Lavin retired after 21 years of service, she went to work advocating for veteran entrepreneurship. Soon, she was an entrepreneur herself. Luminary Global was Lavin’s way to continue to support military personnel as well as those serving domestically, such as first responders, police officers, medical personnel, and more. Luminary offers a wide range of tools, supplies, and kits designed to provide both civil servants and civilians with anything they may need during an emergency situation. From first aid kits to power outage supplies, Luminary Global offers practical supplies for any emergency situation. See their full line of emergency preparedness kits and learn more about how you can contribute to those who serve here.
Mutt’s Sauce is a family-owned small business created in memory of Charlie “Mutt” Ferrell, Jr., a veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force for 21 years. Mutt originally created his special sauce in the 1950’s, and he used its delicious flavor to connect with people wherever he went, including while living overseas during the Vietnam War. When Mutt passed away in 2005, his family feared his recipe was lost forever, until they realized Mutt had left the secret recipe with his granddaughter. In 2013, Mutt’s sauce was bottled and is now sold in stores and online. You can also purchase Mutt’s merchandise and gift cards that are perfect for the holiday season. See the full selection here.
When U.S. Marine Corps veteran JD Kameen wasn’t satisfied with a digital print-out of a photo from his honeymoon, he decided to commission an artist to paint the photo instead. JD and his wife Liza were long-time appreciators of art, and they immediately fell in love with the painting of the photo. The idea for Paintru was born. What Paintru has done is create a place for everyday people to commission works of art from artists all over the globe. JD and Liza serve as the connection between consumers and artists, making purchasing custom art simple and affordable. In building their company, they’ve been able to employ other veterans into their core team. See the work Paintru has done and meet the team here.
Popcorn Friday is operated out of Texas Hill Country by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Dan and his wife Priscilla. While Dan was serving in the Marines for twenty years, Priscilla perfected her specialty popcorn recipes. After Dan retired in 2015, the couple created their small business Popcorn Friday, and it’s been popping ever since! They offer a huge variety of styles and flavors ranging from candy sweet to savory dill pickle. Order a tin or a sample box with a variety of flavors, or make a special corporate request for a bulk order. Check out their full list of flavors and options here.
Southern Elegance Candle Company
Southern Elegance Candle Company is a woman-owned business founded and led by military spouse D’Shawn Russell in North Carolina. All of Southern Elegance’s candles are made using local products from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Each Southern-inspired scent, such as Appalachian Trail or The Bayou, tells its own unique story. D’Shawn and her team have worked incredibly hard, and their business truly reflects the genuine and timeless soul of Southern hospitality through their handmade candle collections. Check out their signature scents and fall and holiday collections here.
The Loaf Bar
For those in the Nashville, Tennessee area, The Loaf Bar offers the perfect holiday treat. The Loaf Bar is a bakery owned and operated by U.S. Navy veteran and military spouse Lucy Dugger. Each of her delicious mini loaves are baked fresh with quality ingredients and delivered to your door. Flavors include sweet loaves such as apple cinnamon and lemon poppyseed, as well as savory loaves like Loaf’s cheddar beer bread. The bakery also has gluten-free options. Have them delivered to a friend or family member as a happy holiday surprise. Check out the full selection here.
Thank you for supporting local military connected small businesses.
As you begin making your lists and checking them twice, we encourage you to pay it forward this holiday season by shopping small at military-connected businesses. The full Bunker Labs Holiday Guide includes the veteran and military spouse-owned businesses mentioned above, and many more. Shop small today.