Savvy Bites continues to grow, maintain loyal customer base

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Savvy Bites Gifts and Kitchen Specialties is located at 118 E Main Street in Downtown Shawnee and offers a variety of gifts and kitchen gadgets.
Savvy Bites Gifts and Kitchen Specialties is located at 118 E Main Street in Downtown Shawnee and offers a variety of gifts and kitchen gadgets.
Savvy Bites Gifts and Kitchen Specialties is located at 118 E Main Street in Downtown Shawnee and offers a variety of gifts and kitchen gadgets.
Savvy Bites Gifts and Kitchen Specialties is located at 118 E Main Street in Downtown Shawnee and offers a variety of gifts and kitchen gadgets.

From virgin olive oil and kitchen utensils to children’s toys and women’s pajamas, Savvy Bites, Gifts and Kitchen Specialties remains a one-stop shop for unique local gifts.  

According to owner Vicki Grider, Savvy Bites is entering its tenth year of operation and continues to provide interesting items and presents to the shoppers of Shawnee.  

"We are a gourmet kitchen and gifts store. One of our primary products are our infused extra virgin olive oils," Grider said. "We have lots kitchen gadgets and tools.” 

In addition, Grider said Savvy Bites has a selection of gourmet mixes, appetizers, wine and cheese accessory tools, pastas, Made In Oklahoma products, cocktails, men's items, toys, sleepwear, eating utensils, candles, decorative platters, soaps, coffee and more.   

"We have a little bit of something for everyone," Grider said. "That's kind of it in a big nutshell." 

The business owner said Savvy Bites opened in 2011 and started on MacArthur before expanding to Downtown Shawnee where it has been for the last 4 and a half years.  

Grider said she's always been in love with food and wanted to open a store that provided quality cooking items to the community.  

"I've always been a foodie at heart. I used to do some catering. I was a home economics teacher," Grider said. "So it was the things when I opened that I loved and felt passionate about." 

Grider said she wanted to bring infused virgin olive oils to Shawnee and became one of the first businesses in the state to offer them. 

"That was kind of the core we opened with was the oil and vinegar," Grider said "And just gourmet food. We just didn't have as many choices here as they have in (Oklahoma City)."  

The Shawnee native said she grew up in the community, graduated from Shawnee High School and taught at Shawnee Middle School for about 12-15 years.  

"I went to Oklahoma City and worked at an agency as a marketing person and then opened the store while I was still in the City and then became full-time at the store about six years ago," Grider said. 

The former educator said the best aspects of owning her store are meeting new people and connecting with old friends. 

"In addition to seeing former students that have become great parents and citizens and reconnecting with high school friends and family stopping to visit, it has been so fun becoming acquainted and friends with new customers that I might have never had the opportunity to know," Grider said.  

While she loves running her own store, Grider said at times it can be challenging. 

"The hardest thing is just getting it all done," Grider said. "There's fun parts like customers and that kind of thing but trying to have what people want is a challenge."  

However, Grider said finding what something for everyone is a fun part to because you get to provide items that people love.  

"I probably sometimes get a lot of things but I also think that's part of the charm because almost anybody can find a gift for somebody in here," Grider said.  

During the pandemic Grider said she's been doing well because her customers have been loyal and she as a food provider she didn't have to shut down. 

"I have been so lucky and appreciative to have terrific support from the community, friends, family and my partner, Jay," Grider said.  

The business owner said she tries to accommodating to those who are cautious amid COVID-19 by offering local delivery, curbside service, social distance shopping and a mask requirements in accordance with the citywide mandate. 

"Overall COVID might have been a challenge stretching myself a little bit as far as doing deliveries," Grider said. "(However,) I think people have shopped more locally and more loyally." 

Grider said she's enjoying providing local items to people for their holiday shopping and looks forward to the future.  

"I think Shawnee is very good a supporting local business and I'm appreciative of all my customers," Grider said.  

For more information visit https://savvybites.co/.