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Butter Paddle

The 2019 winner for Best Gift Shop in Silicon Valley also happens to be a completely volunteer-run, nonprofit organization led by EMQ Auxiliary and raising $100,000 to $150,000 each year for Uplift Family Services. A destination gift shop in downtown Los Gatos, the shop sells distinctive, upscale gifts, home décor, jewelry, kitchen items and more from brands such as Annie Glass and Mariposa recycled metal.

Mary Ann Jafri, the current store manager at The Butter Paddle, explained that the shop is supported by a volunteer force of more than 70 women from Saratoga, San Jose, Los Gatos and Campbell. “We’ve never had to seriously recruit members,” said Jafri, who joined more than 10 years ago. “We get involved with downtown events and when people come in and see what we’re doing, they ask how they can get involved.”

As a result, the highly skilled volunteer team includes experts in merchandising, marketing and window display. “People from other stores come in wondering who did our window displays and wanting to hire them, but we’re all volunteers!” added Jafri. “We’re known for providing a great customer service, high-quality merchandise and free gift wrap.” The store even hosts trunk shows. “Our loyal customers know that when they buy something, the money goes to a good cause, so they think of us first when they need gifts.

33 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos 408-395-1678

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