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Buy Local!

Oct 6, 2021

Everyone loves the idea of buying local products.  It’s a good vibe, pat-yourself-on-the-back kind of feeling when you go to the local bakery and grab some donuts, or head to the small-town café and get breakfast, or buy a bouquet of flowers from a roadside stand.  It’s fun.  It makes you feel good.  And in your own small way, you know you are helping out a neighbor, friend or community member grow their business.

Yet how often does that really happen?  Is it only when we are reminded on social media or when it’s small business Saturday and there is a big media push from the SBA?  Is it only when you have guests and you are showing them around town so you stop in to local stores?  Is it only when you need a ‘quick gift’ and don’t have time to order online so you run to the local gift shop?

I can’t help but wonder what it will take to reach people in the community and let them know how much their buying power would make a difference to local businesses.  As a small business owner, how can we be better to get y’all to make it a conscious habit to shop local, all the time?  We all certainly understand the convenience of Amazon and the bazillion products they offer.  Yet how often do we lament over stores that go out of business and wish we had shopped there more often?

Here are some things I always do around town to show my support:

  • I have breakfast at 2 Yolks, which is owned by the mother of one of my daughters’ friends and they have a delicious Western Omelette
  • I buy clothes at Buffalo Bob’s. Ask for Jill.
  • I listen to and support our local radio station WAWL, my friend Eric owns the station
  • I go to Reenders Blueberry Farm and pick blueberries and purchase their donuts
  • I buy my beef jerky at Franks
  • I don’t go to Farmer’s Markets, I go directly to Farm Stands where they grow it
  • I buy my books at The Bookman, a friend of mine works there
  • I don’t get pictures framed very often, but when I do I go the The Frame and Mat Shop
  • I buy my appliances at Bekins
  • I buy my outdoor stuff and boots and socks at Earth’s Edge
  • I purchase local ingredients for my soaps and I get my soap dishes from a local artist
  • I buy fun candy and other gooey stuff at Temptations, my friend Kelly owns it

I do my best to support and shop at stores that are doing their best to stay open, employ local people and provide us with cool stuff.  I’m trying to think of a way to compete with Amazon.  Maybe it’s to do it head-on, like create little mini “Amazon-like” stores in every hometown?  Where there’s a one stop shopping cart to purchase all things local and either get it delivered to your house or you can pick up?

What are all of you thinking?

Give me your thoughts at julie@harvest-harmony.com

With love from Grand Haven, Michigan,

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