Years ago I owned a gourmet coffee shop in Sewickley called Cappuccino City. It competed directly with a national chain only a block away (we were there first) and I tell you, it was tough. We lasted seven years and in the end, sold our business successfully. Since then, I have always had a soft spot for local business.
There is easy attraction to the big box chains- national advertising, sleek displays, lures of deep discounts- especially at the holidays. Honestly, I do shop one or two chain stores at Christmas. But I always stop at my favorite local businesses and complete my shopping there.
Why? Because there are unique finds among the small shops. They carry items that the big boxes will not have. Beautiful items to decorate, to give, and to adorn your packages.
Supporting local business creates and maintains jobs. It helps keep intact those small towns that would not otherwise survive in the wake of big shopping centers and malls. There is a great flavor to small towns where you can walk outdoors and wander in and out of shops.
I patronize each of the stores I’m showing here. At Cuttings Flower and Garden in Sewickley I buy unique gift items such as tea towels and ornaments I use to embellish my packages. At The Basket Loft I purchased Root candles for my Christmas table. Grandpa’s Joe’s Candy Shop has two locations- Beaver and the Strip District- where you can indulge your sweet tooth in old favorites such as Mallo Cups and Mike and Ike candies. I buy bacon flavored treats there- including chocolate covered bacon!- for my niece who loves bacon. During a recent shopping trip to Consignment Cottage in Moon Township, I purchased a primitives- style wall hanging for my dining room (for less than $10) during their 20% Thanksgiving weekend sale. Kathleen’s in Beaver PA was a complete surprise. A mecca of primitives (which I love) and a Santa that I may just head back there for.
Wherever you live, please make a note of what local businesses you can patronize. It is worth the effort to go out of your way just a bit to meet your neighbors and make new friends. Shop local this year and love it.