For me, the convenience of Amazon Prime has taken over the purchasing and shopping experience for some pretty mundane things over the years—even tissues and laundry detergent. After recently moving from the city back to the Lakes Region, I’ve realized how important it can be to shop local, not only for the wallet, but also for the businesses that you support. When I was living in the city, it was a pain to carry heavy items back and make shopping treks more frequently, so the habit of shopping online was formed out of necessity—saving time and energy. Our local businesses need us to take the extra time to go downtown and shop for items we might otherwise purchase with a single click—and receive next day.
As a special reminder, don’t forget that Saturday, November 28 is Small Business Saturday.
Below, I’ve identified five stores I’ve shopped at in Laconia recently, where I previously would have ordered online.
Wayfarer Coffee Roasters
Buying a pound of coffee? I skipped going online or to the grocery store—you have Wayfarer roasting coffee beans right down on Main Street. Aside from this being my favorite coffee shop in the area, you could pick up a few trendy gifts there as well—think hand spun clay mugs and international coffee beans roasted in-store. There is a growing list of coffee roasters locally.
Polished & Proper
So, this example might not apply to everyone, but I started growing a beard a couple of weeks ago. As I was considering beard grooming—quite popular these days—I was looking around to see where I might pick up some beard oil. I already get my haircut here and learned that they also sell beard oil, along with hair products, that are made in-house. I didn’t have to think twice about stopping in and picking up what I needed. Also note, the beard oil was made with pretty simple oils (it’s working out great).
This eclectic, art shop is perfect for gifts and greeting cards, which I had gone in for. You could walk through twice and see something you had missed the first time. If you’re lucky, the owner’s dog will be greeting customers.
Daub’s Cobbler Shop
I used to burn through nice shoes, literally—before buying a new pair and tossing out the old soles. Recently, I took a pair of my favorite boots to Daub’s and had the soles replaced and shoe repaired. It cost far less than a new pair of shoes and I got to keep the ones that I knew already fit well. The experience was painless and Jim, the owner, is also a great guy to chat with, improving the overall experience!
Vista’s has honestly become my go-to grocery shopping market. I can find almost anything here and they only have two locations. What I love most about going here is the consistency and it’s rarely busy. You can feel the sense of community at this small market, walking distance to Main Street.
As you consider your own routine and shopping habits, I encourage you to take a moment to think about where you might find those items sold locally at a small business. If you’re thinking about shopping local for a few items, take a look at this infographic by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.