5 Ways to Shop Local in Laconia

SWP-Laconia-MainFor 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

Laconia, NH
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

Laconia, NH
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).

The Studio

Laconia, NH
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

Laconia, NH
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 Foods

Laconia, NH
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.

3 Responses to “5 Ways to Shop Local in Laconia”

  1. Jim "Daub" DaubenspeckNovember 24, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    I would like to personally thank you for shopping local as well as blogging about your experiences in Downtown Laconia. As you know, there is so much more to experience and write about. We often hear people complain: “All of our young talent leaves the area.” You are a perfect example that New Hampshire, and especially the Lakes Region of New Hampshire is a place where young people will always come back to. No matter how long you have been gone, New Hampshire will always be home.
    Glad to have you back and I truly appreciate your patronage at Daub’s Cobbler Shop. Thanks for telling all of your friends that wear shoes…

  2. DebbieNovember 25, 2015 at 12:29 am #

    There are many great locally owned, independent businesses beyond downtown as well. For pet supplies there’s Laconia Pet Center on Union Ave. Trustworthy Hardware is the place to find everything from tools to birdhouses, and if they don’t have it, they will happily order it for you. Book worms will love anything from Annie’s Book Stop.

    The list of locally owned jewelers and florists throughout the city is impressive. Just google either one and you’ll see a long list.

    In addition to Small Business Saturday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, known by most as black Friday, is also called Plaid Friday, a day when shoppers choose to avoid crowds and frenzy found at malls and instead shop local.

    Thank you for the well written article Corey. Laconia is happy to have you back.

  3. Tara ShoreNovember 25, 2015 at 6:44 am #

    Hi! This is an excellent write up of what our downtown has to offer, but you missed a few. Bootleggers Footwear, although part of a larger chain now, still offers small store service for anything shoe related. The staff are helpful, friendly, knowledgable and go above and beyond to get the customer what they want or need. The prices are reasonable and fair.
    The gift shop at the Belknap Mill, is filled with products made by local crafters – there is no place in Laconia to shop that is more “local”! They are only open Tuesday and Thursday at this time, but the volunteer who manages it keeps it well stocked with a variety of items including but not limited to pottery, jewelry, soaps, maple products, art and a number of historical books about our city and the Lakes Region.
    Sunflower Foods. You may not be interested in almond milk or organic produce, but don’t discount this local gem. Take a walk through and you will find a wonderful variety of unique, high quality items for gift giving or for yourself! The staff is amazing…if you ever have a question about vitamins or supplements they answer thoroughly and truthfully.
    I encourage you to make a stop in to visit all of these local businesses next time you are downtown.

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