Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shopping "Real" Local

What do you think of when I say the term "Shop Local?" 

Does that mean shopping at the store closest to your house or going to the coffee shop within walking distance? That of course is nice and convenient for you but chances are that store is probably a Fred Meyers owned by a HUGE corporation located in a state thousand of miles away.  And that coffee shop probably a Starbucks right around the corner, which although I visit them to often...

Starting immediately I am diversifying my coffee drinking habit.  I am now going to Beanarinos down on 238th & Halsey.  It is locally owned and operated by one of my old neighbors.  And it is much cheaper!  I bought a Tall Non Fat No Whip Mocha this morning and a muffin instead of paying $6.80 or whatever at Starbucks, I paid $3.80! Now of course they don't have the SB Breakfast sandwiches, but that is ok because I have been making those at home anyways (most days).

When I say "Shop Local" I mean shopping at stores or eating at restaurants that are family owned and operated by people in our own backyard.  These could be owned/operated by your fellow church member, your neighbor, your best friend, your friends sister...They may employ your child one day or you for that matter. 

They long (ed) for the American Dream but in this economy it is going up in smoke...They are struggling everyday to stay open for business and I am tired of seeing the local shops suffer.  It seems like every time I go into downtown Troutdale or Gresham, there is a new "For Lease" sign in an empty storefront.  I feel so frustrated as a consumer that our options are dwindling before our very eyes however I know that as a local consumer, we are part of the problem too because rather than spend our money at the locally owned shops, we are spending our money at the huge corporations or franchised restaurants...And for what?  A few dollars savings? A little bit more variety? 

We, as local consumers, need to be held accountable for their possible failure and therefore TAKE ACTION.  They are not going to continue to survive unless we shop there, regularly.

So next time you shop for that "perfect" present instead of going to Fred Meyers how about going into Troutdale to the Troutdale General Store.  They have a wide variety of gifts, old time candy, fudge, and we can't forget the ice cream or old time soda fountain.  During the holidays the basement area has an assortment of Christmas ornaments and decorations too.

Eat lunch or dinner at Ristorante Di Pompello.  This restaurant is awesome and will give back a portion of your bill to a local non profit of your choice.  When you check out, you just have to ask. 

Need a haircut how about Sage Salon? 

And a new pub just opened up, Ye Old Pub.  I hear they have a great happy hour menu.  Give it a try.  (This might just be where we go to watch The Civil War game this weekend).

Want a tasty breakfast that won't leave you hungry an hour later?  Try The Village Grill down off of 238th & Halsey.   

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and go to several of the resale shops in downtown Gresham...

Rewind Resale
All About Kids
Norma Jeans Closet

Or browse the unique items at

Elegantly Funky
The Feathered Nest (I always find neat items in this store.  We bought a Rooster wall clock for my MIL a few years ago which she loved).

Hungry while shopping in Gresham?  4th Street Brewing always has good food and drink.   And they are very reasonably priced especially if you sit in the bar area and eat off of the Happy Hour Menu.  The bar area is not your typical bar either.  It is very bright and clean.

Have the kids with you?  Wall Street Pizza will entertain them for awhile.  They have some of the best garlic rolls.

Just you and a girlfriend?  Nicholas has great hummus and pita bread.  They are the only authentic Lebanese restaurant on the east side that I can recall.

Have a sweet tooth? Cupcakes anyone?  Bella Cupcakes has some of the tastiest cupcakes I have eaten.

And we can not forget one of the newest natural markets...Lillians Marketplace! They have meat and seafood, dairy, juices, beer and wine, produce, baked goods, bulk products, health and beauty, and floral.  They are adding new products almost daily. 

Let's take this one step further...Looking for a unique, one of a kind piece of jewelry for a special someone?  Visit http://www.beadlesbyjen.com/.  She is a very talented, local jewelry maker that happens to also be one of my friends.

Hair clips for that little girl in your life?  Visit Lil Bees Facebook page.  This business is owned/operated by a sister of a friend who is raising money to adopt another child. 

Need unique burp clothes or blankets?  My MIL makes these in her spare time (I will post some pictures on another post).

I challenge you to Shop "REAL" Local the next time you are out and about.  Invest in your community and its future.

I know I am!

Disclaimer:  None of the businesses listed have paid for endorsements.

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