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What Is Your Favorite Local Business?

Handmade Toys

We haven’t discussed local living for a while, but I believe it to be a big part of sustainability. Essentially, I believe :

  1. One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy locally-sourced goods.
  2. Supporting local businesses you believe in is of the best ways to build a like-minded community that will help support you economically, emotionally, and sustainably.
  3. Local economies support you, and make your neighborhood more resilient to national and international crises. (For every $1 spent in a local business, almost 70 cents remain in the local economy; for every $1 spent at a national chain store, however, around 40 cents or less remain in the local economy – Civic Economics.)
  4. You’re supporting local jobs, and generally you’re supporting businesses that provide a living wage.
  5. You can often walk, which saves money and energy on gas and helps keep you healthy.
  6. It’s fun to connect with real people who care about you.

I sat and thought about it for a while and realized my favorite local place is the wooden toy shop down the street. I walk past every day on my way to and home from work. On the way in the middle-aged toy maker smiles at me, and I smile back at a man who so clearly loves his work. In the evening I walk past when the toy maker has long since gone home, and I peer through the window marveling at the new toys he’s crafted. The store also sells mobiles, bags, and toys made our of different recycled materials. It’s fabulous.

But you know what? I’ve never been inside! It’s one of the most warm and cozy neighbors, but whether it’s because I’m starting a new business and expendable cash is not a luxury, or I haven’t yet found a reason, I haven’t gone in!

Tomorrow I might just make the time!

Tractor Toy ferry

What Is Your Favorite Business?

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18 comments to What Is Your Favorite Local Business?

  • I should say the one I work at! :) But for shopping…my coop and the farmer’s market and the yarn store downtown and one of the bookstores. Never been able to pick favorites.

  • Interesting information about chains vs. local owned businesses. Something to remember when shopping.

  • The local businesses in my area rarely ever stay open long. There is a local restuarant that we all love, I love the Public Market because it brings a lot of local people together, but also has imports. I like my co-op because it spells out local and non local items. What I would love is to find a listing of local businesses in my area. I would like to find a local artisit who does jewelry (the art coops have imported jewelry not local jewelry).

  • Redskin Recycling/Spradley’s: I first met Mr. Spradley when working at the local gas station. He runs a small repair company for semi-trucks. He’s known for customer service and actually comes to you for the repair work. He’s a really nice guy.

    I was elated when I saw and advert for the new recycling center in town (named after the high school mascot). More so when I saw that is was operated by the Spradley’s and out of the same building that Mr. Spradley’s office is.

    They’re really friendly and really do try to offer recycling services for everything they can (some things were not allowed by the city, but they are trying to come to a resolution with that).

  • Lori

    You’ll have to tell me what other wonderful things are hiding out of view inside the store – it looks amazing from the window!

    I’m working on finding more good local busineses to support. For now, when we eat out, we almost always choose a locally-based, non-chain restaurant. We also try to shop at the local farmers’ markets when they’re open… I’d love to support my local drug store, but their hours just don’t jive with my work schedule, so that’s out. So I’m still hunting…

  • The pet shop down the street from my house — the guy is really friendly and loves to chat with people (he gets bored just sitting there all day!). My housemate’s fave store is this yarn store right nearby where I work. She’s starting up a knitting pattern online business, and they’ve been really supportive of her and often just sit and knit together chatting about life.

  • TheMom

    I would have to say right now, it is not a store, a website. A friend and I found it almost a year ago and have been ordering weekly since. We get our dairy prodiucts, milled, some processed and baked goods from around our houses! I now make my own butter, bread, sourcream, cream cheese, you name it, I make it. All the ingredtiants are local. Some I have had to modify, but even my “Blue Plate Mayo only” husband can’t tell. (its almost time for me to get a new Blue Plate jar, he isn’t looking so new anymore. lol) We order on Tues and pick up on Fri. Its easier than the grocery store!!!!!

  • My favorite local busines is still far enough that I have to drive to it, but it is a terrific Garden Center – North Haven Gardens, that promotes organic products and methods. I live near a lot of local restaurants tho’ that are within walking distance. :o)

  • Rob

    hmmmm…. there are so many to choose from. I kinda lean towards Eat Local- a store here in Burien that makes and sells frozen foods. All made from local ingredients. But I would have to go with Burien Press. A local coffee shop that opened here a year or so ago. They sell of course coffee, but also locally made pastries, breads, sandwiches. The important thing is to support locally.

  • Sugarbakers, an “all things kitchen” store :). It’s grown from a teeny-tiny store to a store on the smallish end of the medium-size spectrum. They have all sorts of good-quality cookware, bakeware and knives, tons of accessories you never knew you needed [g], cookbooks, plus some regional prepackaged foodstuff (salsas, coffees, etc.). Not an overwhelming amount of any one thing, which is what I enjoy most about the store.

  • I love Marilyn’s Nut Butters which I get at the Farmers’ Market while getting a chance to speak with Marilyn herself. It’s so nice to be able to speak with the person who makes the product. What a treat!

  • meg

    Ah, i just noticed the wooden ferry inside that window on my walk to work the other morning and thought my daughter would love it! Looks like a cook place!
    I love any local & independent coffee shop esp. Tougo Coffee. They often make my day! =)

  • Rob

    Is that a tractor a John Deere???

  • I love the Book Vault. It’s located on the square in what used to be a bank. They’ve made some of the old vaults into small book rooms and nooks. You can even see the old workings of the vaults – it’s very cool!

  • Oh, I almost forgot about Victorian Rose. We’re a small town and we use to have so many antique shops lining the main road. Victorian Rose is all that is left of them, but when you go in, it feels more like a boutique than an antique shop, but you can get gorgeous furnature and things second-hand, as well as homemade bath items.

    Across the street is a similar store (but nothing is second hand) called Hometown Gifts. They tend to carry things that are or look hand-made or unique. Like these soaps that look like rocks or wine racks that look made from wrought iron fence pieces. They encourage local crafters to bring in items for sale too.

  • We have a locally owned book store that is hard to get out of. They have massive piles of used books and I am there alot looking. They also take trade ins and give you credits towards used books. There is a tea house here that is amazing.

  • Thank you all for sharing! I love reading these comments. So nice to have these personal connections with local shops.

  • I’m a knitter, so my local yarn shops are some of my favorites. Buying yarn is a very tactile experience, and you just can’t be sure the colors are true to your monitor when buying online.

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