I love where I live
Part of the reason I moved to this area was the community shopping area – everything I could want food-wise is there on my door step
Okay, I’ll admit, there’s some food items that require a trip to a big supermarket
But take last Friday…
I walked the five minutes down to the shops and first popped into my favourite deli cafe where I shared a joke with two guys who work there, who essentially up-sold me an amazing – and I mean AMAZING – loaf of locally baked sourdough bread (it turns out I was pretty glad I went for the large)
Yes it was probably three-times more expensive than a supermarket own brand, but I had 10-times more pleasure eating it!
Then across the road to the friendly greengrocers where I picked up a selection of fruit and veg – each basket was clearly marked with the products’ origin and I was able to take as little or as much as I wanted, rather than being forced to buy pre-packed bags
When I went in the other day after work, the female co-owner asked if I’d mind watching the shop while she nipped to the loo – a minor act of trust that wouldn’t happen in a chain store (luckily no-one attempted to steal any sweetcorn on my watch!)
As I meandered home again, I stopped by the TWO charity bookshops along the road – and failed to find the elusive copy of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca in either
And finally, the butchers for some local free range eggs
Shopping locally for me is not just about the quality food, or feeling like you’re supporting the local economy – it’s also about feeling part of your community
The other day I was back in my home-town and popped by the ‘family’ butchers to get my dad some lunch and, despite the fact I’ve not been there eons, they recognised me – to the point of them knowing that I shouldn’t really have been buying him sausage rolls!
The coffee shop round the corner from my work is like an extension of our office – the guy who runs it knows us all by name (and drink preferences) and is more than happy to take the mick, pass comment on your outfit choices or dish our life lessons
Some people might hate this chit-chat, and just really want to get on with their day without the need for anything more than a polite ‘hello-thankyou’
But I really like the familiarity; it’s something that I really value in the places I spend my pennies!
Do you shop locally? Why? Does genuine conversation make a difference to you?