I know I talked about this earlier in the year, but I found an article in New York magazine (Feb. 16, 2009) that gave more specific advice about supporting local businesses. It was in a series about how New York small businesses are coping with the downturn. When asked how he is dealing with people’s lack of disposable income, the owner of a custom clothes shop replied,
“I’ve got my own little recession plan-everyone needs to make an evaluation of the three little shops they like, and they need to spend in them. That’s something I’m personally doing. I go to the little restaurants I like, the place I get my glasses. Even though the spirit of the city is shot, if there are things in your neighborhood that you don’t want to see go away, then you have to support them. Otherwise, the big brands will just come sweeping in, and there’ll be nothing left.”
Today, I learned that one of my favorite bakeries in Gainesville shut its doors. A friend of mine went there today and found a “closed forever” type sign on the doors of the 2nd Street Bakery. It was one of those places I always schedule into a trip when I visit; I’m going to miss those almond croissants and financiers.
Theine, a cozy Coral Gables teahouse with a strong local menu, is also bidding good-bye to Miami. I’m sad to see Chef Kyra White go; she was a significant force in supporting local food. She offered up Theine as a pick-up site for the Redland Organics CSA. It was always fun to see what imaginative seasonal creations appeared on the chalkboard menu. I wish Kyra White luck in her new farming endeavors.
Think of perhaps three places you can’t live without, those restaurants or food stores you go to for sustenance of all kinds. South Florida is already overrun with strip malls and characterless big box stores. Think about the businesses that make life here a little more interesting. When you do happen to go out, support these restaurants with your more carefully spent discretionary dollars.
I’m curious-what are those three local restaurants/food shops/food stands you can’t live without?