Yesterday, I had the pleasure of finally stepping into two local businesses, Avid Bookshop and the Daily Groceries Co-op. The bookshop had been in the works for about two years now, and finally opened earlier this year… just in time for the closing of Borders bookstore closings nationwide. Although small in the tradition of all local bookshops, the venue packs a lot of punch with big windows that dispel the gloom one might expect in a traditional mom-and-pop bookstore, and makes guests feel welcome with an inviting corner to curl up with a book. Those who have gotten used to seeing thousands of books to choose from will have to be content with a smaller selection, but should know that if it’s available for purchase somewhere, it can be ordered. The advantage? You’re supporting a local business and, therefore, the local economy. Goodness knows we can use a bit of that around Athens!
The Daily Groceries Co-op, on the other hand, is not only locally owned, it makes a point of selling locally grown produce as well, according to the season. The selection ranges from local cheeses to vegetables, organic packaged food, and natural health and beauty products. Best of all, it is owned and manned by its members, who can either be financial contributors or working ones (or both, presumably! why limit yourself to be just one thing?) Also note that they are happy to take your plastic bags, and/or bring your own for your purchases at the store. How sustainable can you be?
Bonus: The Flagpole, our local alternative newspaper, has launched its annual incentive to “buy local” for the holidays. Take the pledge (as I have done) to spend at least $100 of your holiday money locally, and be entered to win $100 worth of gift certificates from local businesses. Now I don’t know that I will actually have $100 to spend this year at all, but I pledge to do the best I can. Will you join me?