Sunday, April 03, 2011

Keepin' it Home

Yesterday Husband and I had sammiches from this great local deli we go to. And it reminded me of how much I love patronizing local, independent businesses. The people are great, they remember our "regulars" they're friendly and the food is so good. I had a chicken salad sammich that I swear I dreamed about last night it was so good.

It's a husband-and-wife place with the walls covered with photos of them at Giants games. (Yet another reason to love them.) And when their dog was sick and needed surgery, they put up a collection box and got over $1000 in donations for his care. (Sadly, they lost him.)

Today we went to our favorite bookstore. The one we can't get out of for under $100. It's a wonderful independent in Menlo Park called Kepler's and it's like heaven. Books you won't find anywhere else. Shelves and shelves of delicious, must-have reads. Clerks who love to read and make recommendations that tend to be spot-on. My newest favorite contemporary mystery author, Canadian Louise Penny, I discovered because a Kepler's clerk wrote a review that sounded too good to miss. And she was right.

One of the best things about Kepler's is the "book group shelf." People all over the area have book groups and many of them buy in groups at Kepler's. So there's a whole section showing what other groups are reading. It's been inspiring when it's my turn to pick our group's read and I have no clue. I know interesting, literate people have checked out and discussed this particular book, so maybe I'll check it out too. I've found some great reads that way. Plus people are allowed to bring their doggys in, so there are always cute pups wandering around or curled into a nap at the foot of one of their cushy leather chairs.

Sure we'll drop into Barnes & Noble occasionally. And there are times when I think we keep Amazon in business. But I honestly prefer to shop local.

We've got lots of interesting shops nearby. There's an Asian-owned produce store that is incredible. Half the stuff you pick up you have no idea what it is. Or what to do with it. But since Husband and I have recently gone vegetarian, we're going to do a lot of experimentation soon.

I love going into stores where they know you by name. Our favorite Chinese place all the waiters call me by name and remember when I come in for lunch that I don't want the soup. At the deli I don't even have to order they just ask "the usual?" and I get my favorite sandwich. It makes me happy, plus I love supporting the little guy.

Every weekend Husband and I go to a coffee shop called Neals. It's like an old-school diner. All the waitresses are total characters who call me "Baby Girl" and call Husband "Sweetie." They hug us. They'll slide into the booth next to you and talk about sports. The food is good -- wonderful filling breakfasts -- but I think we just go for Carol, Linda, and Mimi.

Sure there are times when a place like Target is needed. If I need socks, laundry detergent, and a CD on the same day I'll go to a big store. But mostly I prefer to keep it at home. Help support some couple putting a few kids through local schools. Buy from the store where the owner knows your name. Eat at the place where the waitresses hug you.

It's a happy thing.

1 comment:

Linda Myers said...

Love our local diner, where Voula, the owner, slides into the booth and hugs me. Love our local Greek place where Taki stops by for a chat. Love both espresso stands, where the guys know us and know what we drink.

We lost one of our local bookstores years ago when Barnes & Noble came to town, but there's another one just a bit further down the road where my writers' group meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

These places are the best!