Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges attended Shop Local Raleigh’s annual meeting in February. She asked small-business owners there how they incorporate the shop-local philosophy into their companies. This is what they said.
▪ “Arthur has purchased produce from local farmers since he opened the Irregardless Cafe in 1975,” said Anya Gordon, who owns the restaurant with her husband Arthur. “Not only does local food taste better and is healthier … local produce supports our local farmers, who can then afford to come dine at our cafe. All around better for us all. As participants in the Center for Environmental Farming Systems 10 percent Campaign, Irregardless has joined with North Carolinians to commit at least 10 percent of our existing food dollars to support local food producers, related businesses and communities.”
▪ “When making purchases for our business, The Paystub People, we first look for a local business that can fulfill our business service needs,” said Kim Davis, a partner and director of sales and marketing for The Paystub People, a Raleigh firm that provides payroll services. “Currently, we use several local companies for things such as printing, marketing, catering, (information technology,) computers, etc. Our success is 100 percent dependent on the success of our Shop Local Raleigh counterparts and all the other locally owned businesses. The more we support other local businesses, the more we are supported in return. The more successful they are, the more employees they have, and the greater need for our services. Everything comes full circle when you shop local and support each other.”
▪ “Most of our flowers we get from local vendors. That’s sort of how we promote ourselves as being a local business, by supporting other local businesses, as well as working with other local organizations, such as the N.C. Symphony,” said Samantha Faye, who works in customer relations at Watkins Flowers of Distinction in Raleigh.
▪ “We try to get most of our products from local farmers or bakers to help promote their business and create an atmosphere and community of shop local,” said Karen Stone, manager at Backyard Produce, a Cary-based online farmers market.