Several people have asked for a list of places I shopped in 2010 during my “Live Local” experiment. A few hinted they were undertaking the same new year’s resolution for 2011—which would be an admirable one. The task isn’t easy.
So, I’ve come up with a few ideas for readers to keep in mind while setting goals for themselves during their own challenge. Keep in mind that franchises with local ownership still help our local economy; so, they shouldn’t be off-limits when you need to use them. Also, I don’t have children or a large family, so my shopping needs are probably less demanding than most.
I have become spoiled this year by good service and better quality of products (even savings!) because of my decision to go all-local. I hope this list is a helpful starting point for many to think about when patronizing locally owned businesses. Not only does it keep money in our economy longer, it builds a diverse and satisfying community to live in. Here is a list, in no particular order, of where I found my essentials and specialty buys while embarking on my Live Local new year’s resolution for 2010. In 2011, it’s become my way of life.
Food: Local farmers’ markets, Tidal Creek, Great Harvest, Saigon Market (which also has tons of other neat items, from kitchen knives to shoes to candles and Feng Shui stuff), Folks Café, Eagle Island Produce and Seafood.
Clothing/shoes: Harrell’s Department Store in Burgaw, Planet, The Fairy Circle, Vintage Values and Tomlinson’s and Cape Fear Footwear are all places I visited. However, clothing options abound in Wilmington on a local level: Oliver, Edge of Urge, Shoe Shak, Beanie + Cecil, Island Passage, torri/bell, Bloke, Hallelu, Sonny B, not to mention the numerous second-hand stores like Flashbax, Bargain Box and Second Time Around.
Office supplies/copy/printers: Dock Street Printing for paper, cardstock and envelopes; Coastal Engraving for stamps and ink; and Copy Cat. SnapDragon has helped me with all of the bookstore’s T-shirt printing.
Music and films: Gravity Records (pictured)
Lumber: Godwin’s Practically anything and everything: Paper towels, disposable cups, cleaning supplies, alarm clocks, paint, hardware items, walkie-talkies, steam cleaners, tape, hand trucks, wheeled shopping baskets, keys, watering hose—all can be found at Steven’s Hardware. Really, Steven’s is my old-fashioned General Store. They have almost everything I need!
Tools: Tools Plus. These guys are incredible! Price, service, information—it is all there!
Dum-Dum lollipops: Yes, I was in need of them last year—a lot! The Shop ‘n’ Go on 17th and Market happens to carry them.
Medication/pharmacy: Market St. Pharmacy
Garden stuff: The Transplanted Garden, Shelton Herb Farm, the farmers’ markets, Farmer’s Supply
Computer stuff: Your Computer Friends
Pet Supplies: Aunt Kerry’s Pet Shop and Pet Supermarket, which is a franchise but has been my guilty indulgence because I really love the staff (especially Seth and Gina),
Plumbing supplies: Coleman’s Plumbing
Household items: Tomlinson’s has everything—and the kitchen sink, or at least the pots and pans that go in it! Sheets, towels, lamps, socks, slippers, decorative flowers … you name it! Bruce Watkins Supply also provided me with tape, zip ties, bolts, washers, and wall-attaching things. My lunch box (aka picnic basket) came from Temptations gourmet store. New River Pottery helped me in my purchase of picture frames and lawn furniture.
Gas: I primarily have visited Rose Ice and Cole. GoGas and The Shell station on 3rd and Red Cross are good options, too.
Veterinary stuff: In my humble opinion, the greatest vet in Wilmington is Dr. Brad Kerr at Wellspring Holistic Vet.
Women’s undergarments: The Bra Shoppe
Needlepoint stuff: Yarns of Wilmington and Needlepoint Too!
Movers: Two Men and a Truck—yes, it’s a franchise but with a local owner! They brought a truck, two guys and several hundred boxes when we had to move the bookstore in February. I have a deep obligation to them.
Banking: State Employee’s Credit Union and First Citizens Bank
Essential Oils: Down to Earth and Tidal Creek
Bicycle: Two Wheeler Dealer has helped me with any repairs, my pump, basket, reflectors and lock.