June 9, 2010

Why do I buy local? Especially with pet products? As the dog-mom to two large dogs, one would think it would be more economical to shop at the big box and chain stores for treats and supplies.

But what I get at my local pet store is far more valuable than the minimal savings I could get if I travelled a few more miles to the big box store. A little cheaper perhaps in some instances, but my mother always said you get what you pay for!

So for the past 10 years, I’ve decided to support my independent retailer, because they offer me something so much more valuable; customer service, knowledge and education about my pets and the products and a sense of community. My local store does their homework, they know in depth information about the products they carry, strive to learn more about pet nutrition, and they are often my first stop when I’m looking to get help with any dog-related question I have. For years, my local store has been my personal think tank of dog experts.

Like “Cheers”, when I walk into my independent retailer, everyone knows my name. But not just my name, they also know my dogs’ Penny and Jackson’s name. There is something wonderful to be said for a store caring enough and having enough interest in you to remember who you are. It’s sad but true, but that sense of community and belonging is feeling farther and farther away in today’s fast paced world.

Plus, I know that by doing business with my independent retailer, most of the money I spend goes directly back into my own community and my local economy. And I also know by shopping locally, and not travelling those extra few miles down the road, that I’m using less gas, relying a little bit less on fossil fuels, minimizing my car’s gas emissions into the atmosphere, and reducing my carbon footprint.

So think globally, and buy locally.

Your Honest Kitchen friends,

Carla, Penny and Jackson

(Our family used to be made of three large dogs. Jake is no longer with us, and on his last day I went to South Bark, my local store, and they instantly knew what was imminent. The store’s owner gave me a big hug, and Jake’s favorite and last treat. That is the only thing we went in for that day, but we walked out with everything we needed.)