I don't do this every week, because so often it's something I can't relate to. But this time? Ten Places I Love to Shop! Oh. My.
Ok...here goes - I'll tell you that I'm really, really trying to do more shopping locally, but if all else fails, then it's internet shopping all the way:
. This store is a Virginia-owned grocery that only recently came to my town and opened it's flagship store. They have the BEST prepared foods, a wonderful salad/fruit bar, terrific bakery, and tho' I don't use it, a Starbucks. They buy much from Virginia farmers, so I feel as if I am doing "good" here...Their local beef? Oh, it is sublime (yes, you CAN tell a difference! And I eat it rarely enough that it's worth a bit extra for the treat!)...And I know that there are those who think Ukrops is more expensive than Kroger or Food Lion, but frankly? Everyone's prices are skyrocketing, and I often find (after the fact) that Ukrops has had a lower price than the others! It happens to be 2 blocks from my house, too, so making the stop on my way home doesn't use up any gasoline, as I'm going right by...
2. Mill Mountain Tea & Coffee. Granted, the rare times I stop here for coffee are relegated to my monthly Knit Night in Salem, and the shop is directly across the street. But I also stop at their Route 419 store occasionally to pick up 1/2 a pound of chocolate raspberry ground. I do try to ignore the desserts. I can spend too much too easily (in calories, mostly). I also have had ONE experience when I was overcharged - I phoned them, reported the mistake, and they immediately credited my card without question. Good business practices are another reason I love a store!
3. Creative Quilting. Another locally owned shop, Judy has the top-quality quilting fabrics I prefer to use in my bag business. I do a lot of shopping online, but when I need a coordinate that's not on my shelves, or to buy Kona Black or other solids, I know where to go. Judy has a quilter's eye, and she knows her stock so well, that I toss my fabric on the table and she's gone...bringing back 3-4 bolts, and sometimes more, that she knows will work. It saves me enormous time, and often causes serendipitous pairings I'd not get if we weren't together, doing the hands-on you can't do online.
4. West Pharmacy. Mitch was my pharmacist when I had my heart attack. He left the small pharmacy a few years after, and I lost him for a bit. When I found him again, I learned he'd started his own shop. While it's back across town where I used to live, I'm over there often enough visiting a couple of friends, or at the vet's so that I can pick up the occasional Rx or pharmacy necessity without going out of my way. I'm required most of the time to use a mail-in pharmacy by my health insurance. But when I need something in a hurry, Mitch is the one I turn to. He knows me. He's local. If I could? It would ALL come from him. There's just so much to be said for him knowing my health history and having a personal interest in his customers.
5. Fleet Feet
. A shoe store that provides the sort of attention to customers that rivals those of 30 years ago. For foot problems, they can't be beat - they'll work with you a long time to get what you need, and what works for you!
And doesn't it say a lot about the age I've attained that the shops that garner my adoration involve food, coffee, foot care, and prescriptions? Judy doesn't fall in that category - but she does help me earn my living!
6. Yarn Explosion
is my local yarn shop, and I'm often there for sock yarn. They have other things, but for me, it's mostly the sock yarn...
7. Birkenstock Express
are the places I turn to for my Birkenstocks. Lately, that means I'm there a lot, tho' I think I'm finally at the place where I can slow down my acquisitiveness on the shoes - maybe.
. OMG. Well, for just about anything that's either handcrafted or sometimes even for supplies.
9. Little Knits
. Because I'm a yarnaholic. But even at that, my yarn purchases are way, way down this year, in preparation for Sock Summit 2009
10. For reading & music? Mostly it's my library, as I don't buy that often, but when I do? IndieBound
and Tower Records
because I'm so over that Amazon thing. Poor service just left a bad taste in my mouth. My local Barnes & Noble has the music, too, and I stop there when I can't get books locally at Ram's Head or Printer's Ink. (See, there are way more than 10, but I tried to combine...).
And I also tend to go to my shopping malls on MY side of town - Tanglewood. And Towers. Because, that Valley View thing? Well, it's too large, and too packed, and people are just too inconsiderate. (Not to mention it being in the flight path for the airport runways...I'm still terrified when I watch them coming in for a landing through the glass ceiling of the mall.)
Which is why I mostly like to shop local, shop quiet. And when all else fails? Shop online...in my jammies!wink