We all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Just turn on the TV, radio, or hop on the Internet, and we are overwhelmed with everything corporate. In varying degrees, we will all be participating in them. But here’s a thought. How about spending a larger business locally and with a small business?This what Small Business Saturday is all about. The small and mid sized business.
Here’s a some food for thought. Hey,Thanksgiving, food… Seriously, though there are over 28 Million small and medium businesses in the US generating over 30 Billion dollars in receipts. Of this close to 60% of that revenue STAYS in the town/state. Now ask yourself, when you spend the money at the big Box, or online, where does the money go, and what is it doing for our local and state economy? Or the US economy? More importantly, these same small businesses are our friends and neighbors. Here are just a few examples.
Let’s start with clothes and accessories. In New Haven you can stop in and say Hi to Kim Pedrick at idiom and or Tracy Bonosconi of Tracy b’s. Great stores on Chapel Street, and like all small buisnesses, owners who are more often than not on site and assessable. In Guilford, stop in and see my longtime friend Beth O’bymachow and Flutterby. All sorts of great gifts, clothes and some absolutely unique products. You gotta check them out and it’s on the Guilford Green, so just a great way to spend an afternoon. Head a little further east to Madison and stop in to say hi to Carlene Weis at Jolie Boutique. She knows her stuff, and you may be thinking that because she is in Madison, well, the prices might be high. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t believe me? Stop in and check it out. I will not steer you wrong.
Many small businesses are service oriented. These are professionals who offer so many great ideas for the Holidays. And, for many of us guys, it can be a life saver. When in Guilford, check out Yolo Aesthetic Boutique. Nikki Rasmussen is one of the most impressive people I know. The consummate professional, and one helluva a person. I will give you guys a hint. Get the gift certificate, and let the woman in your life CHOOSE the service that she wants. Again, you gotta trust me on that one. Again shifting east, a really unique idea is acupuncture. And very few do it better than Maggie Barilli at Niantic Acupuncture. Now I know there are some skeptics out there, so, for the record, I have had several treatments, all to help relieve stress, and it works. So well, that after a half hour treatment on several occasions, I had to sit for about a half hour til I was able to go otu and drive. Total relaxation folks.
Now let’s get into some more specialized stuff. Know a ‘Birder” ? Then The Audubon Shop in Madison is the place to be, and Janet and Jerry Connolly are the people to talk to. Everything from binoculars and spotting scopes to bird feeders and books, they have everything you need. BTW, Jerry is also part of the B. Willie Smith band, just an awesome time out.
One of the best things about the holidays is the food. Calories galore, but as far as I am concerned, getting rid of them is what the New Year is for. Whether it is preparing the turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, the 7 fishes on Christmas Eve, or just making that awesome gift basket, two of the best places to go are Bishop’s Orchards and Star Fish Market. Now Bishop’s is pretty obvious. Fresh produce, gourmet cooking products, Farm wine ( even on Sundays) and an amazing bakery. When there say hello to Sarah, Keith and all the rest of the family. For over 140 years and 7 generations, the Bishop’s have served the town well. And it’s not just with the market. The Bishop family have always been active in the community. For many years I always thought that Star Fish Market had the best, and freshest selection of seafood around. But as my cooking skills improve, so does my appreciation for what Star has in stock. Gourmet cooking products, truffle products, and artisan cheeses. Fresh baked breads and bagels. Pretty much everything you need to cook any style seafood cuisine. And two of the nicest owners in Colette and Mike Lukas.
Now dessert. No holiday feast is complete without it. And in addition to the great pies from Bishop’s, here are two other thoughts. Sweet Maria’s in Waterbury can handle pretty much anything you need. Check out my good friend ‘Sweet” Eddie Sanchez while you are there. Not just an amazing baker, but one of the best damn guitarists and vocalist in the state.
Now most of you know I have a special affinity for cookies. If Cookie Monster should ever decide to retire, I would be the ideal replacement. Okay, maybe he is cuter, but I think I could do the job. Seriously, the best cookies in the state come from Red Rooster Baking. Kim Welch has got the art of baking cookies down. Coconut Chocolate Chunk, Raspberry White Chocolate, Bailey’s Irish Butter, the list goes on and on. A dozen cookies weighs over two pounds, just so you know. Not only can you enjoy them year round, but you can ship them anywhere you want, so you can add some calories and show some love to friends and family anywhere.
Oh, and don’t forget the coffee. As in the best in the state as well. All roasts, dark, bold, organic, free trade, it’s all available from Carol Dahlke and Ashlawn Farms Coffee. Seriously good…
Back to the calorie burn conversation.. Nothing like some serious dancing to help with that. Ballroom Dancing. head over to Dance in Rhythm in Branford, Karen Pfrommer and Sue Woods are the best, I am having a blast and can not recommend it more. Great exercise, and to me, just a great time. And it’s pretty cool getting complimented on your dancing skills…