Let's have a serious talk...even toot your own horn, if you like.
I just spent the last two hours looking at shop local videos on
YouTube trying to learn what works and doesn't work. Of course, it's
Saturday night and I have my Budweiser with me. Budweiser is the only
beer I drink and have drank since my college days. I have sampled other
beers as long as I can buy them one bottle at a time, but... when I buy to stock my fridge, Budweiser is all you will find.
Then I came across a video where a chef took to task the shop local
message. His point was that consumers are driving the shop local
message, but are local shop owners practicing what the consumers are
preaching? Since he is a chef and owns a restaurant, he pointed out that
in his restaurant he carries almost exclusively locally produced beers,
wines, and spirits and he suggests them to his diners over the national
brands, like Budweiser.
His comment got me thinking on three fronts.
First, as much as I push "buy local", I have been remiss on supporting
our local breweries? I have a few decades of brand loyalty to
Budweiser, yet I bet the folks at Budweiser couldn't find Delmarva on a map. Sure, when I first started drinking beer back
in college, there was no such thing as locally produced beers, but now
there is. Unless Budweiser gives back to to my little community on Delmarva by sending a couple
of ice cold kegs via Clydesdale horses for a community crab feast every
year for the next thirty-five years (my time investment in Budweiser so far),
I need to find a comparable locally produced beer. At least I know if I
spend my ten bucks every Saturday on a 12-pack of a locally produced
beer, $6.80 will stay in my community, adding to its strength and
vitality it so desperately needs. That's a much better investment than
the $1.30 that Budweiser leaves for my community. I do want to see those
Clydesdales up close so, if Budweiser is listening, I'm willing to
negotiate a year-to-year deal with you to give back to my community.
Second, if you own a restaurant
or bar, how much of your inventory is locally produced beers, wines, and
spirits and do you often suggest or actively advertise them, like with
plenty of signage and verbal suggestions to every customer, including printed
Third, I figure I have a lot of "brand loyalty" to many
basic household items, food, and drinks in addition to my brand loyalty
to Budweiser. I need to take a closer look at what I am buying and try
to find an acceptable, locally produced alternative. If you are a
locally owned and operated business, will you join me in the quest to
find locally produced alternatives your customers will love?
This is where you get to toot your own horn. If you are a locally owned
and operated producer of goods, tell us. I know I need to find new
brands. If you are a business that sources
its products locally, first, tell us. I need to know where to go to
experience the true flavor of shopping local. And if you are a shopper
who already knows where the great locally owned and operated businesses
that offer locally produced goods are, tell us. That's a secret
everyone should know!
Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks