In addition to seasonal gift giving, the holidays herald a month of birthdays in our home: my dad, mom and myself all celebrate birthdays in December, and Barry kicks it all off on November 30. It’s a lot of gifts.
We’ve heard so much about the importance of shopping local: Shopping local keeps money in the community. It helps your neighbor keep food on the table. It preserves the character of your community. They need us more than ever.
But for Barry’s birthday this year, he asked for one thing: no presents. I know, I know, the man’s transcended this material world in the most annoying way. Nevertheless, I agreed. But he didn’t say no cake. I had him on a technicality.
Enter Tina and Janet at Let It Be Ice Cream. I messaged an ice cream cake idea to Tina, and shortly after Janet messaged me on Facebook, where we worked out the details. She made a custom batch of orange sherbet, and layered marshmallow cream between it and chocolate ice cream. It was the best cake ever and they had it ready on a day the shop was closed.
Before I picked up the cake, I had to mail a package, so I stopped at the Beach Bazaar. Their USPS system was down. Mike Fagan, one of the owners, took the package and suggested, “Why don’t I give you a call with your tracking number when it’s back up?”
My last stop was Rollin’ Oats, where I’d ordered groceries online. I called the store and they brought the groceries to my car. No Shipt or Instacart – just a simple phone call.
The cake, the tracking number, the groceries – that’s not just amazing customer service, that’s small business. That’s local business. And it’s a big part of what holds our community together.
These reasons – and a multitude of others – led to the creation of our local holiday gift guide. It’s an A to Z guide, created with an eye to shopping small during a pandemic, and supporting the people who happily go out of their way every day to serve us.
We’ve been talking about how much small businesses need us. But that’s not really it. The truth is, we need small businesses.