Thursday, April 30, 2009

From Dollars to Donuts...

Why is it important to support unique local enterprise? Let just one bite into a Willow Bake Shop glazed molasses donut be your explanation.  This tender sugary (but never fakey!) goodness doesn’t start in a factory or come in unnaturally bright colors and sure isn’t served up in a company box. It also can’t be found anywhere else but right in our own sweet part of Maine. 

the aforementioned molasses

Willow Bake Shop (Rt. 1 on the Rockport/Rockland line) revived a fond memory of the home-made jelly donuts purchased out of the front parlor of a victorian home in my grandmother’s neighborhood. Even better, hand made donuts with pure ingredients aren’t just some old fogey tale of the good old days, they remain a reality for a whole new generation. But what about the generation after that?

So I thank you, Willow Bake Shop, for serving up a little faith with those tender treats. You are one of many wonderful, original, local businesses I frequent.  Here are just a few of my favorite businesses, a little closer to home:

Hugs for Shirley at French & Brawn and Mel at Fresh Off the Farm — both of you always greet my family personally. You know not just our names, but who we are. These small moments teach my daughter, and me, about the importance of a daily human connection to our community. 

Hooray for the great eats at Boynton & McKay. Phil, Susan and YanMei always seem to know just what we want for lunch, plus they too also make fantastic donuts, along with our other fave — coconut macaroons.

Three cheers for Wild Rufus for getting us out of the 80s with a much-needed expansion of our musical collection. Your musical suggestions are always spot-on. We also appreciate your tireless support (and ticket sales!) of the arts and local events. 

Kudos to The Leather Bench for quality goods and — more important — their great service. A purchase from the Leather Bench wasn’t much beyond the price at a big box store, however the quality, construction and service of my item was well beyond. Try getting that out of a mall. 

Bravo HAV ll for understanding my woe and waiving the fee when I discovered that the video my husband dutifully returned at my request was actually not the overdue movie but that night’s selection.   

Yahoo for Rockport Blueprint, Village Shop and Zoot. Not for any specific reasons. I just dig having those stores in our sweet little town. Oh, and I just like to yell Yahoo! when I can.

And how cute is the zippy new Village Soup Gazette corner? 

There are plenty of other great little places in the Camden area — at least for now. I hope to get to all of you in future posts. 

So as the pessimists fret about kids supporting big box expansion into Camden let the rest of us have a little faith in our town and in our younger generation. Talk to your middle and high schoolers about the importance of small businesses. Appeal to their common sense by reminding them of all the local businesses that gladly purchase ads and hang posters for their events. Explain that the long-term cost of their quick Big Box chemical fix is one day not being able to come home again to the unique Camden of their childhood memories. Us old fogeys need to teach our kids the old indigenous saying that they don’t inherit the world, but borrow it from our grandchildren. 

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