5 Reasons to Shop Locally

Shopping is fun for most people. You go shopping and usually you buy what you need or like. It is a fun process for many. Most of the time the criteria to shop are if the items are of good quality, and if they have a price tag you are willing to pay. But there are more criteria for shopping that will be very interesting for you to think about for a moment. For instance, do you know the whole history behind the product or the shop you purchase goods? Do you know where the money you spend goes to? Besides you buying something new and exciting, you spending money at a certain local shop can be life-changing for many people, for many reasons.Let me explain to you.

Some communities make easy guides to their local shops.Some communities have easy guides to their local small businesses and shops 

 

5 reasons to shop locally

1. When you shop at a local shop, you spend your money in a way that helps the shop owner and his or her family directly.

You are not sending your money off to another big corporation. If these small business owners earn money, they can take care of themselves and their family, and keep their business open. Sometimes you even get a better deal than at a big brand store. But most important: you are basically making sure these people, your neighbors, can make a living. Isn't that alone already a really good reason to spend your money in local shops?

Lonneke at AUH20 I love the cute finds and incredible low prices at AUH2O in the East Village! (Still in business!)

2. You get the best service

Small, local business owners care about the goods they sell very much. They have the most know-how of the products they sell, sometimes they make it themselves. In that case you can find out exactly how the products are made, something I always like to know. You just can't get any better advice on these products anywhere else. (Imagine big shops with employees that really don't care about you or the products they sell?) In the case you experience a problem, it is easy to speak directly to the person who owns the shop. These small business-owners exist on giving good service, and will find a product or service that will custom-fit your needs. They also will be helping out when there is a problem. They just want you to be a returning and loyal customer, and will do almost everything to make you, the customer happy with your purchased goods. When shopping locally, you can feel like people really listen to you, and really want to help you.

I did not know what bubble tea I should choose, so the owner of Thirstea NYC made me a custom-made bubble tea.the owner of Thirstea NYC in East Village made me a custom-made bubble tea (unfortunately out of business)

3. You support your local community

When you get out of your house, and see how the streets and shops in your neighborhood look, or how the local children's playground looks, imagine that when you spend your money in a local shop, your money will help care for these important building blocks in a community. Whether through taxes, or through direct payments from local business owners, they all together can make living in your community a pleasure. So putting it simple: when you spend locally, most of your money stays locally, and is spend again locally.

Lonneke Engel at Sustainable NYC

My friend Munemi and I at eco-friendly shop Sustainable NYC in East Village (unfortunately also out of business)

4. Bringing diversity to products offered

If we only buy products from big companies, the diversity in offered products will decrease. That's why it is important to shop with people who offer different products, and maybe even show their true craftsmanship. Also, by giving individuals a chance to make a living, it can pave the way for new ideas to develop into better products than the ones that already offered.

Actress Jennifer Esposito has a gluten free bakery in the East VillageActress Jennifer Esposito opened an 100% gluten-free bakery in East Village NYC: Jennifer's Way. (also out of business)

5. Social contacts

If you shop locally, you get to know who lives in your neighborhood. Your social contacts will become stronger. Remember, a community is build on the people who live in it. The more active the people in a community are working on strengthening their local community, the better and nicer it will be to live in it. And you might even make new friends too!

Vito the Dog, Navy Lamey at Local NYC

Vito the Dog and my nephew Navy Lamey are chilling at Local Cafe NYC in Soho after our trip to the East Village. Local has since become a bar to have drinks at night instead of a café.

What I like the best about shopping locally is the enthusiasm of local business owners. They are passionate about what they sell, they really chose to be in that business. I love all the information I get from them, and I am always excited to return. I hope my 5 reasons to shop locally has inspired you to explore your local community.

Love, Lonneke

First published on July 29th 2015, updated in 2019

p.s. As you can see most businesses I gave as an example have gone out of business. Unfortunately that is what happens if too little people support them so they are financially strong to survive. So if you know of a small business in your hometown, please support them, so they can stay in business and feed their families!

 

 


Organic Marqt

If you are in Amsterdam, go to Marqt, an organic supermarket at Overtoom 21, right in the center of Amsterdam.

Marqt, the concept

The concept seems copied from the famous Wholefoods concept, but Marqt is smaller, cosier and makes you feel like you go back to the old days of going to an indoor market. The food is maybe a bit expensive some say, but it is definitely worth it!

Everything is mostly organic, from local farmers, and they have a lot of recycled or eco friendly products. I love the cheeses, as they have a few vegetarian options! and the bread.... mmmm especially the nut and fruit bread.

Definitely worth going, they have around 20 stores at the moment.

Open every day: www.marqt.com

First published in 2012, updated in 2019


quinoa stuffed bell peppers

It is a known fact I love to use the oven for cooking! So here I have another delicious recipe for you to try. I am sure you will love it!

quinoa stuffed bell peppers
Stuffed bell peppers from the oven are so delicious!

Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 Bell pepper
  • Handful of Raisins
  • Quinoa
  • Sliced King Oyster mushrooms (or any other kind you like, like chanterelle)
  • Collard greens (or kale)
  • Crushed almonds
  • Olive oil
  • truffle oil (optional, I use oil of real truffles and not truffle flavored oil)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 slices of cheese (optional)

Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa as recipe indicates on the label. (usually 10 minutes on medium heat until the quinoa becomes clear and you can see the seed softened)
  2. Drain quinoa & mix with raisins and put aside
  3. Slice the bell pepper in half and clean inside and remove seeds.
  4. Fill bell pepper with quinoa mix
  5. In a pan stir fry the King Oyster mushrooms with olive oil until soft.
  6. Drizzle a bit of truffle oil on them at the end.
  7. Take mushrooms out and put aside
  8. In a pan stir fry the collard greens in a bit of oil and mix with crushed almonds.
  9. In a casserole place mushrooms & collard greens on bottom.
  10. Place the stuffed bell peppers on top
  11. For a nice topping add a slice of cheese.
  12. Put in oven on 350F until the pepper has become soft and cheese melted (for about 30-40 minutes.)
  13. Enjoy!

Notes
If you want to make it totally vegan, you can use vegan cheese, or no cheese and just add a mix of olive oil and breadcrumbs on top of bell peppers so it gets a goldenbrown crust in oven.

quinoa stuffed bell peppersLove, Lonneke