co-op employees

Why Shopping Local Matters

Small businesses often start as a great idea or lifelong dream, which is a feel-good reason to support a local company. However, those reasons don’t always win in the debate between a small business or a big-box store, which is why we wanted to answer the popular question, “Why should I shop local?”

We get it; sometimes, you can find a cheaper product at a big-box store, but your local community hardly sees those dollars. However, 25% more of that spending will recirculate back into your local community when you shop at a local shop versus a big-box store. 

shop local

That’s why we wanted to compile this list of reasons why you should consider shopping locally. This is not a comprehensive list, but it will give you an idea of some of the extensive benefits of a slight change in action. 

1) Reduces Carbon Footprint

Traveling to local businesses requires less time, energy and resources, including fuel for our vehicles or local transportation. If you’re lucky, you might have some local businesses within walking distance. For example, residents in the Barnum neighborhood can access our local grocery store on foot, depending on where they live. In Colorado, chances are you have at least one, if not a few, local businesses within a mile of your home. These can include mom-and-pop gas stations, liquor stores, grocery stores, boutiques, etc. 

Choosing these stores over a big-box store that might be a few miles away will help you reduce your overall carbon footprint and more significantly than you might think. Plus, if you have stores within walking distance, it’s always nice to get some of that fresh Colorado air. 

carbon footprint

2) Supports The Local Economy 

We already hinted at this–shopping local boosts your city and state economy. First, many small businesses like to buy from other small businesses, which means that supporting one company can lead to helping a few. For example, we source our chickens from local farmers and families, which means that the money you spend with us then gets spent with them. 

Another way shopping locally supports your economy is to create jobs in your city. These jobs are often very desirable because many small businesses like ours prioritize employee well-being to create a stable company environment. 

co-op employees

3) Exceptional Customer Service 

Big-box stores aren’t entirely passionate about the products they sell. With that many products, it’s hard even to know them all. Small business provides a more intimate experience because they are generally quite familiar with their products and mission. Also, small companies tend to carry smaller inventory which allows them to become experts about what they sell. 

With that in mind, if you are eager to learn more about living a healthier lifestyle through locally sourced products, then we would love to hear from you!

fresh produce denver

4) More Diverse Selection 

Have you ever gone to a Safeway, then a King Soopers, looking for a new product (like hot sauce) only to find that they both carry the same brands? That’s one of the downsides of big-box stores and one of the reasons that shopping local can be more exciting. 

Our store curates a specific selection of vendors to ensure that we are offering unique and exciting brands aligned with our mission. You won’t find our locally grown mushrooms or handmade jewelry at bigger stores. 

bjorns honey

5) Non-Profit Support

Many people, ourselves included, often express a desire to donate more to different non-profits, but we don’t always know where to start (or have the time). One of the benefits of shopping local is that many support non-profits, either through partnerships like ours with Jovial Concepts or by donating a portion of profits to the organization.  

Supporting local businesses that have these non-profit partnerships structured into their business is a quick and easy way to begin investing in more local non-profits. If you are unsure if a company supports a non-profit, you may always ask! 

jovial concepts garden

6) Create Character in Your Community

Having unique businesses like a brunch spot or a co-op grocery store can often draw people from other communities or even states to visit. Creating character in a community starts with supporting local businesses and artists to do what they do best and innovate. Denver has become a food and drink destination for a reason. People from everywhere travel to try unique offerings like our friends at Raices Brewing

raices brewing
Kevin J. Beaty Denverite

Supporting these businesses will create more companies eager to find the next trend.

7) Better Public Services/Conserve Tax Dollars 

The last benefit we want to mention is what shopping local can do for you, your neighbors and your state. Tired of hitting that pothole on your way to work? Shopping local will put business taxes back into your government’s resources to fix those types of issues. These dollars can also 

support public transportation, neighborhoods, infrastructure maintenance and parks. We love this because it’s a tangible way to see the benefits of shopping local. Sure, you won’t be able to say that *your* dollars at our grocery store fixed that pothole, but you can rest easy knowing that our dollars and yours are going directly back into making our community better. 

We hope this article gives you some motivation to skip your next big-box store run and choose a local grocery store or boutique instead. Please share this article with your friends on social media if you found it helpful!