Personal service seems to have become a thing of the past as more and more people turn to buying groceries online. As a society, I think we sometimes tend to overvalue convenience in certain areas of our lives. Shopping is one where convenience has driven a lot of change, but sometimes with these conveniences, we lose other things that can have equal or greater value to us over time.
Thankfully, many local, brick and mortar, mum and dad owned stores are showing us that we can still have what we want, when we want it, without giving up that personal touch. Here’s how they’re doing it and why buying local is better.
Produce is Fresh
One of the nice things about shopping locally is just how fresh the food is. With food being sourced in the area, fruit and vegetables often end up on the store shelves within 24 hours of being picked. That’s almost like us having the apple tree right in our own backyard.
A number of local grocery stores have even begun fruit and vegetable home deliveries, allowing us to get fresh food delivered right to our doorstep. Similar to larger retail giants, we’re able to go to the local store’s website and place our online grocery order.
Some global online stores are forced to keep food in warehouses for long periods of time and often end up selling unripe or overripe produce. This means our fruit and vegetables lose a great deal of flavour and nutritional value.
Having fresh food also means having seasonal food. When our stores stock locally available items, we’re guaranteed to get supplies that are in season at that particular time. This means there’s generally a greater abundance of these foods, making them less expensive.
A Larger Variety of Produce Available
It can be incredibly difficult for farmers to grow organic foods if they are forced to ship their produce long distances. When local stores source their products as close to home as possible, they support area farmers. These farmers are then able to invest that money into growing more organically and sustainably. They also have the capital to put towards growing a wider variety of fruit and vegetables for us to choose from.
They Know the Produce We Prefer and How We Like It Prepared
Butchers are another local business that can offer huge benefits to a neighbourhood. By being able to talk one-on-one with our butcher, we’re able to learn more about where our meat comes from, how it’s raised and even offer suggestions on what cuts are best for special events. Because they’re local and specialised in this area, they can generally offer a greater selection and quality at a better price.
In Most Cases, a Local Family Is Behind a Local Business
Buying local is great for the economy of an area. Money spent locally generally ends up staying in the community, benefiting everyone close by.
Another benefit is the way local businesses affect the housing market. According to forbes.com, for every $10 million spent at a local store or business, 57 jobs are created. In contrast, only 14 jobs are created with that amount of money at large online retailers such as Amazon.
Local Small Businesses Are Generally Strong Supporters of the Community
When I buy locally, I’m investing in my community. It can be very satisfying knowing that the food that we eat was provided by our neighbour down the street. This can increase the community’s level of independence and create closer relationships between us and the people who are producing our food.
When we buy from a local grocery store, we also create more local jobs. This can be a huge benefit to everyone by increasing the overall standard of living in our area.
Local Means Greener, Greener Means Better
Caring for our environment has never been more important. By eating locally sourced produce and frequenting locally owned stores, we can help decrease the distance our products need to travel. This can then help reduce the carbon footprint on the environment and create less pollution.
With so many benefits to the local economy, our standard of living and our general wellbeing, it makes sense to invest our hard-earned money in our local grocery outlets. We save money, eat healthier and enjoy a wider variety of foods.