Monday, October 26, 2009

The Power of Supporting Local

The power is in each of us to start a trend that will be a renewing resource every time we make the choice.

The choice is to buy from locally-owned businesses, not just our own local businesses, but any locally-owned business. It is the way to constantly renew our commitment to helping communities stay viable. Every purchase is like a pat on the back, an affirmation that we appreciate those who set up shop in Kansas towns.


Von Rothenberger, Kansas Explorer #8, stopped by last Friday with a gift basket of sausage and smoked cheese from Wilson Family Foods, the grocery store on E Street in Wilson. The sausage is made on the premises, I believe. Put the sausage and cheese on a Ritz cracker and you have a very tasty snack. My Dad would have eaten all the cheese if Mom wasn't monitoring...

The Kansas Barn Alliance has put a private label on Mark Galloway's Blacksmith Roastery Coffee and is selling as a fundraiser -- and supporting Mark's good artisan-roastery work.

Mary Arlington also sells Mark's coffee at her High Plains RV Campground at Oakley. A number of grocery stores are starting to carry this Kansas roasted coffee, including the one in Inman.

One thing everyone could do is at least buy the coffee to serve at your annual banquets. Lead by example. Use Kansas products when you can and then explain to your audience what you're doing.

Simply Kansas! is a Kansas Department of Commerce program. They set up an appetizer buffet at the recent Kansas State Tourism conference. It was great to see and taste all the Kansas foods -- and wines and beers. It was impressive. Great job, Simply Kansas!.

If you're interested in selling Kansas food items in your retail store or want to serve them at your banquet, contact Simply Kansas!.

Give Kansas foods or certificates for Christmas presents. When you're out traveling around, stop and buy something to share with someone. Whether it's food, crafts, art, or some other unique product, like P. Michael Eravi's sundials, share the spirit of buying Kansas and help kick the trend into full motion. Actually, even if you buy non-Kansas products but make your purchases at locally-owned businesses, that is good, too!

Mustard, salsa, barbecue sauce, potato chips, bottled water, bison meat, venison, turkey jerky, noodles, and pies are just a few of Kansas food items available. Stop at Krehbiel's Specialty Meats in McPherson; Brant's Meat Market in Lucas, Scott's Thriftway, Lindsborg; Hilltop Grocery, St. Francis; Marcon Pies, Washington; and, actually, more and more stores everywhere.

It requires a team effort for rural viability work -- and the win is so possible. Let's keep working together. Get Kansas!

KE #2 Marci Penner


Von Rothenberger KE#8 said...

Just keep lighting that torch, Marci, and I will do my best to keep following it!

Mark Galloway said...

Kudos on the great article, Marci! Thanks so much for mentioning Blacksmith Coffee Roastery! This is a great reminder about the diversity of Kansas' products and the importance consumers really play in the entire process.

Like you mentioned about your Dad with his sausage, cheese and Ritz crackers, when Kansans create daily rituals around their favorite Kansas products, and others do the same, little Mom & Pop industries can grow to ultimately become prominent employers in little Kansas towns.

And.... retailers like the ones you mentioned in the post, are the critical channel to get "local" products to the consumer. In a perfect world, we'd all sit at home and watch the orders roll in to our ecommerce store, or set up a table at the local farmer's market and find our shelves sold out and our wallets full. ain't a perfect world, and the Kansas retailers who get "local" are doing a tremendous service by offering local products to the buying public: Not only as a service to the consumer - Who gets to enjoy local products; Him/Herself - by earning a profit on the sale of the product sold; or even the Producer - who obviously enjoys the reward from selling a product they've produced. Ultimately the winner is the Community as-a-whole, that reaps the benefits of the trickle down effect that occurs when raw materials are purchased locally, locals are employed and in turn spend money locally. Then, as growth follows success, factories are built, homes for laborers are constructed, more tax dollars fill the towns coffers, etc, etc.

Buying from locally-owned businesses is a much bigger deal than people may realize. Thanks for mentioning how important it really is, Marci!

Romantic bed and breakfasts said...

Specializing in Artisan Roasted, Single-Origin Coffees, Blacksmith Coffee Roastery roasts and packages ultra-premium coffees from the historic blacksmith shop in "Little Sweden USA" - Lindsborg, Kansas.