By Keith Orr
ANN ARBOR –
The Buy Local Movement has gained a lot of ground over the past few years. The Occupy Wall Street movement speaks to a lot of the same issues (and frustrations) as the Buy Local Movement. Our economic system is letting down millions of hardworking Americans. It seems we have so little control over Bank of America (to name one), while Bank of America has so much control over us.
Buy Local is one way we do have control over our economy. We keep money in our local economy, allowing more money to flow into the cultural and social institutions that create quality of life for all of us.
And it’s personal. Let me tell you about my neighborhood:
You want something for your pet, or a dog or cat-loving friend? Stop by Dogma on Fourth Avenue. Alice Liberson owns Dogma. She is passionate about animals. She also supports dozens of local charities. Duke and I love to stop in there and visit. Alice is a licensed vet, and currently practicing veterinary acupuncture http://dogmacatmantoo.com.
Just across the street, talk to Paul Tinkerhess at Fourth Avenue Birkenstock. He has footwear and also a Sleep Shop (mattresses and other items to make sure you get good sleep). He is a local activist and musician. He and his family are a part of First Amendment history. Don’t ask me…stop in there and ask Paul about it https://www.facebook.com/birkenstock.store?sk=wall.
Around the corner from both Alice and Paul is Vicki Honeyman’s Heavenly Metal. Vicki had a profound influence on the growth of the Ann Arbor Film Festival some years back. She has remained active in social and artistic causes. She calls Heavenly Metal a “unique boutique.” It has apparel, footwear, recycled metal art and so on http://www.heavenlymetal.com.
Need a break…stop for coffee at Cafe Verde, run by the member-owned People’s Food Co-op. And though it is member-owned, the “face” of the co-op is Kevin Sharp. Kevin shares a passion for Border Collies with me. He’s also the reason Sculpture Park is kept clean and the landscape is well-tended. The “People’s Park” owes a big debt to this community-centered guy http://www.peoplesfood.coop.
Or you might stop for your coffee in the Kerrytown Market and Shops at Sweetwater, owned by Chris Hutton. Chris serves on the Kerrytown District Association Board, and seems to always be involved in some fundraising activity http://www.sweetwaterscafe.com/cafes/kerrytown.php.
While in Kerrytown you can visit Mary Cambruzzi on the second floor at Found, a truly unique store, or Jan and Sharon at Mudpuddles, or Bob at Sparrow Market, or Mike at Monahan’s. And especially Mary at Everyday Wine. She is a big part of making Ann Arbor Wine Cellar (a benefit for HARC) a success.
See, I have names to all these businesses. When you buy local you are supporting Alice and Vicki and Paul and more than one Mary, and so many others. And they support the community, and their employees are a part of the local community and the local economy.