How to Pre-Buy Local

Many local shops aren’t set up for times like this. They don’t have the online webstore, the e-commerce gift card set up, or an easy way to just GIVE THEM MONEY ONLINE.

My record store growing up was Main St. Juke Box, on Main St. in downtown Stroudsburg, PA. This is the shop where I bought White Zombie, and Mr. Bungle, and Faith No More CDs. This shop, in a way, set me on the path to where I am today, from way back in the 90s.

They don’t have an online store, and the owner Tom sometime posts vinyl on Instaram, but I’m not much of a record guy, but then I saw this post:

Heck yes! I’ve reached out about getting a care package of thrash metal CDs.

Ready Set Run is the local running shop in town. It’s where I bought a pair of trail running shoes before I started running (I just wanted something better to hike in), and when I eventually started running and got hurt because I was buying $45 junk running shoes on Amazon, they set me up with some real running shoes, not to mention some neat group runs that involved ice cream and tacos!

They offer gift certificates on their site, so I ordered one for $50 towards a future pair of shoes when things get back to normal. What a fun trip that is going to be!

Finally, my favorite coffee shop (well, the only one besides Starbucks) is this tiny place called Cafe Duet, and I can’t imagine how hard the recent shut downs have affected them.

The owners opened their own coffee roaster in Delaware Water Gap, called Santa Mama and they ship coffee – they even have a subscription bundle!

It might take some digging, but see if you can throw some money towards one or two of your favorite local shops in the coming week or two (or three, or four…). Check their website (if they have one), or scroll through their Instagram feed (the damn algorithms may not show you some of these really important posts).

This whole post and my purchases tonight were inspired by an email I got from Freshbooks:

I recognize this “idea” and this call to action will not work for every kind of business, or in every circumstance. I recognize not everyone has money to share right now. These are indeed imperfect times, but perhaps you can take the spirit of this message, find the good in it, and evolve my proposal to suit your needs or those around you.

Open Letter From the Founder of FreshBooks Regarding COVID-19

That about sums it up right there – if you can help, help. If you can’t, that’s more than okay. Put your own oxygen mask on before you help others at this point. Stay safe, everyone!