You've probably heard the terms "shop local" and "shop small" before, right? If not, they simply mean to do your shopping from a local business where you know where your products are coming from while "shop small" means to shop from small businesses (not huge franchises). Being a daughter of a small business owner, I'm going to tell you what it means to my family to shop small and to shop local.
My father is the owner of Java Jones Handcrafted Coffee. We are still in the baby stages of growing a business, but one thing we know for sure, is that we will not turn Java Jones into a chain coffee shop. Our style of roasting will not be able to keep up with the huge clientele of chain shops. We are currently only selling at Farmers' Markets in the area, which is great because we will always get face to face interaction with the consumers. That brings me to my first point.
When you buy at your local farmers market, you're getting to know the growers and producers of what you're buying. You get to see their passion for what they do. They will tell you anything and everything about what kind of product their selling to you, skipping the gimmicks, and giving you honest facts and opinions. When you shop locally in an actual shop and not a farmers market, that means that the information about where the product comes from is totally accessible. Chances are the workers know a thing or two about the products and might even be family! Transparency is a good thing when you want to know what you're buying.
Java Jones Handcrafted Coffee is not only fully transparent, but we have goals. Goals that are only met by the help of our loyal customers, without being too money-hungry. My father's business has baby-step goals. Sure, most goals can only be achieved by more money, but our product and value come first. One of the ways we could improve our product and efficiency to create the products, is to get into an official licensed facility. Our loyal customers want more, and they want us to keep providing great coffee, so they buy more coffee to support the business. In order to reach goals, we have to stay in business! It's so easy for a small business to slip through the cracks just because they didn't have enough support.
Small business owners can earn minimal profits just because all the money they make is going into improvements and supplies. Loyal customers keep Java Jones in business and we would like to keep it that way. At the end of the day, my dad is doing what he really loves to do. He's making great coffee for people who want it and for people who need it, to truly enjoy what they drink. This is what shopping local and small is all about. I could make a novel with statistics and more of what it means to a family. But I thought I would give a glimpse of how customers impact our business and our lives.