Happy Wednesday fellow readers! We have made it to the half way point in our week and I can personally say so far so good, I hope you can say the same. Today I want to talk about the importance of local and small businesses. I want to point out the importance in supporting them, shopping with them, and sharing your feedback about them. In addition I will give you a look into a couple local businesses here in Chattanooga TN that I personally support.

So first and foremost do you even know what local businesses are in your area? If you just said you think you do chances are you really don’t know. When I talk about small local businesses I am talking about the shops and stores that are locally owned and operated. Not stores or venues that are chains. Now don’t get me wrong I love certain chains as well, but they have corporate backing to help them thrive. I am talking about Jane down the road who opened her own jewelry store, or Mac who opened his own fishing depot. Real people like me and you who had a dream and took a risk to make their dream come true and bring you a personalized experience that you can’t get within a chain/incorporated business.

One of the easiest ways for me to explain how I see the difference is you can buy a shirt for $50 at any retail store in your local shopping mall, or you can take that $50 and go to a local boutique buy a better quality shirt. What’s the difference you ask? At that retail store you are padding a corporations pocket, at that boutique your helping that owner support his/her family. Your making a positive difference in their life by supporting their goals as well. Imagine wanting that boutique your whole life and the feeling of gratification when you finally sell your first shirt. Imagine showing your parents how far you have came or your children what determination can do for you. By shopping in those locations you are supporting something bigger and more important that you will ever comprehend unless you experience it for yourself.

Now I also realize that a lot of local small businesses are specialty stores. So if your the type that likes to shop at a certain giant corporate conglomerate because its convenient to have everything in one location, get over it. Your getting convenience at the price of quality and originality. I’m super guilty of shopping a ton on line. I do that because I don’t like shopping in general, at the same time you are limited to what you can find online and you also risk knowing exactly where it is coming from. I have found some of the most unique gifts at local shops. I also regular my local market on weekends which is a combination of local and regional vendors that have hand made crafts. I prefer hand crafted and made with love any day over manufactured and mass produced. The same goes for local restaurants. You can have a menu dictated by a corporate board who may know nothing about food, or a menu hand selected seasonally by a skilled chef that has a passion for the food they are preparing and serving to you. Trust me if you have never been to a starred local restaurant then you need to save and try it out. It will speak volumes to your pallet, your emotions, and leave you astounded.

So I have a couple local places that I absolutely enjoy going to and shopping at. I often even just go and browse to see what they have new and to check out prices so I can save for specific things that catch my eye. I will give each there credit and please note that they are not listed in any specific order.

Anyone that has been reading my blog knows I have a passion for coffee. Coffee is something I find peace and comfort in and will always be a big part of my life. I have two local shops that I visit consistently. First is Wired Coffee Bar in Ooltewah, TN. I visit Wired Coffee Bar almost every single Sunday. Not only do I love the atmosphere I enjoy the employees and the fact that they have always went out of their way to make my drinks exactly how I like them. They even adjusted the temperature on them so I wouldn’t have to add ice and water down the yummy coffee. My drink of choice from them is a latte made with two extra shots add steamed heavy whipping cream.

My other favorite local coffee shop is in downtown Chattanooga, Cadence Coffee Co.. I pretty much stop here every Friday morning and get a cup to take to work with me. My drink of choice here is an Americano add steamed heavy whipping cream. It literally one of the best tasting coffees I have had, and believe me I have had a lot. I also enjoy the fact that Cadence Coffee is a big supporter within the community. Their barista Joy definitely has a perfect name, because she is a pure joy in the morning. They also have a nice meeting space and I like the modernized light bulbs.

I promise not all my favorites are coffee joints. Moving on to a great local food place I enjoy from time to time. The reason I enjoy it is because they offer healthy and quick options in a world that has been diseased with fastfood. They also offer meals that are already prepped and you can take home to prepare. You can even order in advance if you want to have it available for meals at home or lunch on the go. It is the first place locally that I have had them go out of their way to make sure my meal was Keto and fit into my macros for the day. It is just good whole and healthy food. The place I am speaking of his Naked Foods. They also support other local businesses which is great to me! They also have a nice dining environment and are constantly holding special events. The owner and founder Allison Oakes is also a delight and when I dined there she personally made sure the food met my expectation.

My favorite local gift shop without a doubt is Blue Skies in Northshore Chattanooga. From unique local items to quirky humor this place has it all. They have so many different things that you can spend hours looking at. It is also one of the only shops I have been able to find things with the initial U on it. They also have handmade jewelry from other local vendors. The employees here are also super friendly and very inviting. They love to answer your questions as well.

As you can see there may be hidden gems among your location. Take the time to find them and take the time to get to know them. Go to events that support them, because when you support them you are also supporting other locals you support. This list is only a couple of my favorites. I could go on and on and on. If your from Chattanooga and you want to know other places please reach out and we can discuss. Until next time … Keep Ketoing On!