Thank You for a Fantastic #SmallBizSaturday! November 28 2015, 0 Comments

Lately, I’ve been talking up Small Business Saturday, a nationally recognized shopping day that occurs the Saturday after Thanksgiving, encouraging people to get out and support small local businesses. 

The Small Biz Saturday movement was started by American Express as a way of reminding consumers that amidst the Black Friday Door Busters and shopping mall mega sales, your smaller proprietors are here, and are counting on your business for the holidays. 

There are a few things about small businesses that vary greatly from the big box. You may notice that we cannot be as competitive with our prices as big box stores, but there are valid reasons for that.   First of all, we may not get the same pricing on our goods or raw materials as the big boxes do since we’re probably not buying in the same volume.  In many cases, such as with Hippie Chick Granola Co., you are receiving an entirely handmade product versus one manufactured through automation, so there is a labor charge not associated with mass produced items.  However, I’d also bet you’re getting a much higher level of service at your corner boutique or cafe than you are at the big box.  Maybe you’re known by name, or offered a water of coffee if you are waiting for an item to be gift wrapped.  Perhaps you’re getting recognition or conversation that does not exist in a big chain.

At small businesses, it’s personal.  For everyone.

Sure, there are the conveniences of the big box.  They are open for long hours and sell everything you can think of.  But the character of the towns we live in is defined by the six foot awnings and sandwich board signs that line the streets. 

Today Hippie Chick Granola Co. celebrated Small Business Saturday in our Oak Island Bakery.  We served refreshments and had a raffle drawing and I spent the day visiting with customers who live locally or who came down to visit for Thanksgiving weekend.  What touched me more than anything were all of my “regulars” who came in with their visiting family members and house guests because they wanted people they loved to experience not only our product but the bakery itself.  I am touched and honored beyond words that 6402 East Oak Island Drive has become a destination for many of you, a place you want to visit and say “hello” to when you are here, and that we have a product you want to order when you are not.

One day, long after Hippie Chick Granola Co. is no more (although we’re hoping that we are around for years and years and years),  I may not remember how many batches of granola I baked on any given day and I probably won’t remember my sales totals from one month to the other, but I will remember many, if not all, of your beautiful faces, and your enthusiasm, and the stories of your children who left for college, and the details about the dog you just adopted or your new job.  I’ll remember talking about your trip to Italy and I will remember the day you picked up granola for your daughter, who was sick, and she told you it was the only thing she would eat.  

I am so glad that we have had a chance to meet “through granola.”  Thank you for supporting your corner store, mine and others, on this Small Business Saturday, and for allowing me the chance to be a part of your story.

Much Love,

Ilene Evans