Please, visit local shops! Soon!
- Hello everyone,
Here's what seems to be my annual plea to make that special trip to
our very special local businesses. Winter is a tough time for many of
them. As a frequent patron of our local coffee shops in particular,
I'm getting more than a little worried....
Cafe Zoma, for example, is a favorite community summertime
destination--being right on the bike path--and business fairly booms
there during the spring, summer & fall months. But, in talking with
Ann, the owner, business really slackens in the winter months.* This
extreme winter has been particularly harsh for business conditions.
Then, of course, there is the overall business environment.
I'm not exaggerating the danger to the survival of our small local
shops. Some friends who have owned a very, very successful coffee
shop for more than 11 years up in Winona MN, just had to call it
quits (http://www.blueheroncoffeehouse.com/). When the weather hit,
no one showed up to the shop. There is very little cushion when
operating a small biz. Now there is a big gaping hole in the fabric
of their downtown. That shop was the cornerstone of what was hoped
would be the resurgence of their downtown. It was an architecturally
beautiful coffee shop, too. The closure really hit the town hard,
because it was pretty much the social center of that little city.
Cafe Zoma functions pretty much as our informal community center. It
is what urban planners call (and rightists like the NYT's David
Brooks deride as) the classic "third place." It isn't the formality
of work, or the privacy of the home--it is a place for chance
meetings, a neutral place for hashing out issues, or, just seeing &
being seen, etc. We would have a huge gaping hole in the hood if
Zoma were to go away.
So please, treat yourself to a hot chocolate after digging out from
the snow. Grab a great pastry & a coffee before heading out to work.
Buy a smoothie to re-charge those eloctrolytes after that X-C ski
across the lake.
(OOOooooh, have you seen those parabolic snow-dunes out there? Wind
sculpting! Ice Scouring & deposition! Deposition & scouring!
Spectacular ice morphology! Spectacular ice dynamics! But my ADHD
And maybe combine a trip to the coffee shop with a trip to Revolution
Cycles next door. This is a particularly grueling time of
year--financially--for bike shops. But *you* can work it to your
advantage. Now is the time to take your bike in for an overhaul and
be assured of a high-quality result. I'm not saying that you won't
get a decent job done at Revolution in the summer. I'm just saying
that you can expect to have your bike seriously babied, coddled,
detailed and pampered in a big way this time of year. You can also
expect to get it back in a timely manner. After all, it really isn't
fair to expect a quick turnaround on that first bright & sunny 60
degree day when the whole world wants to set out on their neglected
bike. Because guess what? The whole world will be in Revolution
trying to get their neglected bike fixed. (I.e., Take a number!)
Help yourself, help the shops, help keep our local businesses
thriving over the winter. Visit them soon!
*Don't be deceived by the numerous websurfers camped out at the
coffee shop. Too many of them buy one small coffee and then sit there
P.s. Sorry if I violate any rules on advertising for commercial
outfits, but, hey, let's face it, though they may not sport the IRS's
501(c)(3) imprimatur, most of our small local enterprises are run for
passion. Profit, if it ever happens, is way on down the list for