Here’s the thing…Black Friday doesn’t do it for me. I’d much rather be hanging out with my family at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving (did someone miss the memo that Thanksgiving is on Thursday and therefore does not qualify as Black Friday?) and I’d definitely much rather be in bed at the ungodly hours of the morning that “door busters” start. I get that there are lots of deals and I’m sure the people-watching is extremely entertaining…it’s just not my thing; never has been.
What is my thing, though, is Small Business Saturday, which was the brainchild of American Express. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a “Small Business Saturday” banner for my blog because I don’t own an AMEX-accepting business. Suckage. Oh well. I still love the idea of it. I’ll tell you what I love more….Small Business Everyday. I’m not going to lie. I love Target and since I (somewhat begrudgingly at times) live in Suburbia I do plenty of grocery shopping at Big Box grocery chains. Such is life in these parts. However, I do my best to support locally-owned businesses whenever possible, which is why you’ll never see a true “chain” (small, family-owned chains don’t count) reviewed here. I still buy as many of my groceries as possible straight from the hands that grew them (or processed them, whatever the case my be) at Main Street Farmers Market. Chattanooga’s clothing market is somewhat abysmal for those of us who like to be fashionable on a not-that-large budget, but I’m hopeful that one of these days I’ll be able to purchase the majority of my clothes and shoes from local companies as well. The bottom line is that a percentage of every penny that you spend in your community goes back into the community, but a larger percentage goes in from pennies spent at locally-owned businesses, and our country was built on Mom & Pop shops. Anyway….here’s what I did today:
We ate lunch at Sugar’s on Broad Street. Since I’ll be writing a full review to post in the morning, I won’t go into too much detail….but suffice it to say that my hair still smells like smoked meat, and that is NOT a bad thing.
Next we visited the soon-to-open Dish T’Pass Cooking School & Catering Company. I’ll be posting more about them later too….their physical location (in the old St. Barnabas building across from the downtown YMCA on 6th Street) is still a work in progress but I stopped by to meet Amanda Varnell, who co-owns Dish T’Pass with Sarah Hooper and is the managing partner and primary cooking instructor. Amanda started the company teaching cooking classes as Cooking Live in 2006 and after a series of serendipitous events the two are opening the Scenic City’s first cooking school. Excitement! I will visit and do a full-on post with before and after pictures and loads more info once their location is all bright and shiny and beautiful (they’re getting close)!
Our next stop was Mia Cucina, my favorite kitchen store (and, to my knowledge, the only fully-stocked locally owned kitchen store in Chattanooga) to dream about Le Creuset and pick up a pie shield, which I determined I needed (not wanted, needed) after adapting a recipe for a pecan tart into a pie on Wednesday and nearly charring the crust. Disaster was averted but only narrowly. We also made an unplanned purchase: a great pot rack that I am so excited about because this means that I will be able to free up most of a cabinet. It’s the little things….
Last, but definitely not least, we made a stop at the River Street Makery to buy some soda from one of our favorite local businesses, and look what we found…..
Wait for it…….
The Pure Sodaworks bottling operation is up and running! We’ve been waiting for this with baited breath. Right now, they have Café Cola (with Velo Coffee!!!!), Apple Pie, Hibiscus Lemon, and Honey Lime. We bought a 4-pack of cola and a mix & match 4-pack of the others. Then we went ahead and ordered from the fountain….
Philip had a strawberry-jalapeño, which he said was especially spicy today, and I had the special seasonal flavor, pumpkin pie. It really, REALLY tasted like pumpkin pie. They are truly amazing soda jerks (and alchemists)!
And that, my friends, is how Chattavore does Small Business Saturday!