Several New Retail Outlets Highlight August Wrap Up

As we enter a new month I was reflecting on what we accomplished this August and this summer as a whole.  Though it seems like everyday ends with only about half the to-do list getting done, quite a few things do actually come to mind.  First we’ve added several new stores over the last few weeks.

For Blacksmith Coffee Roastery fans in Clay Center, Concordia (9-4-09), Council Grove, Ellsworth, Manhattan, Minneapolis, St. Marys, and Seneca – you can now buy your favorite Kansas roasted coffee in your local grocery store.  For retail store location information check out our Store Locator Map.   You’ll notice that we are working with independent retailers throughout Kansas and strongly encourage you to support Kansas’ rural grocers.  It’s a very tough business and yet often the local grocery market is the lifeblood of many small communities.

They often offer unique items you can’t just find in any old chain grocery store.  For one, the meat counter in some of these stores just completely blows away what you get in a big store.  We’ve had cuts of meat from Scott’s Grocery in Lindsborg, Piper’s Market in Marquette and Garden of Eden in Little River that were absolutely fantastic!  I was delivering coffee to a Ray’s Apple Market last week and watched two local guys pull up with a truckload of amazingly fragrant ripe melons. Nothing imported here, folks!  Just good ol’ Kansas produce!

When you shop in an independent grocery store, you’re more likely to eat locally produced foods and in case you didn’t get the memo, eating “local” is good for you!  It’s usually better quality, better tasting,  more  nutritious and often a better price.

It’s not just meat and produce that makes independent stores special, it’s the people who run them!

The real cost of “commuting” to buy cheaper groceries

When you talk to a small independent grocer, one of the concerns they may voice is about locals driving to a bigger town to shop at large grocery store chains.  Obviously we all want a bargain, but when a person drives 20 or 30 miles to save a couple bucks, the impact is greater than they may realize – in more ways than one.

First of all, a 30 mile one-way means 60 miles round trip.  Even with a car that gets 20 mpg, that means you’re going to burn 3 gallons of gas.  At 2.49/gallon, that’s $7.50. (This does not include the cost of additional wear and tear on your car, oil changes, tune-ups, etc.)  The first question to ask is, "am I going to save $7.50 if I drive to the big city grocery store?

Second of all, your local town depends on retail sales tax dollars more than you realize.   Things like parks, holiday decorations, snow removal and many other things that make life a little nicer often come from sales tax revenues.

Thirdly, there’s no such thing as “free” time.  If you drive a 60 mile round trip, you just gave up an hour of your life.  The real question becomes, how much is your time worth?  To take this point further, apply your wage or salary to this analysis.  If you earn $10/hour, apply that same value to your time.  If you earn $42,000/yea,r your hourly equivalent is roughly $21/hour based on 50-40 hour weeks a year.

The bottom line…..

By driving 30 miles to Wal-Mart or Dillons or Albertson’s or Safeway or Super Target or wherever you go, you are paying anywhere from $17.50 to $28.50 to save  $__________? (Fill in the blank.)  Furthermore, you’re not supporting your local community – either in sales tax generation, or by helping a local employer to thrive and continue to employ locals. And, independent grocers are more likely to buy from other locals who raise farm fresh eggs, keep honey bees, milk hormone-free cows or do a million other things that are a not-the-norm at your big city chain store.

So, I guess all that’s left to say is Buy Local to Benefit Yourself and Your Community!

  • Mark says...

    Another great point! Thanks Jim!

    On Sep 03, 2009

  • Jim Prugh says...

    There is another benefit for shopping local. If you need some special or unusual item, talk to your local grocer. Chances are you will talk to the owner, so he can help you right away. With a big chain grocer, your request will get pushed up the chain of command and will get lost in the shuffle.

    On Sep 03, 2009

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