Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A sweet surprise on Small Business Saturday in Faribault November 24, 2012

A Small Business Saturday promotional bag with my purchases inside.

“THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING LOCAL,” she said, then handed me a Shop Small shopping bag that contained a $10 Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Chamber Check.

So how’s that for a sweet surprise at Faribault Ace Hardware on Small Business Saturday, a day to support and celebrate small businesses?

My husband and I stopped by our local, friendly hardware store this morning for a cordless drill (on sale already on Black Friday, but two still left on the shelves), drain cleaner and lint traps.

After paying $47.81, Randy perused the winter gloves. And that’s when Barb Larson from the local Chamber thanked us for shopping local, handed me the Shop Small bag and asked to take my photo with her cell phone.

The really interesting thing here is that I knew Chamber folks would be roaming downtown Faribault today handing out those Chamber bucks. I even told my college son we needed to wait until Saturday to shop for shoes at Burkhartzmeyer Shoes for that sole reason.

But I’d forgotten. So the Chamber thank you was, indeed, a surprise.

As soon as the son returns home from dining at Augusto’s Ristorante, a downtown Italian restaurant, which is fabulous by the way, we’ll head a few blocks away to Burkhartzmeyer Shoes, a third-generation family shoe store. At this shoe store, employees and store owners measure and slip shoes onto your feet and will even repair your shoes. How’s that for small town service?

About half a block from Burkhartzmeyer Shoes, I dropped more money in my downtown, at Keepers Antiques. I’m supporting my local small businesses.

Have you shopped local today or recently?

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


10 Responses to “A sweet surprise on Small Business Saturday in Faribault”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    I did not venture out to shop at all but I did shop online at my fav local MC vendor Soyphisticated Candles and will pick them up in store next week. Does that count?

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      That counts. I never shop on Black Friday.

      The son now has his new shoes from Burkhartzmeyers and it’s a good thing he got them because I did not realize my $10 Chamber check was good only for today. He also did not eat at Augusto’s because the restaurant is apparently open only during the evening. This I did not know. So he and his friend dined next door at the Mexican restaurant.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    I just stayed clear of the whole shopping ‘thing’ (not a fave past time!). Quality time with the sewing machine…yay! The day turned gloomy/over cast..perfect!! Tonight the annual walk thru the Rotary Light display at Riverside Park in LaX. Might even get to take a carriage ride this year if the crowds aren’t too big!! This is an amazing light show!!! Dress warm!!! Hugs, D

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I’ve heard all about that Rotary Light show from my daughter, who attended college in LaCrosse. Enjoy your evening along the river.

      Shopping is not a favorite past-time of mine either. In fact, I rather don’t like to shop. But at least shopping downtown Faribault is a pleasant experience.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        “Shopping” locally is not what I consider real shopping but rather just “going to town” and seeing friends/acquaintances who happen to be business owners! Does that make sense??? Well, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it…hehe !

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        I totally understand that. When we were shopping yesterday, we chatted for about 15 minutes with a friend at the hardware store. Then, at Burkhartzmeyer Shoes, we chatted with one of the retired owners (who even greeted me with a hug) and two friends who are employed at the store while one fitted our son for shoes. Gotta love that kind of small town shopping experience.

  3. Erin Says:

    We were celebrating Thanksgiving at my Grandmas so we weren’t in town. When we did return, we ate at a locally owned sports bar/restaurant. There are so few non-chain restaurants in the St. Cloud area.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Now I would think the St. Cloud area, being so large, would have a lot of non-chain restaurants. Or perhaps that’s why they have so many; the chains want to be in densely-populated areas.

  4. I shopped at that very Ace Hardware last Monday evening. Lucy did her snowmobile training in Faribault. I also did some Christmas shopping at The Faribault Woolen Mill Outlet last week. So wonderful they reopened! Love the new store with its industrial feel, and even got to meet one of the new owners! I shop as local, or nearby local as possible! 🙂

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Our Faribault Ace Hardware is the best. The best service. The Faribault Woolen Mill has a small display of woolen products there, in the hardware store.

      But glad you made it to the woolen mill retail store. Love the look, too.

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