IF YOU’RE OLD SCHOOL—and that would be me—you appreciate homegrown brick-and-mortar businesses. These are the places that make our communities unique, the places that offer excellent customer service, the places that connect us as people, the places that boost our local economies.
I can walk into the local hardware store to a greeting of “What can I help you find?” I can walk into a local third-generation family shoe store, be greeted by name, get my feet measured, shoes fitted. I can walk into a local gallery and chat it up with other creatives. People I know by name.
I love this about my community of Faribault. The interaction between business owners and customers. The feeling that I matter, as an individual as much as a potential customer.
I love, too, the historic buildings that define our downtown and the care most property owners take in maintaining those structures.
I love how, this time of year, businesses spread holiday cheer through creative window displays, encouraged by an annual competition.
Not everything here is perfect, of course. Nowhere is. There are vacant eyesore storefronts, negative attitudes still about immigrants who call downtown home (although that seems to be improving), perceived problems with parking…
But, overall, Faribault frames a positive image in a place I’ve called home for 37 years.
FYI: For another shop local option, check out the Solstice Market from 1 – 4 p.m. Saturday, December 21, at Keepsake Cidery, rural Dundas. Styled after outdoor European markets, the event will feature bonfires, grilling and 20-plus vendors from the Cannon Valley region vending their wares/food/creations inside a heated tent. The cidery is open from noon – 8 p.m.
© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling