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We know it has been hard for small businesses in 2020 and we want to celebrate them with you!
Olive Cart in quintessential small town of South Haven, MI has the friendliest staff and welcoming atmosphere. You can sample anything in the store, and you will want to. They help with recipes and cooking ideas. You can join their punch card club to earn a free bottle of oil. Check their website out to learn more: https://www.olivecart.com/
There is a store in Waynesville, Ohio called Lilly's Corner Mall. It is an antique store that is a delight to visit. One can easily go down memory lane just walking through the store.
Lilly's Corner Mall is not just an antique store, it is a long time fixture in Waynesville. The building was built in 1917 and was divided into two with the Miami Theater on one side and the Kilpatrick-French Motor Car Company, of Lebanon, Ohio on the other.
The Miami Theater opened in 1918. Admission was 10 cents plus a one cent "War Tax" while the doors to the showroom of the car dealership opened and introduced Ford Automobiles in the area. In 1959, Lilly and her husband purchased the building. The theater and car dealership were gone and an auction house occupied both sides of the building. Some time ago, Lilly converted the entire building into an antique mall. Lilly's Corner Mall still has the original beams and frame work along with the original double doors and showroom windows from the car dealership. The theater section has the original 22 foot high wood ceiling along with the original wood cornices along the walls Toward the top of the 22 foot walls are original movie theater character cut outs such as Elvis, the 3 Stooges, and Glenda from the Wizard of Oz. As Lilly is now well in her 90s and unable to work in the store, her daughter now owns the store and mans the day to day operation of the store while Lilly still handles the financial books. Lilly's is open 6 days a week so I am sure it is hard work.
The store contains antiques, collectibles, and decorative items. Items are very well priced and the stock constantly changes so if you don't find something one week, it may well be there the next. It is a delight to visit and a destination in and of itself. Whenever I have been in the store, the people behind the counter are always friendly and willing to help. When my sister-in-law visits from Columbus, we head to Lilly's. I think she loves it as much as I do.
My favorite small business is the "Yankee Doodle Family Restaurant", located at 860 N Front St, Wormleysburg, Pa (by the Rodeway Inn). In addition to the standard diner fare, they serve the most authentic mexican food that's out-of-this-world!
Our favorite local small business is Octavio's La Burrita Mexican Restaurant. The owner, Octavio, is so kind and fun. He always welcomes you with a smile and remembers your name. He is very personable and down to earth and his food is amazing! I know it's been a struggle for his small business this year but we hope he's around for years to come!
One of our favorite restaurants is BT's Smokehouse in Sturbridge, MA. Great BBQ and friendly staff. Right now they are only open for takeout, so we try to order from them at least a couple times a month!
Thanksgiving is around the corner, No family gathering this year because of that nasty bug, Covid-19. Will I miss out on the big turkey? Of course not, thanks to The Chocolate Bar, a dessert shop in Houston,Texas! This wonderful place has graced my neighborhood for a couple of decades. Cakes, ice-cream, chocolate-dipped strawberries, hot cocoa, chocolate cows and cowboys, holiday-themed chocolate treats... In a nutshell, all things chocolate. Delicious, fun, and good for my mental acuity!
What will I choose? The big turkey? Or will I be more modest and reasonable and get a little one, with a side of chocolate-covered Oreos cookies of course? Dilemma, dilemma! The Chocolate Bar is here to help me make my choice. Happy Thanksgiving!
My favorite neighborhood small business is a family run store on West 72nd Street in New York City, which is so local that it barely has a real name - the awning reads "125 W. Stationery & Toys" - but everyone in the neighborhood knows it. Yes, the store carries an amazing array of everything "stationery" and toys you probably won't find elsewhere, virtually nothing electronic but more oriented towards learning/activity toys and crafts. And the tiny store is also packed from floor to ceiling with art supplies, greeting cards, calendars, holiday decorations, balloons, party supplies, and more! If you don't see what you need, you just ask a staff person and very likely they do have it and can point you right to it. It's nothing like a big chain store!
But even better than the products carried are the staff: they are so friendly and helpful and accommodating. My favorite feature was the super friendly, avuncular shop owner - unfortunately no longer there now (his daughter now runs the store) - who served as the cashier.... and local comedian, who told the absolute worst jokes, but made himself and all the customers laugh out loud; what a sweetheart.
Several times the shop has been at risk of going out of business but so far neighbors have rallied to keep it going. The shop is truly the definition of "shop local"..... I recommend it to anyone in Manhattan.
I want to give a shout-out to a wonderful bookstore which specializes in Murder Mysteries. Murder by the Book (where a good crime is had by all) is located in Houston, Texas. The store has an insane variety of books, from the classic mysteries to the cozies to the thrillers… It has a section for children. It is a good place to do Christmas shopping, choosing T-shirts, puzzles, mugs, socks, and books of course! During the pandemic, they have taken many steps to keep their loving customers from being murdered by Covid-19: mail order, contactless curb-side pick-up, number of customers at one time restricted, masks of course. As the icing on the cake (no arsenic in it!), each employee has an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre and is always willing to direct the customers toward the best selections for them. I love Murder by the Book!
Frontier Restaurant not only do they have the best cinnamon rolls that are big and covered in butter, but they allow you to buy 6 of them for about $10. They have great hamburgers, New Mexico type food, they been open since 1971 which is near right across street by the university where a lot of college students like to hang out while studying, it's a must stop restaurant in town if you want to experience New Mexico.
Strands of Faith is a local business brand that creates handmade, quality natural hair products in small batches. Their brand is faith based and they focus on hair health while uplifting and encouraging the spirit.