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Shop Local Store Directory and Shopping Tips

By Barbara Evangelista, Publisher November 26, 2020

“Shop Local” is the annual refrain at holiday time. This year though, we really need to show as much support for local business owners as possible… or they may not be here next year.  

Here are some thoughts:


Don’t Default to Amazon

Yes, Amazon is incredibly convenient.  You can hop online at midnight, order what you need, and hopefully it shows up pretty soon.  Here are the problems though:

  • Jeff Bezos (the founder, CEO and president of Amazon) is the richest person in the world. Seriously. I don’t want to fill his pockets anymore.  I'd prefer to pay a little more and know that the businesses in my communities will survive and thrive.
  • The more we buy from Amazon, the more our local resources will disappear.
  • The more we buy from Amazon, the more quality manufacturers will disappear. We’ve all purchased products on Amazon that ended up being laughably bad.  Why do those manufacturers exist?  Amazon.  They'd never survive at a real retailer.
  • All of the carbon emissions transporting everything to your home really add up
  • It’s not always the cheapest option.  Have you noticed that Amazon raises prices on seasonal items when they know the need will be greatest?  I did some school shopping there, for binders and index cards and such, a few years ago and probably paid 3 times as much as I would have paid at a local store.
  • Amazon's working conditions, both in the US and especially in manufacturing facilities abroad, have been strongly criticized.


First Step -- Is There a Local Independent Shop That Carries the Item You Need?

Items may cost a bit more at local retailers but your purchases are what keep them alive.  Plus they give amazing service, and the owners really care about you and their products. Here are the benefits to shopping local:

  • For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 stays in the community.  If you spend $100 at a national chain, only $43 stays in the community.  
  • Shopping locally encourages businesses to stay and thrive, creating diversity, choice, local jobs, interesting destinations, and a strong community.  Who wants to visit an area that has all the same chain stores?  People like to visit towns with unique, dynamic local businesses.

If you don’t have time to browse or are worried about the safety of shopping in the store, make a list of what you need and call them.  Many will gladly put together an order for you and provide curbside pickup.  If they don't have what you need in stock, many will be able to order the items for you.

Books

Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton   http://www.silverunicornbooks.com/

The Concord Bookshop  http://www.concordbookshop.com/

Barrow Book Store, Concord  http://barrowbookstore.weebly.com/


Pet Supplies

Great Road Farm and Garden, Littleton   http://www.greatroadfarmandgarden.com/

Fish Nook Pet Center, Acton  http://www.thefishnookpetcenter.com/


Kitchen Items

Kitchen Outfitters, Acton   http://www.kitchen-outfitters.com/


Crafts/Sewing/Art

Albright Art Supply, Concord  https://albrightartsupply.com/

Island Yarn Company, Maynard  https://island-yarn.com/


Art Galleries & Studios

Gallery Seven Frame Shop & Fine Art Gallery, Maynard  http://www.gallerysevenmaynard.com/

6 Bridges Gallery, Maynard  http://6bridges.gallery/

ArtSpace Maynard  http://www.artspacemaynard.com/

Clark Gallery, Lincoln  http://www.clarkgallery.com/

Lexington Arts & Crafts Society  https://www.lexart.org/

Lucy Lacoste Gallery, Concord  http://www.lucylacoste.com/

Great Road Gallery & Framing, Bedford  http://www.greatroadgallery.com/

Three Stones Gallery, Concord  https://www.threestonesgallery.com/

Powers Gallery & Fine Framing, Acton  http://www.powersgallery.com/


Toys

Learning Express, Acton   http://www.learningexpress.com/store/acton/

Learning Express Toys & Play, Bedford   https://learningexpress.com/bedford

Catch A Falling Star, Lexington  https://www.facebook.com/catchafallingstartoy


Lingerie

Jo Karen Fine Lingerie, Acton   http://www.jokaren.com/


Gift Items

Handworks Gallery, Acton   http://www.handworksgallery.net/

The Paper Store, all locations (locally owned and based in Acton)   https://www.thepaperstore.com

Cataldo’s Gift & Garden, Littleton   http://www.cataldonurseries.com/

Homespun, Lexington  http://thewaldorfschool.org/homespun-store

Mass Audubon Shop, Lincoln  https://www.massaudubon.org/about-us/mass-audubon-shop

Something Special, 145 Lincoln Rd, Lincoln

Firefly Moon Gifts, Lexington  http://www.fireflymoongift.com/

Crafty Yankee, Lexington  http://www.craftyyankee.com/

Revolutionary Concord, Concord  https://www.revolutionaryconcord.com

Joy Street Life + Home, Concord  http://www.joystreetgifts.com/

Nesting, Concord  https://nestingconcord.com/

Artisans Way, Concord  http://www.artisansway.net/

Patina Green, Concord  http://shoppatinagreen.com/

Dotted I, Concord  http://www.thedottedi.net/

Comina, Concord  http://www.comina.com/

Bee's Knees British Imports, Concord  https://www.thebeeskneesbritishimports.com/

Periwinkle Art and Glassworks, Acton  http://www.periwinkleglassworks.com/

Kind Goods, Maynard  http://www.kindgoodsmarket.com/

Sugar Snap, Maynard  https://thesugar-snap.com/

Oliver's Wands and Wizarding Ware, Maynard  http://www.nemischief.com/


Hardware

Moison Ace Hardware, Bedford  http://www.moisonace.com/

Shattuck Ace Hardware, Lexington  http://www.shattuckhardware.com/


Garden Center

Cataldo’s Gift & Garden, Littleton   http://www.cataldonurseries.com/

Seasons Four, Lexington  https://www.seasonsfour.com/

Wagon Wheel, Lexington  http://wagonwheelinc.com/

New England Nurseries, Bedford  http://www.newenglandnurseries.com/

Mahoney's Garden Center, Concord  http://mahoneysgarden.com/

Stonegate Gardens, Lincoln  http://stonegategardens.com/


Music

The Minor Chord, Littleton   http://www.theminorchord.com/

The Music Emporium, Lexington  http://www.themusicemporium.com/

Leonards Music, Bedford  http://www.leonardsmusic.com/

Osmun Music, Acton  http://www.osmun.com/

Boston Drum Center, Acton  http://www.bostondrum.com/


Appliances

Doyon's Appliance, Bedford  http://www.doyonsappliance.com/


Gaming/Collectibles

Legends Comix and Games, Littleton   http://www.legendscomix.com/

Gaming Etc., Acton   http://www.gamingetc.com/

Omar's World of Comics & Hobbies, Lexington  https://omarsworldofcomics.com/

Excelsior Comics and Games, Maynard  http://excelsiorcomicsandgames.com/

Collectors Paradise, 35 Nason St, Maynard  

Hit & Run Sports and Games, Lexington  http://www.hitandrunma.com/


Jewelry

Bedford Jewelers  http://www.bedfordjewelersma.com/

Richard Goddard Goldsmith, Maynard  http://goddardgoldsmiths.com/

Artinian's Jewelry, Lexington  http://artinianjewelry.com/

Bonafine Jewelers, Lexington  http://www.bonafinejewelers.com/

Boston Bijoux, Acton  http://www.bostonbijoux.com/

Fairbank and Perry Goldsmiths, Concord  http://www.fairbankandperry.com/


Sports

Soccer Stuff, Acton   http://shop.esoccerstuff.com/

Maynard Outdoor Store  http://www.maynardoutdoor.net/

Tricon Sports, Lexington  http://www.triconsports.com/

Pedal Power, Acton  https://www.pedpow.com/

Marx Running & Fitness Center, Acton  http://www.marxrunning.com/

Concord Outfitters  http://www.concordoutfitters.com/

Brine's Sporting Goods, Concord  http://www.brinesportinggoods.com/


Gourmet Items

Art's Specialties, Maynard  http://www.artsspecialties.com/

Priscilla Candy Shop, Concord  http://www.priscillacandy.com/

Gräem Nuts and Chocolate, Concord  http://www.graemroasters.com/

Debra's Natural Gourmet, Concord  http://www.debrasnaturalgourmet.com/

New England Olive Oil Co, Concord  http://www.neoliveoil.com/

MA-France, Lexington http://mafrancegourmet.com/

Wilson Farm, Lexington  http://www.wilsonfarm.com/

Concord Cheese Shop  http://www.concordcheeseshop.com/


Clothing

Michelson's Shoes, Lexington  http://michelsonshoes.com/

Wish, Acton  http://www.stylebywish.com/

Gould's Clothing, Acton  http://www.gouldsclothing.com/

Blue Dry Goods, Concord  https://bluedrygoods.com/

Grasshopper Shop, Concord  http://www.grasshoppershopconcord.com/

Juju, Concord  https://www.facebook.com/JuJu-147639568583773/

French Lessons Boutique, Concord  https://www.facebook.com/French-Lessons-Boutique-340085382869

Lyn Evans, Concord  https://www.lynevans.com/

Fritz & Gigi Children's Shop, Concord  http://www.fritzandgigi.com/

Raspberry Beret, Maynard  http://raspberryberet.us/


Home Items

Signature Stationers, Lexington  https://signaturestationers.com/

JACK + TOBA, Concord  https://www.facebook.com/jackandtoba


Recreation (think gift cards)

Periwinkle Art and Glassworks, Acton  http://www.periwinkleglassworks.com/

BB Kidz Klub, Westford   http://www.bbkidzklub.com/

One Stop Fun, Westford   http://www.onestopfun.com/

Altitude Trampoline Park, Billerica   http://www.altitudeparkma.com/

Kimball Farm, Westford   http://kimballfarm.com/ 

Art Signals, Maynard  http://www.artsignalsstudio.com/

Makers Workshop, Maynard  http://www.makersworkshop.com/


Second Step -- If No Local Independent Store Carries Your Item, How About a Larger National Store?

I’d really like to keep those larger chains in business.  I LIKE going in and looking at laptops, cameras, gaming systems, XBOX games, music, etc.  The salespeople are usually pretty helpful, I can generally get what I need the same day, and those stores provide tons of jobs for so many local people, including my teens.

If you can’t find what you need at an independent local store, try chains like:

  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Best Buy
  • Petco
  • Petsmart
  • Michaels
  • Joann Fabrics & Crafts
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • GameStop
  • Aubuchon Hardware

They all have excellent websites with pickup and shipping options.


Lastly, try Walmart, Target and other global retailers.  Then, if you must, head to Amazon.



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