With the recent closing of Zanzibar, Bella Ciao, and the upcoming closing of The Earle Uptown, I want to send a reminder to everyone to frequent the stores you love--or they won't be there the next time you try to shop there.
If Whole Foods, Kroger or Meijer closed--it might not be convenient, but it wouldn't make Ann Arbor a less interesting place to live. If Kerrytown, Produce Station or Fresh Season's closed--Ann Arbor moves a few notches down in quality. And, I'd be truly bummed.
So, what can you do? Make a list. What do you love MOST about Ann Arbor? Go there, spend money, and encourage your friends to support them too. Some of us can pick 10 places to support, and others only one or two, but please do your part to keep Ann Arbor cool. You can make a list of restaurants, shops, food stores, whatever makes Ann Arbor special to you and go there first (you can also make a list of stores you won't go to). I gave up fast food a few years ago and it is great--when we go on a road trip I get meat cheese and bread from Zingerman's or a sandwich from Produce Station or a bag of bagels--that way we support the local economy even on the road. We also stop at real restaurants in the towns we travel in rather than eating fast food on the highway....it makes us slow down and appreciate every moment and we are healthier for it.
Here is my list, in no particular order....
Morgan and York
Sweet Gem Confections
Exotic Bakery (on Plymouth Rd--you must go if you like middle eastern food)
West End Grill
Soup Du Jour
What are your favorites? Let me know so I can add them to my personal list.
I'm sure I am forgetting a few treasures in my list above....but the point is to think before you eat or shop. Is there a better place to buy this, is this the store I want to survive or is there another one more important to me? Do I really have to eat in this fast food restaurant or chain or do I have time to support something local? Do this with eating out, shopping, buying clothes and books, even when going to the movies. I only go to the Michigan Theater a few times a year--but I still donate to them--they are a vital part of making Ann Arbor a great place to live--I want them to be around when I have more time to go to the movies.
We're often lured in by the cheaper prices, the bulk quantity, but the saying still stands--you get what you pay for.