March 29, 2019
Mom and Pop Shops Can Make a Comeback, With Our Support
By Jenna Paulus, Public Relations Manager, Deluxe
I grew up in a small town in Indiana. I remember my mom taking us to the local bakery for cookies, the flower shop to get our corsages and boutonnieres for high school formals, and the local grocery store to get our food for the week – always the ham salad for my dad.
Our small town was thriving with small businesses in the 1980s and 90s. Sadly, many of the stores from my childhood are now gone. For me, the idea of a “mom and pop shop” is synonymous with nostalgia.
As our team at Deluxe traveled across the country in January visiting the Top 10 towns that were part of Season 4 of Small Business Revolution, I was reminded that there are small towns where the mom and pop shops can still thrive and benefit the local economies. Small towns may look different than when I grew up, but the small businesses there still deserve our support.
A great example is Cottage Junkies in Washington, N.C., run by Landis Pinkham. She started the business after working in accounting, but always wanted to have a little shop. She realized her dream in 2012. Now, she brings her daughter there with her every day. The store features cute, affordable clothing and accessories for folks in Washington, as well as refurbished home décor ala the HGTV show Fixer Upper.
Biscuits and Company in Biddeford, Maine, is another prime example. I’m not lying when I say they have the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. No joke. If you live near Biddeford go there now! But they’ve also become a place for the community to gather and for children to make memories with their families.
Slowly, small towns are starting to get their lives back and that gives me all the feels. After our January tour, I was ready to leave the city and move to a small town. Maybe it’s the sense of community I saw, the amazing small business owners, or the fact that I miss knowing everyone’s name in my town.
Nowadays, big box stores litter the outskirts of town. In a lot of cases, people frequent those more than their local shops, because let’s be honest, it is often quicker, cheaper and just the new norm. But you know what you don’t get at the big box store? The personable business owner wanting to help you. You don’t get the excitement of finding that cute top that no one else has that you can wear to your next night out. You don’t get that feeling of community. On top of all that, the money you spend in a mom and pop shop, it stays local. You’re investing back into your community versus some big conglomerate’s pocket.
So next time you get in the car to head to that big box, think about what local shop you could be supporting instead. Those mom and pop shops are the lifeblood of our communities and they need us in order for them to thrive.
Check out more of the mom and pop shops we visited on our trip in the gallery below and visit our Small Business Revolution Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for a short video highlighting a few of those businesses in honor of National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day.