A man came into Utopia this morning, looked for something while we were engaged with another customer and, not finding it, started to walk out. We caught him at the door and asked if we could help him find something. He said, “You don’t have it.”
“Have what?” we inquired.
“Oh. We do have those. They’re just not on the shelf because we don’t have room to stock everything.”
We retrieved the box of folders from storage. As he was paying, he told us that he grew up in a small town and saw what happened when big box came in. Even though he was on his way to Santa Fe to run some other errands, he wanted to stop here first to see if we had the folders. If he can buy local, he will. This made our day. It also helped his.
Small, local business does work — not just for the convenience, but for that personal touch. Who, at big box, asks what small town? Who finds commonalities that weren’t previously known? Conversation, connection, and genuine smiles matter. While shopping local is good for the economy, it also is good for the soul.