Saturday 21 August 2010

Shopping local

I'm pretty lucky to live within walking distance of Duke Street and Alexandra Parade, home to lots of small independent shops - butchers, bakers, candlestick sellers(!), card shops and cafes.

In the normal course of a working week it's difficult to make it to these shops to buy fresh local produce and, like most people, I would usually end up buying food at the supermarket. I've really been enjoying being on more flexible hours in the past few weeks as I've been able to buy more of what I need locally instead.

Shopping locally is great but it really just caters to people who can be at home during the day, and local shops thereby lose a significant customer base. It makes me wonder if local shops might consider opening just a wee bit later to catch people coming home from work. If you're off to work before they open and back after they shut, you'll never get the chance to see what local shops have to offer. Supermarkets can open 24/7 and small businesses can't possibly match this, however an extra hour or two might make a difference.

Celino's deli and restaurant on the Parade seems to have realised this and now open later on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you haven't been, you should; the staff are enthusiastic, ambitious, and the food is fantastic. It's always nice to go in for dinner, but there's also the option of getting some tasty ingredients to cook something or picking up one of their nice takeaway meals (which are made on the premises). Much healthier than going home and nuking something tasteless made in a distant factory.

I feel a question to the Council coming on - is there some way of encouraging later opening, to make our local shops and communities more sustainable and our people healthier?

PS The photo comes courtesy of a new fruit shop - Fruit on Parade - which opened recently. My gran fell and broke the top part of her arm a couple of weeks ago, and I'd been thinking of sending her a fruit basket. Most of the ones I've seen online were pretty expensive for what was in them, so when I saw one outside the door of the fruit shop, I just had to pop in and ask how much it was. For the bargain price of £10, I bought the lovely basket in the picture! My gran was delighted, and the very enthusiastic shopkeeper was chuffed to make a sale (apparently £10 was considered too dear by the wee wifies of Dennistoun!). It would make a nice gift if you're visiting at the Royal Infirmary too!


OS said...

Sounds like you need more Asian stores up your neck of the woods!

Anonymous said...

£10 is steep when you have no money....

BellgroveBelle said...

Of course it is anonymous, but why would you bother asking how much it is in that case? Poor guy in the shop was getting a complex about it!