One World Roasters' Coffee Blog
Why Shop Local?
To find the answer, you don't have to look far!
If you didn’t know, as of January 2019, One World Roasters has opened the doors of its cafe to the public!
The response so far has been unbelievable and so heart-warming for us to see as an up and coming small business in the East Haven community. We’ve found incredible enthusiasm for the coffee shop in the local area and among even many residents of towns well outside of our backyard:
"Best cup of coffee I've had in a long time. This is my new go-to for good coffee. No more bland coffee chains. I've been waiting for this! If you want great coffee that's not overpriced and more importantly, a LOCAL small business, go to One World Roasters Cafe & Espresso Bar." -Jackie Trickett-Sargent
"I love the shop and I love the product. The coffee is top rate, we drink it every morning in our house and when we have people over they’re always commenting on how good the coffee is. A notch above is not fair to what you serve — it’s in a league of its own." -Josh Balter
"The espresso’s magnificent, the blend’s terrific, and I can’t wait to come back again." -Chaz Esposito
"I came here a couple weeks ago. I loved your coffee, I’m glad you’re open. I wish you all the luck in the world and I think you’re gonna’ make it here. It’s definitely a different kind of business - it’s gonna’ attract a lot more people here. We don’t have something like this in East Haven so it’s gonna’ do well, it’s gonna’ do very well." -Joe Carfora
"East Haven is so lucky to have you guys in town. Looking forward to the Saturday hours. I'll be coming from Wallingford to enjoy your coffee. Will you do iced coffee???" [Yes we will!] -Tamara Rae
We set up shop here because we wanted to offer something special — something we cared deeply about — to a community that we felt had limited options for high quality organic and fair trade coffees sold at reasonable prices and delivered locally. We’ve been very fortunate to be embraced in an area that for so long has been dominated by big chain coffee vendors, and the reactions of so many people we’ve spoken to hit on something very important — the value of shopping locally.
We often hear that it’s good to support local small businesses, and if you’re already a customer of ours we are so thankful for that support, but, frankly, we’re just the tip of the iceberg. Why is it specifically that shopping locally makes such a difference? Why is it so important?
We thought we’d take this blog as an opportunity to answer these questions — the obvious and the not-so-obvious reasons. Let’s dive in.
Local spending is a BIG investment in your community
Your money goes a long way when you shop from a short distance. Walmart may be right down the road, but pop quiz — how much of your money spent in your big chain shopping trip do you think stays in your local economy? (Hate to break it to you, but a superstore in your 3-minute driving radius doesn’t count as local!)
The answer is thought-provoking. According to the American Independent Business Alliance (Amiba), 48% of every $100 spent at local businesses stays in the local economy as opposed to a mere 13.6% in the case of chain retail shopping. This is a huge difference! And this nearly 4x difference has a “multiplying effect” on the financial well being of any town.
This additional cash flow:
• Contributes meaningfully to the tax pool in the area - improving the quality of our children’s public education, upkeep of the roads we drive on every day, and the condition of our beloved public spaces.
• Passes on lower prices to customers from reduced transportation costs, driving up spending and keeping the local economy moving.
• Means more jobs for your area. According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, between 1993 and 2016, small businesses accounted for 61.8% of net new jobs and in their 2018 report noted that “Firms employing fewer than 20 employees experienced the largest gains, adding 1.1 million net jobs.” Businesses that care about being local also want to hire locally. This continues the cycle of reinvestment in your local economy.
• Can even raise property values - Shopping local is like investing in ourselves — it tells small business owners to spend more on their shops to meet and exceed local demand and it tells prospective business owners that our town is a great place to set up shop and further add to the selection and competition of quality in our area. Valpak.com makes this point in an article on the importance of shopping locally: “A vibrant and busy shopping and entertainment area in a town can drive demand to live there, boosting the value of the homes in the neighborhoods.” However, they note that this effect only works if residents are committed to shopping locally.
Longtime East Haven resident and community activist Josh Balter speaks to this last point. “I’m really grateful to have a place like this in East Haven; we need small businesses and honestly we need a classy joint like this, so I’m glad it’s here.”
Shopping locally is good for you and the environment
We know from previous blogs that local doesn’t mean organic and vice versa, but like organic and fair trade, local is an important consideration for your own health, the well-being of farmers, and the health of our planet.
Many of us don’t remember what it’s like to eat seasonally anymore. We have such selection to choose from at our brand name supermarkets that we can essentially have whatever we want whenever we want. We can have hard, flavorless avocados in January, and any number of out-of-season fruits and veggies imported from halfway across the world. But as those of us who venture a little out of the way to the local farmers market know, there is no comparison between seasonal produce picked at its peak of freshness and the convenient stuff flown over. This is because we’re syncing our diets to the cycles of nature and this is a special benefit of local seasonal food shopping and, now a good deal of local dining as well. Many fine restaurants in Connecticut now offer direct local farm-to-table menus. Yum!
Seeking out organic local produce has even greater benefits. In addition to getting your produce at its nutritional peak, you’re able to enjoy it without health-affecting pesticides and are also eliminating one of the major ecological problems associated with organic food (supermarket chains often do not source their organic produce from local farms).
But organic or not, in shopping locally you are cutting out a tremendous amount of carbon emissions from your food consumption and this helps everyone and everything around us.
Learn more about the amazing local produce at Clover Nook Farm here.
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Quality really counts
We’ve gotten to know many members of the East Haven community in our time here and if one thing comes through very clearly to us, it’s a sense of pride residents in this town have — for its history, it’s sense of community, it’s food, it’s hard work ethic. People are here because it’s home, because it’s a place that matters to them, and what they do, what their role in this ecosystem is, matters deeply as well.
This feeling extends to all of our local businesses. We feel that sense of pride, we feel that desire to serve our community. Our reputations matter to us because our customers are our friends and family. Yes, we need to make money to stay in business, but stocks, corporate boardrooms, and investors thousands of miles away aren’t what we’re doing this for. We want to do what we do at the highest level possible because we’re craftsmen, we’re artisans, we’re people who love what we do and take pride in it. The same simply cannot be said for employees of a mega-chain.
Furthermore, beyond just personal pride, small businesses are very well incentivized to do right by their customers with the ubiquity of online rating platforms like Yelp and Google Places. If Dunkin Donuts gets your order wrong you can complain, but chances are they’ll be fine without your business and there is little accountability to the customer. Small businesses like us can’t afford to have unsatisfied customers so we pull out all the stops to keep you happy and uphold the quality of our reputations.
The personal touch never comes close with the big guys
Do you have a small market you love to go to, even if it’s a little more expensive and out of the way? Many of us do and one of the big reasons is “we know a guy … (or a girl).” There’s no discounting the difference the personal touch of a local shop, coffee bar, restaurant, or market makes. Once again, pride in one’s own business and the desire to see it succeed will always go above the efforts made by an employee at a chain that doesn’t view their work as their life’s work.
Journalist Cynthia Marinakos paints a familiar picture of this difference in her recent article for The Startup. “I have a fascinating relationship with my local butcher, Justine:
She’s honest: She tells me which sausages she likes from her display — and which she doesn’t.
She cares: She shares recipes her family love such as her super simple slow cooker pulled pork. She listens when I speak — and remembers our conversations next time I visit.
She services: She gives me complimentary products, gets me the best cuts, and always has time for me,” says Marinakos.
These are all good reasons to prefer a local shop to the corporate mainstays — reasons most of us can relate to from our personal experiences, but Marinakos takes it one step further and makes the key point that local enthusiasts truly understand — quality of experience and purpose almost always top convenience.
“Justine’s store is actually out of my way, and stands alone,” says Marinakos. “It’s much more convenient for me to get everything I need from my local shopping center. It’s often cheaper to buy from the bigger stores. But big stores don’t know my name. The shop floor is staffed by 15-year-olds who don’t even pretend to care. Products have high margins on them — and if any are made by small businesses, little of it will get to them, So I’d rather pay that little bit extra for premium products and premium service. But mostly, because I like Justine and I want to keep her family business running.”
It was very special for us to hear a similar account of the difference our personal touch made for one of our customers. Rich Sudusky, a Northford resident, living one town over from us did a web search for some coffee and stumbled upon our website. When he saw that we offered free local delivery he knew he wanted to give us a shot, and the difference this made to his experience, surprised even us.
“I couldn’t believe that Eric would really be such a go-getter that, you put an order in at 4 o’clock and then it’s there the next morning usually. It’s insane,” says Sudusky. “And for that reason, if nothing else, I became an instant fan — anybody who works that hard deserves my business. And also I like the coffee. It’s definitely better than most chains.”
Local businesses add to the quality of selection in any area
Many of us know that special little video store that locals and even travelers continue to flock to in an age of Netflix immediacy. If a person is simply looking for convenience and selection, there’s no reason for them to leave their home. So why do so many locals in Hamden and beyond continue to frequent a place like Best Video? It’s because the establishment offers a unique experience they can’t get from Netflix or movie rental kiosks like Redbox.
A business like Best Video adds to the culture of the town — they carry countless niche videos that are hard to find elsewhere, they have performances and video screenings, they serve local coffee, and have furnished the place to be a cozy local meeting ground that people can socialize and relax in. Small business like this add so much more to our local communities than chains or automated services, and make for a wider, more exciting selection of foods, goods, and services. It’s hard to see this as anything other than a great thing.
We were very fortunate to have East Haven’s chamber of commerce president, Jennifer Higham recently visit the shop and her thoughts echoed this line of thinking. “I think this is nice because it’s homegrown; it’s local business, not a commercial business, so you’re getting something different,” she says. “This is a nice atmosphere — I like the coffee shop feel of it because it feels more homemade than anything else; you’re not just coming in to get a cup of coffee. You can sit down, relax, hear music — it definitely has a nice home feel to it.”
Shopping locally is the stuff of dreams
When you support local businesses, you’re making dreams come true and brightening the community around you. You’re contributing in a meaningful way to, as the French say, the “joie de vivre” (joy of life) of your area. You’re sending the message that your town is a place where dreams and ambitions are important and have a chance to come to true — where we care deeply about each other’s happiness and believe that the more passion and care we cultivate around us, the better life will be for our community as a whole.
One World Roasters thanks you from the bottom of our hearts and hopes to liven up and contribute to the joy and wellbeing of East Haven for many years to come.
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Where To Find Us
One World Roasters
967 North High St,
East Haven CT 06512