Save your town. Save your plate. Shop local!

Broomhill is a glorious part of Sheffield, slowly being taken over by generic high street stores… ūüė¶

Whilst I’m all for convience and I don’t mind a Costa Coffee or a Starbucks every once in a while, a part of me can’t help but think that the bullish nature of stores, including the likes of Tesco, Costa, Sainsburys and more, are turning our¬†beautiful¬†suburbs into generic streets… Soon every street in the UK will be cloned and replicated. Enough is enough.

Last night I¬†shopped¬†in the¬†independent¬†Chinese supermarket on West Street, Sheffield. Not only was it cheap, it was full to the rafters with foods and flavours I had never tried before and I’ll hopefully use over and over again. Tesco doesn’t stock these foods. If it did, they would no doubt be sold at a premium, pricing us all into the same old generic meal options, week after week.

Today, we ventured to our local fruit shop, Fruit-a-Peel, and spent ¬£1.90 on some huge sweet potatoes and juicy lychees. We didn’t spend much, nor did we stay there long. The shop was small, with brightly coloured produce stacked outside the shop to tempt you in. Inside it’s a small, simple shop. No fancy gimmicks or marketing efforts. Just wall to wall fruit and veg, with the¬†temptation¬†of some local jams and treats as you head to the till. The chap who served us was lovely. He told us to ‘have a nice weekend’. How lovely – you could tell he meant it. After all, its¬†probably¬†his shop. No super-expensive customer service training course, or staff reward system was behind his gesture. For that alone I would visit again.

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There’s more to shopping local that simply supporting local¬†independent¬†businesses. Take a long hard look at your plate. The quality of food you can get from local stores is far¬†superior¬†to supermarkets, you¬†receive¬†better service and in many cases, the inspiration you gain as you shop is endless (and you sometimes hear it from the shop owners, first hand). Also, local shops don’t invest profits into¬†psychological¬†trickery to make you buy more… whether that’s pumping the smell of bread into the store, or placing¬†certain¬†‘premium’ items at eye level. They don’t see the point. When you shop local you invest in good quality and great service. Simples.

That said, shopping local for everything isn’t easy. I won’t be giving up on Morrisons all together. That said I will purchase much more of my fruit, veg and meat from local¬†grocers¬†and butchers. I don’t want Broomhill to lose it’s charm.

Save your towns. Save your plates. Shop local.

Hayley-Jayne xx

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