Are you a locavore?

I’m glad the Dayton Independent Restaurants are working together (finally) to market themselves- it’s a great start. But, it’s more than just restaurants we should be considering- it’s everything from produce to pet food- buying local keeps money in our market.

Advertising Age – Farmstands Vs. Big Brands
In San Francisco, Jennifer Maiser, who with three friends coined the term “locavore,” runs a blog at eatlocalchallenge.com, where consumers sign up for annual month-long challenges. In August 2005 it drew just 500 participants, but that number grew to 800 in May 2006. Ms. Maiser expects 2,000 for September’s challenge.
This cooperative spirit is vastly different from the cage-rattling style of a group like, say, WakeUpWalMart.com, according to Ms. Bartz. “We’re kind of giving up on changing big business and instead are focused on taking the business away from it.”

Proving its worth
The movement points to several studies to try to prove it can make a big impact on a local economy. A favorite stat: Every $100 spent at a local firm leaves $68 in the Chicago economy, compared with just $43 when $100 is spent at a chain store, according to the Andersonville Study of Retail Economics, published in October 2004. The study also found that for every square foot occupied by a local store, the economic impact topped $170, compared with $105 for a chain store.

So is there any defense for big brands against a mainstream shift toward “local”? Yes and no, according to Michael Shuman, author of “The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition.”

“Going local is becoming a very important advertising hook,” he said, noting that many nonlocal marketers are trying to take advantage of the appeal the concept has with consumers. For instance, HSBC uses the tagline “The World’s Local Bank.” Mr. Shuman said the buy-local trend is vastly different from the “Made in America” efforts of the past. “That is more of a protectionist mantra and doesn’t achieve the goals of localization,” he said.

The article has examples of local grocers featuring local farmers- and this is in Columbus OH- not San Francisco.

While we’re still busy letting developers turn our farmland into McMansionville- we’re heading for a long term problem when our larger infrastructure can’t be supported by our population- and when the cost of shipping food becomes hyper expensive due to our reliance on gasoline.

We are overdue to draw that no-more-growth circle for services- like Portland OR did years ago- but, our politicians are all bought and paid for by developers and sprawl proponents- hopefully, you can all do your part by making an effort to support local businesses with your heart and wallet.

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13 Responses

  1. gene June 23, 2007 / 12:40 pm
    Soooooo……. The developers in Warren County pay the local Dayton Politians so they won’t bother them while they develop towards Cincinnati? Most of the development (Springboro and further south) has EVERYTHING to do with a demand for people who want new houses. This goes with everyting everyone does. We could rehab cars – clothes – etc. but many people like new. I think it sucks for Dayton and it hurts Dayton, but to fault Dayton Politians on houses being built in other counties is “just a bit outside.” The fact is that the fault of these politicians and the citizens is that WE, and yes I live in D-town, do not improve ourselves. There are TOoooooooooooo many crapy house we fear of tearing down, WE fear real Development in favor of rehabing CRAP. It is a nice and wonderful fuzzy world that supporting local shit, but until WE improve ourselves, our neiborhoods, our businesses, our schools, who the hell want to spend locally on run down shit. Dayton is full of backward thinking people who don’t have real money for real development, just enough money to buy cigarettes and beer and crap at a Dollar store. This is about money, Dayton does not have any, and the people who live here don’t have any money. People move to new, nice, and SAFE neiborhoods who have money, rather than put up with all the lack of development and lack of vision. “let’s rehab the Arcade…” What the hell for – if it ain’t new, no one will come. But, to be fair, if we had something new the great citizens of Dayton would NOT support it and ruin it with trash and spray paint. I always love the argument it is and “urban” area, I just wonder when my grandparents grew up in Dayton, poor, why that yards look nice, there was not beer bottles in the front yard, people wore shirts and did not have 56 tatoos of all the people they killed, citizens had a little respect for their neighbors. Those days are gone, local shit is cool in cool cities, not boring and bankrupt Dayton. “What the hell, lets give more money, they were only $30 Million off before, with more maoney they might be only off twenty million!!” CLEAN UP OUR OWN HOUSE.

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  2. David Esrati June 23, 2007 / 2:39 pm

    I’m glad I’m not gene.

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  3. gene June 24, 2007 / 9:19 am
    “Mask Man” is hardly an admirable quality, among all the other bullshit stunts. Honestly, what world are you from? “I am glad I’m not you.” – great 4th grade quote. You are so JV.

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  4. gene June 24, 2007 / 9:24 am
    Also, tell your readers how you threatened me via email bc you thought I was stalking your friend or something like that – it wasn’t me, and I received no apology. Geez, wonder if I want to be you Dave. Again, JV move.

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  5. David Esrati June 24, 2007 / 11:02 am

    One of the great things about America is that we have free speech- and are all entitled to our own opinions.
    Gene has his opinions. I have mine. Read them and decide who you think you’d rather have as a friend- and make your own decisions.

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  6. Jeff June 25, 2007 / 10:23 am
    Yeah, well, anyway….back to the subject.

    Another good example of local farmers and local markets is in Detroit, which is probably a better comparison for Dayton as its a poor inner city city the way Dayton is.

    You have that big market just east of downtown Detroit that caters to inner city folks (but aslo draws suburbanites too). For all the abandonment that Detroit has gone through this market survives and still brings ’em in from all over. And it has local Michigan farmers from the Thumb and as far as the Lake Michigan shore bringing in stuff to sell here. This is nothing fancy, just basic produce and fruits. There are some meat and fish purveyors too, and spices, but they are in building around the market halls.

    Another real good example of this is that West Side Market in Cleveland, which is a great example of a city market hall that hasnt been genttrified.

    These places sell at or below big box prices, so lower income people can go shopping there.

    In my dreams I see this as the re-use solution for the Arcade, as it was just that, a market hall. And this could be a way to maybe get some truck farming going in Western Montgomery County or on some of that dead land in Jefferson Township.

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  7. David Esrati June 25, 2007 / 10:55 am

    Jeff-
    The 2nd street public market is doing just fine- even if some of the “farmers” are selling bananas.
    It’s a cool little community all by itself-

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  8. Jeff June 25, 2007 / 11:57 am
    2nd Street is more like North Market in Columbus. It is concentrated on specialty things and is pitched to a more yuppy/upscale clientele.

    I was thinking more like those examples in Cleveland and Detroit, and, closer to home, perhaps Findlay Market a bit, though Findlay is maybe a cross between 2nd Street and those Detroit and Cleveland markets.

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  9. Phillip Ranly June 25, 2007 / 12:38 pm
    Amen to local.

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  10. gene June 25, 2007 / 1:33 pm
    On the restaurant front, and I may be wrong, but only 5 of the 22 locations are actually in Dayton – once again blurring lines of the words “Dayton” and “local.” It seems these words are used when to describe something that fits one’s argument and then changes to fit another argument – either we want Dayton to grow or we take are money to the ‘burbs. I know it is not that black and white, but where are the lines drawn? I have always thought the the Oregon District should promote itself as a package deal (maybe they do a bit in the city, but not to the suburbs.) Too many lone rangers down there.

    On the market side, I shop there when I can, but I wonder why they are not open on Sunday. I know people do not like to work on the weekend, but that is the business they are in – I wonder if the other markets Jeff was speaking about are open on Sunday – just a thought.

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  11. David Esrati June 25, 2007 / 1:41 pm

    I grew up in Cleveland and used to make many trips to the West Side Market- no, it wasn’t open on Sunday- the farmers actually took the day off. Comparing the 2nd St market to the Short North market is actually a nice comparison- although Short North doesn’t have near as many “farmers” as we do…

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  12. Jeff June 25, 2007 / 2:12 pm
    Yeah, Sunday hours. Findlay down in Cincy has Sunday hours as a new thing, to draw some more neighborhood trade, but not everyone is open, probably for the reason David says.

    The produce part of North Market isn’t inside their new building, but in the parking lot area behind it. This isnt too obvious if one enters the building from the street side.

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  13. Jeff June 25, 2007 / 2:31 pm
    Oh, here is a cool site on “keeping it local” in terms of regional foods and cooking and suff, a movement that started in Italy but has come to the US and other countrys…meet “Slow Food”:

    http://www.slowfood.com/

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