There are many reasons to support local businesses. Numbers and statistics might be your motivators. For every $100 you spend in locally owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spent that same $100 in a national chain, only $43 would return to your community. If you care about the longevity of your community, your $100 will probably reflect that. Maybe you’re less driven by numbers, and the notion of people and community is enough. Maybe your motivator is supporting an effort that values people at every level.
My recent trip home reaffirmed my belief in local community. Finding a lunch spot became a game of connect-the-dots. My starting dot was One Village Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster whose stance on community is evidenced by its name. Tracing the routes of coffee locations led me to Down To Earth Cafe, which incidentally led me to one very large and colorful rooster and a meal the whole family enjoyed together (the coffee dot also led me to The Local).
In their own words, “Down to Earth is a casual Café located in the heart of Upper Bucks County. Our mission is two-fold. We want to create the most flavorful food using fresh ingredients and we also want to create a warm friendly place for you to enjoy our food. To ensure freshness, we will use organic and local products whenever possible…. We feel that local and organic foods are not only healthier to us and the environment, but simply taste better too.”
There was only one troubling detail to be seen, and it’s a detail that would only matter to some. When a cafe claims to use organic when local is not a viable source, I find it objectionable to see very conventional brands of chocolate syrup and peanut butter being blended into a smoothie, knowing those brands use corn syrup unnecessarily and a laundry list of other preservatives. This isn’t an end all criticism. This is a challenge. These ingredient details matter if your mission states they matter (and if I was somehow wrong in my observations, I will gladly stand corrected).
Boarshead roast beef, caramelized onions and American cheese w/ marinara sauce
Zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, red peppers and other seasonal veggies grilled to perfection and tossed in a light olive oil. Topped with melted goat cheese on a warm ciabatta.
Seasonal fish, beer battered and fried, in a soft taco shell smothered with house made cole slaw, tomatoes and avocado
Housemade Crab Cake Sandwich*
Tartar sauce, organic mixed greens, tomato on a brioche bun
*Forever I will think of this as the sandwich that coerced my dad into both pronouncing and trying Quinoa!
From the large rooster painting, to the art on the walls, to the reclaimed wood of the tables… Down to Earth was just what I sought to support! It was healthy, flavorful food set against a unique backdrop. I may challenge the details, but overall, I was pleased my community connect-the-dots game led me Down to Earth!