Publisher’s Corner: Support & Buy Local From Friends!

One of the great joys I have experienced during my 18 years at the helm of The Healthy Planet magazine, is the friendship I have found with many of our clients. There’s a strong theme in this edition of “Buy Local” and the many benefits of supporting area businesses. Maybe because I started this magazine as a “redo” in my publishing career and because I am a small business person myself who knows what it’s like to struggle at times and wonder if the cash flow will cover the bills. I ask these people to put their faith and hard-earned dollars into advertising in The Healthy Planet and believe me, I know how hard it is to have to pay those bills. And these are not just “advertisers” to me, they are kindred spirits, comrades in small business. It’s so hard to make a small business work sometimes, that I am sure many have questioned why do it at all. And then I get tomato plants from Crystal & Eric at La Vista CSA Farm and the fruit it bears reminds me of how things grow. And how hard this young couple toils to make a go of their farm in Godfrey Illinois, bringing up small children, working the land and dealing with fickle climate change. I get great organic gardening advice and the best grass seed ever from Randy Greene at Greene’s Country Store. No other seed has ever worked so well in my partly shaded backyard with two frisky dogs and tall oak trees. Randy has learned to “retool” his small business to meet the needs of his customers. My small business friends include Larry Bononi at Freddies Market in Webster Groves. A small neighborhood grocery store working to keep his place in the community when so many small grocers have gone under. He is to be admired for his hard work and staying power. He supports and sells locally made products, produce, meats and other items. And he just happens to make his own ice cubes, the best in town! Luckily there has been a “buy local” movement going on for a few years as the jobs of local farmers become more difficult with each challenging growing season. The innovation of small entrepreneurs continues to grow in a wavering economy. But idealist men and women continue to open small businesses, come up with new products, and create new menus for success. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing easy about running a big business either, but small businesses usually have shallower pockets, often only filled with pennies instead of dollars. And yet they continue to make it work. We continue to make it work. Maybe because we stick together. Most of our Healthy Planet clients are small, local businesses. And the larger businesses we work with support local producers and sell their products. There’s not only something human about supporting the guy next door or the woman down the street, there’s also something very eco-conscious and value added in this concept. The farther you have to ship something, the more fuel you have to use and the longer it takes something to travel the less fresh it is. Fresh is healthy. Local is “Greener.” And buying and supporting local businesses, especially small business is simply the right thing to do for everyone! I know you will find many local resources in our magazine each month and I hope you will support them with your patronage. I can honestly say that I consider many of our clients friends. And that maybe the most important thing that binds small businesses together and keeps us up and running. Friendship.

Support & Buy Local, J.B. Lester; Publisher