I don’t necessarily live in a small town but the neighboring town, actually a village, is my idea of the picture perfect place to call home. You can just feel the difference as soon as you pass the Welcome sign.
My favorite place to eat pizza is in this adorable little village and Fridays are pizza days. So my daughter and I ventured over for our weekly pizza lunch. A long strip of a road connecting my town to this village actually leads to the main road, ironically named Main Street. What else? Besides the delicious Italian restaurant that we frequent for pizza, Main Street is home to my favorite type of shops – the mom and pops.
Nowhere in this village will you find the big box stores, the fast food franchises or pretty much anything that isn’t an original, one-of-a-kind store. There’s an antique shop run by a woman who herself is an antique. Whenever I see her the first thing that comes to mind is an aged Hollywood starlet. Rummaging through her shop you’re bound to find vintage handbags, feathered boas and costume jewelry from decades gone by. There’s a gift shop with an assortment of items like handmade soaps, candles, jewelry, wooden signs and more. What makes them so special is that they’re handmade by local artists. And of course there’s the little corner coffee shop you expect to find in a small town with a motif that looks as if time stands still the moment you enter its doors. And you can bet they aren’t open until 1 am like your typical fast food places.
This particular Friday the shops and their keepers were bustling, getting themselves ready for the annual sidewalk sale tomorrow. The stretch of road where the majority of the shops are situated will be closed down from morning until early evening for the festivities. Entertainment includes music while local artists’ works will be on display and, as expected, the merchants will have their finest wares on display on tables just outside their shop doors. Shoppers can grab a bite to eat for lunch, children delight in cones of homemade ice cream and everyone loves homemade fudge from the sweet shop.
Not only is it a fun day out with family and friends, but it’s a great way to support these mom and pop businesses that work hard to thrive among the chain stores that have phased out so many of them. Supporting these small businesses helps towns like this one remain a tight knit community and a wonderful place to call home.
What does your town do to help keep their community strong?