The following post is an opinion piece written by Snowy Elk Coffee Co., inspired by the Truth to Power Blog article, "Shopping local first is the wrong approach if you want Cheyenne's downtown to grow and innovate"
As Cheyenne’s local coffee roastery, we would like to share our opinion regarding Cheyenne’s Shop Local initiative and the associated Truth to Power (TtP) article recently published on the subject. Several great points are made in the TtP article, however, there are gaps that we believe are important to highlight....
We must begin by saying Cheyenne’s innovative and economic growth is a conversation that should continue from a variety of angles, as its development is crucial for businesses, residents and visitors. We believe it’s a collective desire of our community for Cheyenne to be the best city it can be.
Despite what the TtP article suggests, we believe that “Shop Local First” is a brilliant initiative that encourages our community to support and aid in the growth of Cheyenne. Why? Because of one word, “First”. If you want downtown Cheyenne (and Cheyenne in general) to improve, we should give local businesses the FIRST chance. See if their product is better than a non-local or national brand FIRST. Is it what you want? Is it what you expected? Does their product or service need to improve? You have to give these local businesses a chance BEFORE taking your business to Fort Collins, Denver or somewhere else. The TtP article suggests that Cheyenne's "Shop Local First" initiative is more of a pressured obligation to the community, and rather the local community should help encourage downtown business competition by directing footsteps and money to Colorado. We believe that competition is crucial, yes, but that local businesses and shops here in Cheyenne should be given the first chance by locals.
As a local business ourselves, here in Cheyenne for almost two years now...we believe it's important for local businesses to keep from becoming complacent. The excitement of new shops wears off quickly without constant business development and marketing. This same principle also applies for long-standing local businesses that have had a solid customer base for years.
Competition breeds better business, better products, and better services. If local businesses are not watching their competition and not trying to better the service, then their business will eventually decline and most likely fail.
The TtP article is onto something, but it is missing a key component of what towns and cities need to thrive on. LOCAL QUALITY.
Cheyenne has some incredible local businesses, that provide high quality products and services. We believe we speak for many other businesses in town when we say…it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. It takes effort and diligence to keep supporting those local businesses. It is local quality that will encourage more and more businesses, old and new, to survive and thrive in Cheyenne.
Shop local FIRST, but if you are not finding the quality you want, give feedback to the owners, then take your wallet elsewhere. Speak up and TALK to local businesses. Tell them why you are going to Colorado. For those who love shopping local…speak up to those business owners as well, tell them why you return time after time.
Want to buy locally roasted coffee, locally brewed beer, local food, local gifts??
We think you should Shop local FIRST.
Thoughts? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Snowy Elk Blog
Part of the Snowy Elk Experience is exploring the story of coffee and the unique processes applied to create a "craft" roast. It is here where we share our knowledge and perspective of Wyoming-roasted coffee, inspired by adventure, balance and natural conservation.