Loving Your Local Businesses

DiMarco'sHere are 3+ Ways to Love the Businesses that are near you

There are lots of reasons to support local businesses. By shopping locally, for instance, we keep our money in our community. It also lessens the amount of (often noisy, often diesel, often idling) delivery vans clogging our streets. These are some obvious reasons, but I’ve been finding more gold in them there hills – read on for some further insights!  Here are 3+ ideas of ways to look at local businesses that you may not have thought of.

  1. Try this: Physically visit local businesses. If you need something, great. But even if you don’t, walk into your local businesses. Meet the people who have created little worlds all around you. Each local business has turned its shop into something special. Even if it doesn’t look like anything special is going on, hang out for a minute and I think you’ll see what I mean. Often it’s obvious. If you walk into a terrarium or flower shop the air is suddenly fresh and lovely. If you walk into a cat store, yes, we have one! Gifty Kitty on Mississippi. Go! When you walk in and are surrounded by all the joyful creations and the cat energy – it is transformative. Pistil, right down the street is very sweet, too.
  2. Get off track. It’s fine to take an afternoon and wander into a few stores. I like to find a good corner, but most are good – and walk into each store. Last week that included the Hollywood Market, Seven Virtues, Seagrape Apothocary, and Centaur Guitars – at 28th and Sandy in NE Portland, Oregon.  It was a delightful collection. My home set is Marino’s Coffee/Tropical Hut (little fishies, snakes, geckos)/Village Merchants – “well buy low and sell low”. – an amazing treasure house. These are located at 41st and Division in SE Portland. When Schavone’s is open it’s also a must-see Portland piece of history and fine “diner” food.
  3. Help any small business out. Leave them a review somewhere. Platform Examples
      1. Yelp!

      2. Google My Business

      3. Nextdoor (wow, hard to find a link!)

      4. Facebook

      5. Alignable

      6. these are links to my review sites – click on one and then use the search function to find a business you like.
    • But even better – get to know the owner/people who work at a small business and become friends. The rest will follow from there.
    • Bring gifts 🙂 I once brought the staff at Trade Up Music croissants from Le Petit Provence (they liked that)
    • Say, thank you. Take your time. Make a connection.

For Richmond, Portland, Oregon, USA, and Earth here are some of the small businesses I’d recommend visiting. I’ll do them in a clockwise fashion. This ties into the Birthday Game.  Thanks for reading. Enjoy!

TPK Brewing – Gamer (D&Dish) paradise. Live edge wooden tables. Great place to meet someone or cook up a revolution

Hinterland – Food cart pod 50th and Lincoln. The railing facing West is lovely at sunset.  5 food carts. All quite good.

The patio is across the street @ the Breathe Building. Yoga and all sorts of other goodies are going on again and there’s also a Burmese restaurant which is lovely. Esp. in warmer weather.

The Lot food cart pod – BenBearBeer holds this cart in a good way.  They have great tunes. Instruments on the walls.  Lots good to say.  5 food carts, all great. I love the Middle Eastern food. Namu. Yum!

Ethiopian Restaurant – just S. of Division and 50th (which should be repaved yesterday)

Mekong Restaurant – Delicious

The Typewriter Store!

Landmark Saloon – a great place to gather outdoors and covered. Spring, Summer, Fall – I go then. Has live music, blues, and country.

Across the street – the Bead Store.  Also will help you with attaching things to coats 🙂  See my bejeweled coat pulls.

Le Petit Provence. Fresh croissants and a whole more.

The place with the patches

The Bike Emporium – fun bike store – great place to get your bike fixed

Vintage shop

Trade Up Music – everyone should be visiting their stores. There’s also one on Alberta and 19th.  Especially if you are not a musician – buy some egg shakers!  But for musicians – and children – a fun place to visit.

Pic at the top is of DiMarco’s which has the best Philly-style food that I know of that is within walking distance for me. 45th and Hawthorne

The Turning Peel – a new restaurant featuring personal pizzas and a lot of lovely decor. I ate there yesterday and had a fantastic lunch. Can’t wait to return!

Stumptown Coffee (strongest coffee around) – 45th and Division

Marino’s Adriatic Cafe – best tasting coffee in town – 41st and Division – they use Caffe D’arte beans (which you can also buy by the pound). Belly Dancing on 2nd Saturday of the month

Tropical Hut – pet store – little fishies, geckos, snakes, mice – great for kids

Schavone’s – great “diner”. Only open on Thurs.-Sunday now, but still great food and it feels like you’re stepping into 1940’s Portland

Village Merchants – amazing thrift store at 41st and Division. Also, a place to consign things.

MyVice – Lincoln and Cesar Chavez – one of my favorite breakfast places in Portland. Delicious food. Lovey atmosphere

Joe Bike – great bike store next to MyVice

Cesar Chavez/Hawthorne headed East towards 51st

There are a ton of fun places to visit along this stretch – I’m only going to mention ones where I think it’s possible to gather with a few people for a meal or it’s a store one just must visit.

Opening to Life – a healthcare place – but also has a nice dance studio in the back (possible gathering space) – I just took an improv class there.

Bamboo House 40th and Hawthorne (N. side of the Street) – great food and a good gathering spot – spacious

Next Level Burger (vegan) 41st and Hawthorne

Fat Straw – Bubble Tea – 42nd and Hawthorne – potential gathering spot

Ladda Thai (vegetarian) – next to Fat Straw – easily possible to move tables together for a group – very tasty!

Common Grounds Coffeehouse – great coffee, busy place, 42nd and Hawthorne.

Roosevelt’s Terrariums – 44th and Hawthorne – across from Kure. Amazing place – great oxygen and inspiring. Also holds classes in terrarium making

Khao Thai – 46th – quiet and tasty. Great place for a group to gather

Por Que No? 47th – Best Mexican food around. Fun space

Space Room 48th and Hawthorne – huge place. Fun interior. Great place for breakfast or to grab an outdoor or indoor pint.

Quarterworld Arcade – across the street from Space Room.

Mellow Mood – pipe and bong shop – but also home to the best glass work in this field. Also features a very interesting interior.

Sapphire Hotel – 50th and Hawthorne – opens at 4 pm. One of the best date spots in town.  Great food. Lovely decor.

Albina Press – great coffee.  Chill atmosphere.

And back to TPK Brewing – see above!  A loop has been made.  Enjoy! 

I’m planning a funconference in this neighborhood – a series of daytime activities on a couple of days this Spring. There may also be a virtual component. To learn more…


If you’re Single and seeking – start by loving your city!


kmhd.org or 89.1 on the radio in Portlandia