Love and Local

If you are like me it is hard to think of a time when I didn’t grab a coffee or a tea from a cafe on my way into work at least a couple of times a week. That sometimes means running through the drive thru of a Starbucks, Dutch Bros or even McDonald's. Although those places are great and have their place, nothing beats a locally owned independent coffee shop and nothing gives you a better glimpse into a location or culture than taking a break at a place owned and operated by locals.
Toast Box, Signapore
(Toast Box, Singapore) 
Did you know that each time you purchase from a locally owned company more money stays within that local community as well? The money made the goes on to support the owner’s family, their kids’ college or braces, it supports their dreams instead of padding the pockets of a big wig CEO and meeting the demands of a detached Board of Directors somewhere.  They have a dream to connect with the community and bring something to it that a chain simply cannot.
(Urban Tea Loft, Arizona) 
Each time a small shop opens they have taken the time to develop their product with just the right beans, their favorite tea leaves, and brewed to perfection. They take the time to consider what would be perfect for the location, perfect for the season and perfect for their immediate customers who live around the corner. Chains are looking at all these on a large blanket scale and may miss the nuance of a region. You get a personal experience when you step into a local shop.
(Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans) 
And don’t forget the more you check out new local places and tell your friends about them the more likely your friends are to check them out too!  Supporting local increases local character and regional prosperity as well as community well being.
(Chokladkoppen, Stockholm) 
Whenever you travel I encourage you to check out a local shop, step out of the Starbucks bubble and try something new!
(Blue Blinds Bakery, Plymouth, MA) 
PS: Sometimes when I travel I am unaware if the shop I am at is a chain or not until I return home, so some of these photos maybe chains, but still offered a glimpse into the culture of where I was.