How to Support Your Local Business- Take Out Edition
First, and most importantly I want to acknowledge that everyone is in a different boat; however we are all facing the same storm (the Coronavirus Pandemic) being that storm. I am lucky to be in a situation where I am currently furloughed from my job; however collecting unemployment. I have a roof over my head, my health and food on the table, and it pains me so much to know so many others are struggling. I have made now two donations to my local food bank, and if you are in a situation where you are able to, I recommend making that donation, no matter the amount, as every dollar counts in this situation.
Now, with the said, I am also supporting local business in my town and the surrounding towns, at least once a week, in hopes that when the pandemic is behind us, they will be able to open their doors once again and welcome in their customers. Now more than ever these places are relying on take-out orders, curbside pick-ups and even purchasing a gift card for future use. If you have scrolled through your social media lately I am sure you have seen your followers sharing about local places. Instagram also now features stickers including, Support Small Business, Gift Cards, Food Orders, and Donations which is an easy way to make a contribution or difference for your local restaurant, nail salon, hair salon, etc. There is one thing I will say, if you can order directly through the restaurant, rather than the 3rd party delivery, I would highly recommend it, as the fees they take from the restaurant, are enormous. Yes, they need to survive as well, but if the restaurants don't they won't be needed. Once the economy turns around, those delivery places will still be there, as for the Mom & Pop restaurants, there is no guarantee.
Here in New Jersey, Governor Murphy has extended our Stay At Home Executive Order through June 6th. With the nicer weather headed our way, I am planning to eat more of my meals outside, either in my front yard or picnic in the back and once a week will order from a local restaurant directly.
A list of my favorite places below. Now if you are not in New Jersey, that is fine and hopefully my list can inspire you to think of a new place to try in your area. Spread the love and try to support different places throughout this time. Remember, not everyone has this luxury or can afford it. If you don't want to do it once a week, do it once a month. There is no pressure, and this is just my experience.
My local Bagel Store, Bagel World. Now I told my roommate that I only eat bagels from here and she was shocked, however NJ is known for great bagels, and this store has been my go-to since I was a child. With two locations, one around the corner from my high school and one on a major road, I was always able to get a great bagel!
Now when it comes to my local pizza place, I have decided another way to support them, buy your dough through them. Many are creating kits that you can take home and make yourself. Now sure you can get all of that at your local grocery store, but to make it more special, try it once from your local pizzeria. Make Friday Night Pizza night a thing in your house.
If you have ready any of my Brunch Bites posts, you know I am a lover of Brunch. Obsessed with Eggs Benedict. Now, I recently have learned how to cook great over easy and sunny side up eggs; however have yet to try poached eggs, but there is still time for that. In the meantime, I have ordered brunch once or twice from my local diner. New Jersey is known for their diners, and many are doing curb-side. The Marlboro Diner, my local diner is doing amazing things in the community serving the first responders and front line healthcare workers. Here is the information on Diners To Front Lines. See if a local restaurant in your area is doing something similar.
Check to see if your local favorite coffee place or doughnut shop is open. Broad Street Dough, has two locations in NJ and the one in Oakhurst is open Fri-Sun 10am-3pm. You call place your order, pay over the phone and when you arrive call to let them know you car and trunk is open to place them inside. Absolutely no contact. This female owned small business is one of my favorite to support. I know people from Pennsylvania that made the drive just to get the donuts. California Cold Co just also opened their doors for curbside pick-up as well!
The House of Poke has the best Sushi Burrito if you ask me. Just check out some of the photos on Instagram. In support of our community they have donated meals to healthcare workers in the field. Again, you can always ask how your local restaurants are supporting the community, and if you don't want to order a meal, make a donation toward their donated meals.
As I mentioned above these are just some of the places that I have supported and will continue to support during this time. As for cooking, the people who know me in real life are pretty surprised, I have not burned down the house, burned myself and managed to cook some delicious home cooked meals. It may have taken me 33 years and a pandemic, but I am spending more time in the kitchen, making and creating dishes to eat. My next post will share some of the chefs, food influencers, and bakers that have inspired me!
What is one dish you miss at a restaurant or that you have ordered and loved?