Buying local

By Dena Lenham

There’s a little store on a corner that could easily blend into the other retailers along the street – except for the line coming out the front and curving around two blocks, giving an hour wait time just to get in the door. Obviously, in Columbus, Ohio, it is The Place To Be. There is a line every day, all hours, all ages, all nationalities, all dress types. It’s Jeni’s ice cream shop, and blissfully it is a mere hop, skip and a jump from the convention center where the TNNA needle arts trade show was held earlier this month.

So Cathe Ray of the Alameda California store Needle In a Haystack merely had to mention ice cream and sorbet to get the Kreinik crew to stand in line at 10 o’clock on an 80-degree night after working the trade show booth all day. “What could possibly be so special about this ice cream??” I wondered as we stood in this incredibly long line. A few signs later, peering in the window, I started to get the picture: “Grass grazed Ohio cream”, “Locally made peanut butter”, “Home-made whipped cream”, “Freshly made waffle cones…” Oh yeah, this was a local-goodness, community-centered, expert-in-the-field kind of place, and everyone in that long line knew it.

Today, a week after the show closed, I wish I lived in Columbus so I could get that Dark Chocolate Vanilla Honey Pure Minted Bliss ice cream again (or whatever flavor it was, I just know it was so heavenly I was afraid someone would pick-pocket me as I walked, lost in that freshly-made waffle cone). But it makes me happy knowing that a community and its visitors support an independent establishment that specializes in something that spans generations, offering amazing things you can’t find in a chain store, using the best quality they can get for their customers who deserve the best - kind of like a needlework store. If you are lucky enough to have a specialty needlework shop in your town or within driving distance, support it. If you don’t have one, there are plenty of them that sell online. You won’t regret it.

Find a list of fabulous needlework retailers in the Store Locator on www.kreinik.com.

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