First of all, Merry Christmas to all celebrating today. Here, the dinner is in the oven. The brunch dishes are cleaned up. There is Christmas music playing. We had a great kick off to our holiday, even in the rain, at my family’s annual get together on Christmas Eve.
A few days back, inspired by the interest in finding “mom and pop” businesses in the area, I published my last minute Christmas shopping suggestions. It prompted me to consider a new page here on the blog, called the HoCoBiz page.
I want to launch the page in the next few days, with places that I frequent year round. With family owned businesses outside the scope of my food pages. Any and all suggestions for new places I should discover will be most welcome. I hope to include services, restaurants, shops and suppliers, centered here in the Howard County area, but maybe expanding just a bit to include those who service this area, but who live across the county lines, in Frederick, Carroll, Baltimore and Montgomery counties.
Places like Atwater’s, The Breadery, Treuth’s that I have mentioned on my local resources pages. Just east of us in Oella and Catonsville.
What I have found just in starting the draft is that I use dozens of local suppliers, mostly family businesses. I guess I’m not just a locavore and locapour, but also a mom and pop business advocate. I don’t know if there’s a catchy name for it.
Just to whet our appetites, so to speak, I’ll mention a few places you might consider using to celebrate New Year’s. Or, places where you might buy birthday or anniversary presents, or celebrate Valentine’s Day, or just use when something breaks down at your house. How about this?
I found jumbo Gulf coast shrimp at Boarman’s Monday. Five pound bags, or buy what you need. $13.99 a pound. These are marinating for dinner tonight, to be sautéed and served as an appetizer. Three pounds, steamed in Old Bay, went to my brother’s last night. The last pound, still frozen, to be thawed for a New Year’s Eve appetizer.
It’s not just for Small Business Saturday what we buy from the locals. If we only did that, they couldn’t survive.
For those who want a unique New Year’s resolution, vow to eat at a family owned restaurant instead of a chain, on a somewhat regular basis. Like maybe once a month. Replace Lowe’s and Home Depot with Clark’s and Kendall’s when you can. For garden needs, use River Hill.
Want to do a small remodeling or replacement in a bath or kitchen, check out Ken Griffin plumbing. They do all our repairs, and have replaced faucets, garbage disposals, and done repairs on our well. They also came out the morning we called when a pipe burst, in the midst of all that mess last winter.
Replace those national chains with local auto shops, like British American or Hillmuth. British American has serviced our cars since 1983. Thirty years.
So, stand by to see what I get put up in the next few days. In the meantime, have lunch or dinner at a local family owned place. Skip Subway or MickeyD’s.
Buy your celebration champagne, or beer for the New Year’s bowl game marathon, from one of the small liquor stores. The one really good thing about our liquor laws here in the county. There aren’t huge “Total Beverage” warehouses here. If you can, try a local beer or wine, even closer to home.