Letters to the Editor

In the July 29 issue, an author who requested their name not be published criticized several businesses because they made mistakes and didn’t meet the author’s criteria for what it means to “Shop Local.”

Well, do you know what “Shop Local” means to me, a Beverly resident?

To me, it means that, at my first stop of the day at Two Mile Coffee, I’m greeted by a friendly, familiar face who is legitimately happy that I’m there. That friendly face doesn’t need to take my order. All they have to do is ask, “Would you like your usual today?” as they address me by name and ask how I’m doing.

Then for lunch, I stop at Manzo’s, where I eat not only the most delicious burgers on the South Side but am greeted by more familiar, smiling faces. The same faces that have been there day in and day out since the business opened, always letting their customers know that they appreciate them and love serving them.

In the afternoon, I may stop at a couple of our lovely local shops and talk to the owners and staff who I’ve gotten to know over the years and who, again, always greet me with a smile and let me know about new products they have in stock that I may like. They know what to recommend because they’ve taken the time to get to know me.

And lastly, I may head to dinner at Horse Thief Hollow or Open Outcry or one of our many other wonderful restaurants where, again, the owner and staff are likely to say, even though we were probably just there a week or two earlier, “Hi, Laura! How are you? I can’t believe how much your little one has grown!”

They will treat us with kindness and respect and feed us delicious food, and, yes, they may make a mistake or take longer than anticipated; but they will always fix it and always work hard.

And, guess what? I don’t care because we’re living in a pandemic and I’m just happy to be there and to support them so that we keep these small businesses—that are more than shops and restaurants, but pillars of our community—open for many years to come.

Shop local. Support local. Be local.

Laura Hayes