Buy Local Challenge Blog

Buy Local Santa Monica has partnered with the 3/50 ProjectTM and students from Santa Monica High School.  What three local businesses would you miss if they disappeared?  Your purchases keep these businesses around, supporting our local economy and a unique, thriving community of businesses.  Your purchases also make a difference to our schools, our parks and our community.  In 2013, purchases made at Santa Monica businesses raised $7.2 million for our schools. Buying local truly makes a difference.

It's simple to participate - pick three businesses you absolutely can't live without, and commit to stopping by, saying hello and spending money among the three this month to spur our local economy.  Then, go even further to support your favorites by telling us which ones you picked and why


All my needs @ Pico and Lincoln

Santa Monica Business #1: El Pollo Loco

Santa Monica Business #2: Doughnut King

Santa Monica Business #3: Gamestop

Why I can't live without these three businesses:  I can't live without these three businesses because without them, I wouldn't know where to go at lunch or after school. I mean it's just so convenient to have boba and some food at lunch that's so close by. Mu can even check out games at GameStop. There are so many choices for me and I love it.

Submitted by: Klim


Skate equipment, from grip tape to wheels

Santa Monica Business #1: AM/PM

Santa Monica Business #2: Active Skate

Santa Monica Business #3: Donut King

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I stop at the AM/PM every morning before school to get my daily caffeine fix, an inexpensive and delicious package, and at lunch I go to Donut King for one of their mouth watering sandwiches. Active Skate provides most of my skate equipment, from grip tape to wheels. I love it.

Submitted by:  Carter Irwin


Absolute best chicken anywhere

Santa Monica Business #1: Bob's Market

Santa Monica Business #2: The Slice

Santa Monica Business #3: Donut King

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Bob's Market-They have the absolute best chicken strips ever! The service is great, everyone greets my little brother and I very friendly.

The Slice-I used to go a lot when I was in middle school, it was very easy to access and everything.  I also went just recently with my family, really enjoyed the wings!

Donut King-I like to go in the mornings during the week and have a breakfast sandwich, a donut or even when I feel like having a Milk Tea Boba because it's my absolutely favorite!

Submitted by: Mireya A. Alvizo


Coffee + pastries just around the corner

Santa Monica Business #1: Big Blue Bus

Santa Monica Business #2: Trader Joes

Santa Monica Business #3: Coffee Bean

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Big Blue Bus: I don't think that I can live without the big blue bus because that is usually my transportation when I have no ride to get around. It's a big help to me because if I don't have a ride I can always walk to the bus stop and it takes me whereever I need to go.  

Trader Joe's: I don't think that I can live without Trader Joe's because tha'ts mainly where I buy my groceries.  Their food there is really good and healthy. Their salads are my favorite to buy from them. Their store in Santa Monica is very clean and I love to go there. I think its better and kind of cheaper than to go anywhere else.

Coffee Bean: I think that Coffee Bean is a good one because it is right by my school like literally at the corner so we can always walk there to get some coffee or some type of pastries, like say if we forgot to eat something in the morning I wouldn't have to worry about it because before school starts I can run over there and get what I need.

Submitted by: Marissa Vasquez


Most helpful bus transportation ever

Santa Monica Business #1: Big Blue Bus

Santa Monica Business #2: Coffee Bean

Santa Monica Business #3: AMC Theater

Why I can't live without these three businesses: The Big Blue Bus will have to be my first choice because I know that I can depend on the bus where ever I go.  It is also the most helpful bus trasnportation I have ever used with accurate bus times and maps that will help you guide your trip.  The line also makes the trip as easy as possible to travel to different places inside and out of Santa Monica.

Coffee Bean has been so loyal to Santa Monica High School students.  With supplying us with a cool drink on a hot summer day, a herbal drink to help with our sore throat, or a coffee to prepare us for that big test in our morning class.  From first day jitters to our graduation day coffee bean has been there for us through it all.

The AMC Theater on the Promenade is one of the most popular things to do from middle school to high school.  I remember walking from JAMS to the Promenade with a group of friends to watch a movie and getting lost because it was really our first time ever going out on our own.  Being walking distance from our schools has been so easy for us, from hanging out with friends, going on a date or catching a movie before it gets packed.

Submitted by: Alyssa Gutierrez


Best barber in town

Santa Monica Business #1: Pico Barber Shop

Santa Monica Business #2: Raes Cafe

Santa Monica Business #3: Big Blue Bus

Why I can't live without these three businessesPico Barber Shop- I can't live without Pico Barbers because nobody cuts hair like they do. They really know how to make a haircut look better and different from others. Even though its a little over priced its still worth getting your haircut from there.

Rae's is one of he only back-in-the-day cafes that you will see around Santa Monica. They keep it very old school and that's what I like about it. It takes you back to the 1970's era, instead of this new, not so great era. It's one of the best breakfast and lunch spots to go visit.

Big Blue Bus is one of the best things about the City of Santa Monica. You can literally go anywhere on it. It was better when it was only 50 cents, but as everything else in Santa Monica, it had to change. But it's really reliable and it gets you were you need to go without wasting gas and looking for parking.

Submitted by: Emilio Flores


Essential services at my doorstep

Santa Monica Business #1: Big Blue Bus

Santa Monica Business #2: Barnes and Nobles

Santa Monica Business #3: Mike's Shoe Repair

Why I can't live without these three businesses: #1 - I take the bus every single day, and use it to get everywhere in Santa Monica. It's fast, efficient, and always there in times of need. Not to mention, it only costs a dollar! I would definitely recommend the Big Blue Bus system to anyone new to Santa Monica or even to people who wish to cut back on emissions.

#2 - Barnes and Nobles is one of the last remaining bookstores in Santa Monica, and I hope to heaven that it will never go out of business. Although not an independent bookstore, Barnes and Nobles definitely has the zing that a small community bookstore should have.

#3 - I'm not sure how I would manage without Mike's Shoe Repair, since I lose my keys on an almost daily basis. I always get them replaced at this place, which happens to be four blocks away from my residence. The service is fantastic, and so is this location (right next to a starbucks and a yoga place).  



Comic books + great barbers

Santa Monica Business #1: Tommy's Burgers
Santa Monica Business #2: Hi De Ho's Comics
Santa Monica Business #3: Pico Barber Shops # 2

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I chose these businesses due to the reason of the history I have there. Personal experiences from the time I first moved to now in the present. These businesses always been apart of my life.  Having to taste my first and my last chilly cheese fries from Tommy's Burgers was on of the greatest moments of my life. I am upset that they closed it down and now it's under change for another StarBucks.

Every Wednesday going to Hi De Ho's Comics enjoying to read brand new comics of certain series I follow. I remember as a kid I always enjoyed playing with action figures and getting to read their stories excites me.

Pico Barber Shops #2 is a place where i get my haircuts. The barbers happen to be kind and friendly. They love to talk about sports games, certain events and etc.

Submitted by: John Ortiz