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


Places it on the top of my list

Santa Monica Business #1: Yogahop

Santa Monica Business #2: Whole Foods Market

Santa Monica Business #3: Louise’s Trattoria

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Yogahop is a little studio that is hidden behind Pinkberry. Even with its discrete location, I have to arrive 10 minutes early to the class to get a spot on the floor. Not only is the studio conveniently close to my house, it is also provides me with some of the hardest workouts I've ever received. Since the studio is so small, the instructors really get to know their members, making it an extremely welcoming and comforting place. This yoga is not the kind of workout where I have to pull each leg out of bed forcing myself to put running shoes on and go outside. With brilliant music selections and perfect intervals between easy and hard, this place is a necessity in my community.

Whole Foods Market is my go to place for a quick bite of food. Although organic food is what Whole Foods is known for, I think it's how they deliver that organic food that makes it so great. They have a food bar, stocked with healthy choices, that takes about 5 minutes to construct your meal and check out with it in your hand. They also have a smoothie booth that uses fresh organic fruit and delicious juices. On the weekends, I can't help but getting one a day.

Louise's Trattoria is my favorite community sit down restaurants because of all the memories I have there. I walk into the restaurant and most of them either know my name or the fact that I'm the daughter of my father. Their Italian cuisine is undoubtably delicious, but it's the family environment this restaurant creates that places it on the top of my list, not to mention that they have the best chopped salad I have ever had.

Through my descriptions and choices of restaurants, it's clear that what makes a business stand out to me is their environment. Especially dealing with businesses that rely on the community, creating an inviting family atmosphere is extremely important.


Sweet satisfaction

Santa Monica Business #1: Bay Cities

Santa Monica Business #2: Buffalo Exchange

Santa Monica Business #3: Dunkin' Donuts

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Bay Cities has the best bread that I have ever had the sweet satisfaction of tasting. Their meat and veggies are fresh, and crunch as I bite down on the Italian delicacy. Without the heaven for my mouth that is Bay Cities, I do not know how I could ever eat bread the same way again. Buffalo Exchange has amazing clothing for extremely affordable prices that are rare, or even non-existent, at other clothing stores. I once bought a Member's Only windbreaker for ten dollars. While Dunkin' Donuts is a new addition to the Santa Monica community, their New York style coffee and donuts have made me feel so warm inside even if it's pouring outside my window. These businesses give me satisfaction, and I can't imagine life without them.

Submitted by: Tal Weiss


Made just right

Santa Monica Business #1: Bagel Nosh

Santa Monica Business #2: Poom Thai

Santa Monica Business #3: Fromin's Delicatessen Restaurant

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Bagel Nosh has all kinds of bagels. Their bagels are hand made fresh every day! They do not just have bagels, but they also have breakfast burritos, sandwiches, and fresh juice and coffee. Although they have limited amount of parking and space inside their business, they are worth the wait. Their food is also affordable! I always leave this place happy with a full tummy!

Poom Thai chefs cook the best Pad Thai for me! They know how to make the noodles, taste just right! Although it can become pricey and they can be rude at times, it is worth it because their food is extremely delicious! They are also very quick when you call in orders for pick up. I am always on the go and usually need my food to be ready on a little amount of time.

Fromin's Delicatessen and Restaurant has really good matzo ball soup. If I am ever feeling sick or just in the mood for great soup, I go to Fromin's! Their soup reminds me of my mom and makes me feel better. Their food is very expensive, but when I have extra money, I usually come here for their soup.

Submitted by: Nagel Martinez


So many options

Santa Monica Business #1: Sweet Rose Creamery

Santa Monica Business #2: Acapillow

Santa Monica Business #3: Grey Block Pizza

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I go to Samohi, so when Sweet Rose Creamery moved in, it was like a little patch of heaven moved in across the street. Sweet Rose has some of the best and most unique flavors, and it is always exciting to try the new ones. What I think is so great about the Creamery is that the chef goes to the Farmer’s Market every week to get the freshest ingredients possible. Then, they put the farmers whose produce has been used on their board so that the community can see what they’re eating and where it is coming from. I love how fresh my ice cream is, and I love knowing everything that is going into it is in season and helping local farmers.

Acapillow is a cute store where you feel welcome and comfortable the second you walk in. The doors are always open, and there is a warm light that makes one feel at home. The owners are kind and genuinely care about how you are doing. Acapillow is a shop where you can walk in, have a pleasant conversation, and walk out feeling ten times better than before.

Grey Block Pizza is delicious! I work at SMC Pool so when I have a break, it is the perfect place to run across the street to grab lunch. It is great to have so many options that you can have a different kind of pizza every week. The service is great, and the pizza never stops being awesome.

Submitted by: Leah Gutentag


I always go to them to get food

Santa Monica Business #1: Co-Opportunity

Santa Monica Business #2: Whole Foods

Santa Monica Business #3: Kreation Kafe

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I cant live without these three places because I always go to them to get food, and they're all with in walking distance from my house. I go to the Co-Op at least once a week to get organic food for a low price. I go to Whole Foods whenever I don't feel like going to the Co-op because it's closer, and the customer service is very helpful. If you're looking for anything specific, Kreation Kafe is one of my favorite places to get juice, and all of their food is grown organically.


An important part of my community

Santa Monica Business #1: Caffe Luxxe

Santa Monica Business #2: Milo and Olive

Santa Monica Business #3: Whole Foods Market

Why I can't live without these three businesses: These places are all local stores that I go to often and are an important part of my community. Milo and Olive and Caffe Luxxe are family owned business chains in the Santa Monica area, and they both participate in many of our local fundraisers. Whole Foods, although it is a country wide store, the local stores use local produce and support the Santa Monica community.

Submitted by: Sophia Amato


Places I go to very often

Santa Monica Business #1: Bay Cities

Santa Monica Business #2: Starbucks

Santa Monica Business #3: The Slice

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I can't live without these three business because they are the places I go to very often. Bay Cities - I couldn't live without because they make the best godmother and their sandwiches are perfect on a hot summer day. It's a great place to get great food. Starbucks - I can't live without because they have the best passion tea lemonade and frappacino. Also, I can't live without their cake pops because that's what makes them different from Coffee Bean. The Slice is a great place to get pizza after a long day of playing sports or after a game. But another great thing about this place is that they also help support SAMOHI.

Submitted by: Briauna Dishner


Great opportunities

Santa Monica Business #1: 310TUTORS

Santa Monica Business #2: Santa Monica Seafood

Santa Monica Business #3: Whole Foods Market

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Being a student can sometimes can be difficult and there might be things that stump you or you just completely don't understand. Sometimes your teacher can't always put aside individual time to help you and at times even your parents don’t even understand it themselves. Whether it’s reading in kindergarten or AP United States History in 11th grade, it is always valuable to have a tutor. From 6th grade to now I have attended 310TUTORS and have been helped with EVERY subject I have ever needed help with, no matter what it is. Their tutors are well educated and very friendly, and their owner, Jonathan, is great as well, knowing almost every student personally and knowing their needs. 310TUTORS has helped me pass my finals, finish my essays, and get A's on all my projects, so I think that this tutoring center is very valuable to the Santa Monica Community.

Santa Monica Seafood is one of the few high quality seafood markets. I do work here as a hostess, but before I did attend like any other customer would. At Santa Monica Seafood, they receive fresh shipments of fish and food everyday except Sunday. They provide great customer service and have so many options to choose from to eat or to take home and cook yourself. Here, they also employ me with a great job. It's my first job, and in my opinion, it is a great place to work. The people you get to work with all vary from backgrounds to personalities, and the managers are very attentive and friendly. Not only do I work here, but I was able to refer one of my good friends to a job here as well that she seems to really enjoy. Not only is Santa Monica Seafood great for me, since it is my job, but it is great for all members of Santa Monica to enjoy.

On the northside, there aren't very many grocery stores, but we are provided with Whole Foods Markets, two actually, which is a great market that provides members of the community with healthy options to munch on and take home to cook. From their groceries to their hot food to their juices, everything is delicious, fresh, and most of all, healthy. I think this grocery store is great for Santa Monica for having a healthy choice. But I think that Whole Foods should also be put in to other neighborhoods that don't already have a healthy choice for a grocery store.

Submitted by: Juliann Thomas