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


I will continue to buy local as often as I can!

Santa Monica Business #1: Bay Citites Deli

Santa Monica Business #2: Nancys Nails

Santa Monica Business #3: Unurban Coffee

Why I can't live without these three businesses: They have amazing customer service.  They have been in the neighborhood for years and I couldn't see not being able to have them in my life!  I wish I had more than three options but I will continue to buy local as often as I can!

 Submitted by:  Anonymous


A healthy place to be!

Santa Monica Business #1: T's Thai on 4th

Santa Monica Business #2: Santa Monica Playhouse

Santa Monica Business #3: YMCA

Why I can't live without these three businesses: T's Thai on 4th is the best place for Thai in town. The prices are reasonable, and the food is fresh tasty, and delicious! We eat there about once a week. And they deliver!

The Santa Monica Playhouse has been serving this community for 50 years. The shows a terrific and being right next To T's Thai we can enjoy dinner and a play in walking distance to home.

 YMCA… Just healthy place to be!

Submitted by:  Laura Wilson-Hausle


Delicious Japanese food with happy hour

Santa Monica Business #1: Whole Foods

Santa Monica Business #2: Hikari Sake House

Santa Monica Business #3: Bay Cities

Why I can't live without these three businessesWhole Foods: I have been a customer of Whole Foods ever since I was a little girl, I basically grew up at this place. I really enjoy shopping here because there are many food options to choose from that are both healthy and delicious. Anything from sandwiches, pizza, a juice bar, baked goods, home-made style food, and even international dishes!  The quality of their products is worth the crowd of people you might stumble upon on a work day but the customer service is great and I always feel welcome with every visit.

Hikari Sake House: The atmosphere at this restaurant allows one to have a cultured experience just a few blocks from home. The Japanese food is delicious and always offering happy hour, it is also located right by the promenade which makes it very convenient to stop by for some tasty food after a shopping spree.

Bay Cities: The sandwiches are amazing and being there reminds me of being in a small deli in Italy. It's a really cool place and I appreciate being able to shop there for lunch.

Submitted by: Natalie Serrano


Great, friendly service 

Santa Monica Business #1:  Muji

Santa Monica Business #2:  Sunny Blue

Santa Monica Business #3:  Dogtown Coffee

Why I can't live without these three businesses:   Muji has really awesome, useful items that I can't live without.  I like the minimalist style of their gear, and it's very affordable.  I love the service as well. Friendly and helpful employees!  Sunny Blue: The food is great, the service is quick, and the employees are friendly.  Dogtown Coffee:  Great food, coffee, and service.

Submitted by:  Cooper W


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