Buy Local Challenge Blog

Buy Local Santa Monica has partnered with the 3/50 Project.TM  What three local businesses would you miss if they disappeared?  Your purchases keep them around, supporting our local economy and a unique, thriving community of businesses. 

It's simple to participate - pick three businesses you absolutely can't live without, and commit to stopping by, saying hello and spending $50 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


Living in Santa Monica without these 3 stores just wouldn't be the same

Santa Monica Business #1:  DK's Donuts and Bakery

Santa Monica Business #2:  Betsy & Tracy

Santa Monica Business #3:  Bob's Market

Why I can't live without these three businesses:  I have grown up with all three of these stores, and living in Santa Monica without them would not be the same whatsoever. Honestly, it just wouldn't feel like Santa Monica.

DK's has the city's best donuts and they are open 24 hours... I mean, are you kidding!

Betsy and Tracy is an adorable clothing shop that I have always loved, especially since my name is Betsy and my mom's name is Tracey!

I live down the street from Bob's Market and it really has always been my neighborhood grocery store.  From going there for a quick after school snack when I was at John Adams Middle School to grabbing Fried Chicken and Jo-Jo potato fries for an easy and delicious dinner.

Submitted by: Betsy Mebane


Amazing jewelry + my favorite ice cream in town

Santa Monica Business #1:  Didio's

Santa Monica Business #2:  Bamboora

Santa Monica Business #3:  Foster's Freeze

Why I can't live without these three businessesDidio's has been my brother's and my favorite ice cream shop our whole lives. We used to roller blade down there with our dad on Saturdays and get their vanilla chip shaved ice. When we pass that place now, we love to look at all the candy they have there and get our favorite vanilla chip. Not to mention my mother loves having the only store that still carries razzles close too!

Bamboora is an amazing jewelry store where they sell beautiful Southeast Asian-inspired handmade jewelry that my mom and I fell in love with when we were walking by. This is now my go-to store when holidays come around to shop for gifts.  The owner is a sweet woman whose kids I coached in water polo and is always happy to see people coming in.  Without Bamboora, I don't know what I would do for Mother's Day!

To my friends and I, nothing marks the end of a long swim meet like a chocolate-dipped cone from Foster's Freeze.  From when I started swimming competitively when I was 11, Foster's Freeze was our place to wind down after the stress of racing.  Walking into Foster's Freeze fills me with memories of the excitement and fun that came with swimming.

Submitted by: Lauren


Businesses that are kind to our environment

Santa Monica Business #1: Treats 

Santa Monica Business #2: Nikki's

Santa Monica Business #3: Crossroads

Why I can't live without these three businesses:  Treats:  I always enjoy some fresh frozen yogurt after I workout.  Being that it was right next to JAMS, it was really easy to eat there a lot after I finished practice. They are one of the few quality frozen yogurt places that I've eaten at.  I say quality because all of their toppings are always extremely fresh and delectable, and the staff is very personable.  I also like that they don't print receipts, which is good for the planet.  For these reasons I couldn't live without it.

Nikki's: This is a local soccer shop that has a lot of equipment I've needed to purchase over the years. They also have really helpful staff, so even if you're just getting into the game, it's very easy to walk in and get what you need. They also give me a discount on most occasions because of my previous affiliation with soccer programs and coaches. This leaves me feeling good about buying things in there and makes me want to come back.

Crossroads: This is a thrift shop that I commonly shop at.  I couldn't live without this place because they have  some of the best second hand  clothes out there.  Also, I really couldn't live without thrift shops in general because I think that they are such an important part of society.  There are so many articles of clothing that just get thrown out every year just because they go out of style.  Although to  some this may seem reasonable, it's really not, because everything that is made, should be used to its fullest extent before it's discarded.  I believe that Thrift shops are fantastic because consumers do that ...

Submitted by: Marie Salem


My surf sanctuary...& the Best Steak Sandwich

Santa Monica Business #1:  Sunny Blue

Santa Monica Business #2:  ZJ's Boarding House

Santa Monica Business #3:  Thyme Cafe

Why I can't live without these three businesses:  Awh man, I'm so parched.  Walking in from a long day at the beach, I need some delicious, satisfying cuisine.  Ahhhh, there it is, a palace filled with warm, moist, sticky balls of rice, filled with an array of meats and vegetables, and wrapped in seaweed that tastes like it was sprinkled with the salt of gods.  And then as if that was not enough, the Omosubi  crafter takes a pinch from a container that even today I don't know what it's contents are.  When this wonderful seasoning is sprinkled on my rice balls something magical happens, the room lights up and the world spins around me. The experience is quite  exciting. Thank you Sunny Blue.

As for ZJ's Boarding House, the surf sanctuary where I purchased my first performance shortboard: channel islands flyer.  It still holds a soft spot in my quiver.  Whenever I walk by, I come in to speak with the smiling employees and check out what new boards they've received.  The spot will always be one of my favorite shop for both it's sentimental meaning and also top of the line selection.

Thyme Cafe, the home of guinness world record's Best steak sandwich.  The bread: oh lordddd, the bread, toasted to perfection, then coated with the most delicious horseradish aoli spread I've ever tasted.  Thinly sliced steak is then placed on these brilliant slices and accompanied with arugula crisper than a new hundred dollar bill. And as for desserts...i can't even begin to explain how incredible the desserts are, so I won't.

Submitted by: Alex Harros 


Best burger-eating experience in the the ocean!

Santa Monica Business #1:  Back on the Beach Café & Food Company, Inc

Santa Monica Business #2:  Barnes and Nobles Booksellers 

Santa Monica Business #3:  Tacos Por Favor

Why I can't live without these three businessesBack on the Beach has the best atmosphere imaginable since it is located right on the beach.  I have been going there with my friends for birthday lunches for as long as I can remember, and am always blown away by the spectacular view of the ocean, and am always relaxed, burrowing my feet into the cool sand.  In addition to the scenery, the food is amazing, and the waiters are always very nice.  I almost always get the burger, and with the view of the ocean, there isn't a better burger-eating experience in the world.

I have been to many Barnes and Nobles, but the one on the Promenade is by far my favorite.  I remember as a child, talking walks with my family down to the Promenade on Saturday afternoons, and always stopping first to the Barnes and Nobles right on the corner.  It was the first thing I would see walking down 3rd Street, and it would be the place I would spend the most time at. The second story is where I spent most of my time, as the wide selection of kids' books always kept me entertained.  From the friendly staff to the massive amount of genres there is no place like Barnes and Nobles when it comes to buying a book.

Tacos Por Favor is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Santa Monica. I first began going there when I would have baseball games across the street at Memorial Park. There was nothing better than winning a night game and going across the street to eat a burrito that always hit the spot. The carne asada burrito is what I almost always get, and it is the best burrito that I have ever eaten. The restaurant has an authentic Mexican feel, and is reflected in the great atmosphere. The generous amount of chips, and tasty salsas add to the greatness of the restaurant, and whether it is dine in or take out, you can't go wrong with Tacos Por Favor.

Submitted by: John Guzman