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


Hangouts and meeting spots

Santa Monica Business #1: Bob's Market

Santa Monica Business #2: The Slice

Santa Monica Business #3: Thyme Cafe and Market

Why I can't live without these three businesses: These are the three most important businesses in my neighborhood.  Since I was a young kid, I've been a regular of The Slice and Bob's MarketThe Slice served as a hangout and meeting spot for me and my friends, and they never failed to serve a great slice of pizza. Bob's Market has served for both snacks for me and groceries for my entire family.  The butchers at Bob's Market are some of the best in Santa Monica, and the produce is always fresh. Thyme Cafe and Market is much more new, but we were ecstatic to have it as an addition to our community.  The salads and sandwiches are great, and the desserts are amazing. Overall, I can't image my life, or my community without these businesses.


Great go-to place for a quick bite to eat

Santa Monica Business #1: The Farms

Santa Monica Business #2: Di Dio's Italian Ice

Santa Monica Business #3: Spumoni

Why I can't live without these three businesses: The Farms is a local and convenient market, one that I couldn't live without. It has everything you need including an excellent meat market with fantastic sandwiches. It's a great go-to for a quick bite to eat or for that ingredient you're missing. Di Dio's Italian Ice is a great family owned treat. When I was younger, I would beg my parents to take me there after dinner to get blue ice. Every now and again, I fulfill my craving for some sweet, local Italian ice. Without Di Dio's, I would feel as if a part of the community had been lost. Spumoni is a great little Italian eatery that I couldn't live without. It's our family's choice when we are craving Italian food. My favorite dish is the Casa Della pizza.

Submitted by: Jeffrey Tyre-Vigil


Amazing food and variety

Santa Monica Business #1: Bob's Market

Santa Monica Business #2: Cafe Bolivar

Santa Monica Business #3: Stella Barra Pizzeria

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I could not live without any of these businesses. I enjoy to eat, and more importantly, I love good food. Bob's Market is a great local grocery store. I love how I can get almost anything I need quickly. Whether it is a pastrami sandwich, sushi, or empanadas, Bob's has it. Cafe Bolivar is an amazing cafe. The coffee is amazing, and they have amazing areas. It is amazing that I can get great areas in Santa Monica. Finally, Stella Barra Pizzeria has great gourmet pizzas. I love all the different styles that they have. It is nice that they have so much more that just pepperoni or cheese.

Submitted by: Max Levenson


Very diverse compared to many other popular businesses

Santa Monica Business #1: Sushi Sho

Santa Monica Business #2: Di Dio's Italian Ice

Santa Monica Business #3: Sunny Blue

Why I can't live without these three businesses: They are diverse - very diverse compared to many other popular businesses here in Santa Monica. Growing up here for the past 18 years, I started going to these businesses at a young age and love them. If they were to close, it would be a huge disappointment.

Submitted by: Alex Attwater


Necessary daily items

Santa Monica Business #1: Benihana

Santa Monica Business #2: Petco

Santa Monica Business #3: Bay Cities Deli

Why I can't live without these three businesses: These three businesses provide me with necessary daily items. Each one is in close proximity to me, and I enjoy the wide variety of businesses Santa Monica has to offer. Having 3 furry animals at home, Petco is my one stop shop for everything they need. It's right around the corner from my house, and I love being so close to it. Bay Cities Deli is so wonderful and has amazing food. It is a place  unique to Santa Monica - with no chains - and I love being able to support my community through these businesses.


Forming customer relationships with owners

Santa Monica Business #1: Sunny Blue

Santa Monica Business #2: Grey Block Pizza

Santa Monica Business #3: Eddie's Liquor Market

Why I can't live without these three businesses: These places mean a lot to me because they are where I go most frequently. Sunny Blue is my first choice for getting a bite to eat with friends. Their food is bomb, and their customer service is good. I like Grey Block Pizza because other than the pizza, the restaurant is nicely themed and it's a chill enviornment. Also, it's really close to my house. Eddie's Liquor Market is important to me because I go there almost every day for snacks and what not and I've formed a customer relationship with the owners.

Submitted by: Mallory Spieth


Close to my culture

Santa Monica Business #1: Ukraina Deli

Santa Monica Business #2: Modern Nails

Santa Monica Business #3: Bagel Nosh

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I would not be able to live without these places because at the Ukraina Deli, I get my Lithuanian food which keeps me loving their food and close to my culture. Also, at Modern Nails, I would not be able to live without that because the people that work there are amazing people, and I want them to stay there. They do the best job. Also, Bagel Nosh makes the best breakfast food and makes Wilshire what it is. It is one of the most unique places on Wilshire to get breakfast, and I love the workers there. They make you feel like family and help you with anything you want/need.

Submitted by: Aiste Remeikaite


Santa Monica Business #1: Domino's Pizza

Santa Monica Business #2: Trader Joe's

Santa Monica Business #3: 99 Cent Store

Why I can't live without these three businesses: As a consumer of Domino's Pizza, my experience with this business has a lot of family connection; my father is a delivery driver for Domino's Pizza and has been for years. I've pretty much eaten pizza my entire life. While this does carry the obvious advantage of having pizza for dinner whenever my family chooses to, I also know a lot about the business from the little changes in their napkin designs to changes in their produce and the ingredients they put into their pizzas. It is very unlikely that this large-chain company will go under, if it does, I would directly feel its absence because it would feel like losing part of the family... and my dad won't get paid.

Trader Joe's is that place where people go to have a variety of choices in their grocery list. This isn't my primary store for grocery shopping, but I always go here for snacks when I'm out to watch a movie with my older sisters. The cool and friendly environment at Trader Joe's always makes me feel welcome, and the produce they have will always have us back for more.

The 99 Cent Store - It's always been a fun experience walking around and looking at the weird, cheaply made stuff they have there. For the most part, it's where my friends and I go to when we're down to a few dollars and buy things that we can make for a snack we can all share.

Submitted by: Anthony M