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

Entries in Downtown SM (133)


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


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


Great deals and selections

Santa Monica Business #1: Crossroads Trading Co.

Santa Monica Business #2: Buffalo Exchange

Santa Monica Business #3: Bay Cities

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Crossroads Trading Company offers great deals on shoes, clothes, and accessories at great prices. The people who work there are very helpful looking for what you need in your size and your preference, etc. If I ever need to find anything cool or vintage, I would definitely go there.

Buffalo Exchange is similar to Crossroads. They offer great clothing selections at great prices. Their location is convenient since it is close to Santa Monica High School, so that you can shop and destress after a long day of school. Stores like Buffalo Exchange are important because they provide the luxuries that people need at affordable pirces.

Bay Cities honestly has some of the best sandwiches I've ever had. Whenever I go to work on Sunday's, I always order myself a Bay Cities sandwich to fuel up. Their food is not only delicious, but it is super healthy. They have an array of cheeses, meats, and vegetables that are important to people's nutritional needs. It is definitely important to have a local deli where people can eat healthy food at good prices.

Submitted by: Caterina Kachadoorian


A city is nothing without food

Santa Monica Business #1: Joe's Pizza

Santa Monica Business #2: Bay Cities

Santa Monica Business #3: Farmers Market

Why I can't live without these three businesses: A city is nothing without food, without a thriving community of restaurants, and places for fresh produce. Bay Cities is like a portal to Italy, filled with fluffy bread, delicious treats, and to-go meals that are affordable to eat everyday. Without a fresh loaf from Bay Cities, my homemade paninis would be nothing out of the ordinary. I depend on Bay Cities as an alternative to the processed food offered at chain stores. Joe's Pizza has been my favorite pizza in SM since I discovered the tiny spot years ago. For a long time, I ordered from them at least twice a week, and the delivery men knew me by name. Trust me, Joe's is the best in town. Finally, the Farmers Market is somewhere I've frequented on the Promenade when the stalls are set up since I was a baby. My family depends on the organic produce and continues to support actual farmers by buying from the Farmers Market.

Submitted by: William Shaffer


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.


Adolescent memories and hangouts

Santa Monica Business #1: Pier 212

Santa Monica Business #2: Sunny Blue

Santa Monica Business #3: Crossroads Trading Post

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I don't think my adolescent years would be the same without Pier 212. I go there to study, and the place welcomes me with the quiet murmur. I go there to spend my nights with friends playing monopoly and eating homemade mac 'n cheese. The place is always welcoming and pleasant to stay in. The vibes there are warm, and people are the kindest and most intelligent. One time, I was struggling with my English assignment for school and when I made a loud noise of frustration a man came up to me. He offered help and appeared to be a really talented writer and the nicest guy.

Sunny Blue has one of the most unique atmospheres as well as outstanding omusubi. Their exceptional Japanese kitchen is very neatly packaged. It is always joyful to eat there and just spend time.

Crossroads Trading Post allows me to buy stylish clothes for cheap. I love that I can recycle clothes that did not bring joy to people anymore but they will for me.

Submitted by: Evgenia Kokareva


Heaven in the morning when I can barely wake up

Santa Monica Business #1: Ralphs

Santa Monica Business #2: Coffee Bean

Santa Monica Business #3: Pollo Loco

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I can't live without these places because Ralphs is the place I get all my groceries, and it has very yummy snacks. Coffee Bean is heaven in the morning when I can barely wake up. Pollo Loco is healthy and yummy food that I can eat any time of the day.


A place I can always count on

Santa Monica Business #1: Jamba Juice

Santa Monica Business #2: Bay Cities

Santa Monica Business #3: Trader Joe's

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Jamba Juice is a place I can always count on for a delicious, refreshing drink. I have always left satisfied with not only the quality of their drinks but also their customer service. Orders are always completed in a timely manner, and the line never gets too long.

I have been going to Bay Cities ever since I could remember. Despite the long line, the sandwiches are always prepared efficiently and are always delicious. Great place to go with friends to relax and enjoy a good bite to eat.

Trader Joe's is where my family has done our grocery shopping for ages now. The produce is always fresh, employees are helpful, and lines are short. Always a reliable place to go for food shopping for the week or just to grab some lunch.