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 Main St (106)


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


The memories I’ve had

Santa Monica Business #1: Rosti Tuscan Kitchen

Santa Monica Business #2: Whole Foods

Santa Monica Business #3: Sunny Blue

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Why Rosti?

Rosti has been my go-to restaurant for Italian food ever since I can remember, and the memories I’ve had in and around it give the restaurant a personal importance to me. Though this nostalgic value surely provides some bias, each ordering experience I have there continues to prove Rosti’s merit and exceptional quality, both in food and in service. I’ve ordered their Penne Bolognese more times than I could ever hope to count, and its deliciousness has never waned.

Why Whole Foods?

The quality, freshness, and variety in the food my parents and I pick up every week from Whole Foods is unparalleled in the immediate area. I also often go there with my mom to pick up quick meals from the huge selection of readily available food they have. These products take up a good portion of the fridges in both of my houses, and I couldn’t imagine what I would do if they didn’t.

Why Sunny Blue?

Though I was only introduced to Sunny Blue a couple of years ago, I have been addicted ever since. The omusubi (Japanese rice balls) they make are the best I’ve ever tasted, and since I’ve been introduced to them I haven’t been able to go more than a month without having one. The owner and workers there are also extremely friendly, and much of the ingredients are taken from farms and businesses in the surrounding area.

Submitted by: Harry Gilboa


After I got out of practice

Santa Monica Business #1: Sunny Blue

Santa Monica Business #2: Bob’s Market

Santa Monica Business #3: Main Squeeze

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I can't live without Main Squeeze because to me it's better then Jamba Juice. I love how fresh and refreshing they are. Sunny Blue is by far the best sushi restaurant you could ever go to, and if they closed, I wouldnt know what to do. The taste of the sushi just leaves your mouth watering. I love Bob's Market because it's where my dad would love to go after I got out of practice.

Submitted by: Terrance Jackson


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


Places that make Main Street special

Santa Monica Business #1: ZJ Boarding House

Santa Monica Business #2: Sunny Blue

Santa Monica Business #3: Rudy's Barbershop

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I don't live in Santa Monica, but I used to go to the school Smash. I have always been in and around the Main Street neighborhood.

ZJ's Boarding House is very important to me. I used to skate and would get all my equipment and apparel there. It has always been there and makes me feel at home when I walk along Main street. It has an authentic feel to it. I always think of the legendary Z boys. I don't know the people that work there, but they are all so friendly and laid back. It's a great environment. It is one of the places that makes Main Street special.

Sunny Blue has been a place that I have been going to for years. It serves great food that is unique and different, not only from Main Street but LA. I love the food and how quickly its made. Though its a small location, there is always somewhere to sit or stand and feel the Sunny Blue experience. The menu is great as it explains what is in each rice ball. The open kitchen is also very entertaining and interesting. The employees are very friendly and work hard.

Rudy's Barbershop is the only place I go in the US to get my hair cut. I have been around LA looking for a place that is friendly and suits me. Rudy's has a great environment with employees that are friendly, and all have different unique styles. Rudy's is also very affordable and overall do a great job.


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


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