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 Montana Ave (79)


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.


I always go to them to get food

Santa Monica Business #1: Co-Opportunity

Santa Monica Business #2: Whole Foods

Santa Monica Business #3: Kreation Kafe

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I cant live without these three places because I always go to them to get food, and they're all with in walking distance from my house. I go to the Co-Op at least once a week to get organic food for a low price. I go to Whole Foods whenever I don't feel like going to the Co-op because it's closer, and the customer service is very helpful. If you're looking for anything specific, Kreation Kafe is one of my favorite places to get juice, and all of their food is grown organically.


An important part of my community

Santa Monica Business #1: Caffe Luxxe

Santa Monica Business #2: Milo and Olive

Santa Monica Business #3: Whole Foods Market

Why I can't live without these three businesses: These places are all local stores that I go to often and are an important part of my community. Milo and Olive and Caffe Luxxe are family owned business chains in the Santa Monica area, and they both participate in many of our local fundraisers. Whole Foods, although it is a country wide store, the local stores use local produce and support the Santa Monica community.

Submitted by: Sophia Amato


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


Healthy qualities of each business

Santa Monica Business #1: Ralphs

Santa Monica Business #2: Subway

Santa Monica Business #3: Kreation Kafe

Why I can't live without these three businesses: These three businesses are very important to my community, particularly because of the healthy qualities about each business. Ralphs is the market closest to my house and offers many healthy, tasty foods that are very affordable. I feel very comfortable at Ralphs. The workers are always really helpful, and they always have my favorite products. Subway is another business that I love,\ because they are very quick in making the sandwiches, the prices are cheap, and there are many healthy sandwiches to choose from. Kreation Kafe is not the cheapest place to go for lunch, but it is certainly the most organic and healthy of the three. These businesses are all vital to my life, and I hope they stay popular and in business for as long as I am living in Santa Monica.


Getting lost in the store

Santa Monica Business #1: Trader Joe's

Santa Monica Business #2: Cafe Crepe

Santa Monica Business #3: Whole Foods

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Trader Joe's holds a special place in my heart. My dad and I make daily trips to Trader Joe's and have been since I was a little girl. It is my go to place for snacks and lunches (salads and wraps), and my dad’s go to place for wine. Trader Joe's has the greatest vibes and the best food. Their prices are unbeatable and their freshness and quality never has to be questioned. The employees are fun, inviting, and nice, and the store is inviting in general. You could spend hours in the store. The samples are a nice addition as well.

Cafe Crepe is my go to place for a crepe. There aren’t many crepe places in Santa Monica, and they use fresh ingredients. It is a fun place to hang out with friends and smell the ocean breeze. Although, crepe is in the name, Cafe Crepe does not only serve crepes but many other dishes as well. It is affordable and delicious and a great place to go to for a midnight snack and a cup of coffee although the pictures on the wall are slightly disturbing. It is within walking distance, and I have many memories there with my brother and my friends. It definitely holds a special place in my heart as well. 

Whole Foods - I could spend hours simply looking at teas. The idea of healthy eating is very inviting at Whole Foods, although it can be a bit pricey. The food is delicious and makes for great lunches. Each time you go, you find something new to try whether it be a new type of drink or snack. The variety of different things makes it all the more exciting especially getting lost in the store.

Submitted by: Raeesa Dhanji


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


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