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 Wilshire (121)


Delicious Japanese food with happy hour

Santa Monica Business #1: Whole Foods

Santa Monica Business #2: Hikari Sake House

Santa Monica Business #3: Bay Cities

Why I can't live without these three businessesWhole Foods: I have been a customer of Whole Foods ever since I was a little girl, I basically grew up at this place. I really enjoy shopping here because there are many food options to choose from that are both healthy and delicious. Anything from sandwiches, pizza, a juice bar, baked goods, home-made style food, and even international dishes!  The quality of their products is worth the crowd of people you might stumble upon on a work day but the customer service is great and I always feel welcome with every visit.

Hikari Sake House: The atmosphere at this restaurant allows one to have a cultured experience just a few blocks from home. The Japanese food is delicious and always offering happy hour, it is also located right by the promenade which makes it very convenient to stop by for some tasty food after a shopping spree.

Bay Cities: The sandwiches are amazing and being there reminds me of being in a small deli in Italy. It's a really cool place and I appreciate being able to shop there for lunch.

Submitted by: Natalie Serrano


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


Made just right

Santa Monica Business #1: Bagel Nosh

Santa Monica Business #2: Poom Thai

Santa Monica Business #3: Fromin's Delicatessen Restaurant

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Bagel Nosh has all kinds of bagels. Their bagels are hand made fresh every day! They do not just have bagels, but they also have breakfast burritos, sandwiches, and fresh juice and coffee. Although they have limited amount of parking and space inside their business, they are worth the wait. Their food is also affordable! I always leave this place happy with a full tummy!

Poom Thai chefs cook the best Pad Thai for me! They know how to make the noodles, taste just right! Although it can become pricey and they can be rude at times, it is worth it because their food is extremely delicious! They are also very quick when you call in orders for pick up. I am always on the go and usually need my food to be ready on a little amount of time.

Fromin's Delicatessen and Restaurant has really good matzo ball soup. If I am ever feeling sick or just in the mood for great soup, I go to Fromin's! Their soup reminds me of my mom and makes me feel better. Their food is very expensive, but when I have extra money, I usually come here for their soup.

Submitted by: Nagel Martinez


Great opportunities

Santa Monica Business #1: 310TUTORS

Santa Monica Business #2: Santa Monica Seafood

Santa Monica Business #3: Whole Foods Market

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Being a student can sometimes can be difficult and there might be things that stump you or you just completely don't understand. Sometimes your teacher can't always put aside individual time to help you and at times even your parents don’t even understand it themselves. Whether it’s reading in kindergarten or AP United States History in 11th grade, it is always valuable to have a tutor. From 6th grade to now I have attended 310TUTORS and have been helped with EVERY subject I have ever needed help with, no matter what it is. Their tutors are well educated and very friendly, and their owner, Jonathan, is great as well, knowing almost every student personally and knowing their needs. 310TUTORS has helped me pass my finals, finish my essays, and get A's on all my projects, so I think that this tutoring center is very valuable to the Santa Monica Community.

Santa Monica Seafood is one of the few high quality seafood markets. I do work here as a hostess, but before I did attend like any other customer would. At Santa Monica Seafood, they receive fresh shipments of fish and food everyday except Sunday. They provide great customer service and have so many options to choose from to eat or to take home and cook yourself. Here, they also employ me with a great job. It's my first job, and in my opinion, it is a great place to work. The people you get to work with all vary from backgrounds to personalities, and the managers are very attentive and friendly. Not only do I work here, but I was able to refer one of my good friends to a job here as well that she seems to really enjoy. Not only is Santa Monica Seafood great for me, since it is my job, but it is great for all members of Santa Monica to enjoy.

On the northside, there aren't very many grocery stores, but we are provided with Whole Foods Markets, two actually, which is a great market that provides members of the community with healthy options to munch on and take home to cook. From their groceries to their hot food to their juices, everything is delicious, fresh, and most of all, healthy. I think this grocery store is great for Santa Monica for having a healthy choice. But I think that Whole Foods should also be put in to other neighborhoods that don't already have a healthy choice for a grocery store.

Submitted by: Juliann Thomas


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


Visiting businesses on Montana

Santa Monica Business #1: Whole Foods Market Santa Monica

Santa Monica Business #2: Healthy Spot

Santa Monica Business #3: Kreation Kafe

Why I can't live without these three businesses: There are several reasons why I can't live without these three local businesses.

First of all, I buy all my local groceries from Whole Foods on 23rd and Wilshire. Every Sunday, my mom and I get all our groceries for the week from there. It's conveniently located close to my house, so I can walk there anytime. Also, I like all the organic and local food options.

Secondly, I cannot live without Healthy Spot on 11th and Wilshire. I buy all my dog's food, treats, and toys from there, and I have been taking her here for all her baths since she was a puppy. I thank this place for why my dog is such a happy and healthy dog.

Lastly, Kreation Kafe on 11th and Montana is my favorite restaurant and juice bar. I go there almost everyday for a juice or food to-go. The staff is very friendly, the juice is really good, and all the food is locally grown and organic.

Submitted by: Anna Rooke


Food I can eat almost every day

Santa Monica Business #1: Shophouse

Santa Monica Business #2: The Slice

Santa Monica Business #3: Bagel Nosh

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I can't live without Shophouse for a simple reason, because it feeds me almost everyday when I'm at work. It's an affordable place around my work that I can eat almost every day and never seem to get tired of it. However, every once in a while I can't handle a super spicy bowl from ShophouseBaja Buds saves the day, rolling up the best burrito in town (debatedly). Bagel Nosh is also a very important local business to me because, for years, my friends and I have made a tradition of going to Bagel Nosh in the morning after a long weekend night, as a sort of cleansing. So thank you to these local businesses.

Submitted by: Austin Forsyth


Studious on Sundays

Santa Monica Business #1: Bagel Nosh

Santa Monica Business #2: N.Y. Bagel

Santa Monica Business #3: Bru's Wiffle

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Bagel Nosh, N.Y Bagel, and Bru's Wiffle are my favorite local breakfast joints in Santa Monica. Each breakfast place has a unique breakfast meal that I love - N.Y Bagel has the bacon egg and cheese bagel, Bagel Nosh has the breakfast burrito, and Bru's Wiffle has the waffle hamburger that is unbelievable. After a long Saturday night, Sunday breakfast is essential for me to have the energy and motivation to go through my day. Being a procrastinator, like most students in the U.S, I leave all my homework till Sunday and therefore have to sit for hours in concentration. Without a healthy and full meal, that is also affordable, I would never be able to complete my work. Thank you N.Y Bagel, Bagel Nosh, and Bru's Wiffle.

Submitted by: Efe Toros