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


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


Places I go to very often

Santa Monica Business #1: Bay Cities

Santa Monica Business #2: Starbucks

Santa Monica Business #3: The Slice

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I can't live without these three business because they are the places I go to very often. Bay Cities - I couldn't live without because they make the best godmother and their sandwiches are perfect on a hot summer day. It's a great place to get great food. Starbucks - I can't live without because they have the best passion tea lemonade and frappacino. Also, I can't live without their cake pops because that's what makes them different from Coffee Bean. The Slice is a great place to get pizza after a long day of playing sports or after a game. But another great thing about this place is that they also help support SAMOHI.

Submitted by: Briauna Dishner


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


A great place to grab a bite

Santa Monica Business #1: Hole in the Wall

Santa Monica Business #2: Santa Monica Donuts

Santa Monica Business #3: Bay Cities

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Without these three businesses, I wouldn't know where to find a great place to grab a bite. I can guarentee you that there isn't a week that I don't stop by one of these three businesses. Hole in the Wall by far is one of the best burger joints in all of Santa Monica, and it's one of my favorite places to go to after school. The Santa Monica Donut Shop, which happens to be located a couple blocks from my home is a nice convenient place to pick up freshly baked donuts. Lastly there's Bay Cities, home of the most savory sandwiches. This local deli brings you the best quality sandwhich for a cheap price.

Submitted by: Carlos Suarez


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


3/4 for me and 1/4 for her - it's perfect!

Santa Monica Business #1: 24 Hour Fitness

Santa Monica Business #2: The Slice

Santa Monica Business #3: Jersey Mike’s

Why I can't live without these three businesses: 24 Hour Fitness - I'm an athlete trying to build strength to get to the next level. 24 Hour Fitness is super convenient because it is right by my house and always has open equipment for me to use.  I can go there any time of the day or night.  It's a really clean gym, and the staff are friendly and helpful.  It's a great way to meet new people who are also interested in bettering their fitness.  The monthly price is reasonable. There's a great snack bar that sells all of the food and drink you might need after your workout.

The Slice - This is a place I go with my friends all of the time after school.  It's small but has some of the best pizza and wings in Santa Monica.  They offer 5 specials that have something for everyone.  My favorite is the #5 which is a slice of your choice of pizza and 5 wings. Of course, you can buy can buy a whole pizza if you want, and they also deliver too.  We've celebrated in the back patio after we've won baseball games.  Behind the patio, there is free parking.  Parents like it too

Jersey Mike's - I eat Jersey Mike's at least 2 times a week.  They make the best, most reasonably priced sandwiches. I usually go for the largest one, called the giant.  I get the Italian with roast beef and bacon added.  They deliver to SAMO so I can share the sandwich with my girlfriend for lunch:  3/4 for me and 1/4 for her - it's perfect!  We get it "Mike's Way" but with no tomatoes. That means we get lettuce, onion, oil, vinegar, and seasonings.

Submitted by: Matt Kassowitz


It is that good!

Santa Monica Business #1: Bob's Market

Santa Monica Business #2: Lares Restaurant

Santa Monica Business #3: Bay Cities

Why I can't live without these three businesses: First of all, I can not live without Bob's Market because it is my community's local market. I always see the same workers there every day, and they will remember you. The feeling I get when I walk into Bob's is like walking into my own house. I have grown up going to this market; and every time I go, I will see someone I know. The food in the deli and the hot foods are always top quality. It is more personal than going to a supermarket because you really feel connected to the store and you know that the workers really care.

I cannot live without Lares because my family has been going there for longer than I have lived. My grandpa fell in love with the restaurant because it has such a warm and welcoming atmosphere. He would talk to the workers there and pretty soon they knew his name. Now, my dad takes our family there all the time, and they know us because of my grandpa's tradition of going to eat there all the time. The food is always great at Lares, and I can always count on having a good time there.

Bay Cities is another business I cannot live without because the food there is amazing. It is the only place I will want to go when I am craving a sandwich. It is a place where you can go only to get a loaf of bread because it is that good. It is really close to my house and school so I can walk over easily. The service is really quick even when they have a line of 15 people or more waiting for sandwiches. This is another place that I grew up with, and I can't imagine what I would do without it.

Submitted by: Maddy McCarthy