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


They deliver so it's better for me

Santa Monica Business #1: Pico Barbershop

Santa Monica Business #2: Coffee Bean

Santa Monica Business #3: Jersey Mike's

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I get my haircuts at the Pico Barbershop all the time. They provide nice and efficient service towards their customers. If it wasn't there, I would have to find a new barber.

My friend works at Coffee Bean, and he always hooks me up with the fuego. The pastries are always on point.

I order Jersey Mike's at least twice a week for lunch. They deliver so it's better for me, and the food is great.


Getting a quick bite to eat when I need it

Santa Monica Business #1: 24 Hour Fitness

Santa Monica Business #2: Bob's Market

Santa Monica Business #3: The Slice

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I can't live without 24 Hour Fitness because going to the gym is a big part of who I am what is important to me. Having a gym in a convenient area helps me stay in shape and happy. I can't live without Bob's Market because it is a local market very close to me. Having a supermarket nearby helps when I need to get food quick or ingredients for cooking. It also has a good barbecue on the weekends which is a good place to have lunch. I can't live without The Slice because it is a good pizza place that I can go to after games or if I'm just craving pizza. It's good to have a pizza place close to me so that I can get a quick bite to eat when I need it.


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.


Everyday shopping close to home

Santa Monica Business #1: Ralph's

Santa Monica Business #2: Riteaid

Santa Monica Business #3: CVS

Why I can't live without these three businesses: These three businesses are where I shop everyday. Without these everything else would have been far from my home. They are affordable and have nice friendly staff.

Submitted by:  anonymous


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.


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


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


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

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