We Love the Local List- State College, PA

by - Friday, April 29, 2016

This is a new blog series where we can each sing the praises of our favorite local shops, brands, and restaurants. Supporting local businesses does even more than supporting small business owners (though that is great too). It keeps your money local to you (not off wherever the Waltons are vacationing), creates more jobs for your friends and family, and even helps the environment. Why is shopping local good for the environment? We talk a lot about commutes and how much fuel people use to travel, and the same applies to your stuff. The further your stuff has to travel, the more fossil fuels they use and energy they waste. Large companies and chains pretty consistently show less responsibility and concern for the environment and the communities they are in, so you can effect positive change locally and decrease your environmental impact just by shopping and eating local! 
 This blog intends to encourage us to get out and explore the businesses near where we live. See it as a fun challenge to see what you can support nearby and be surprised what amazingness you may have missed. You can also check out other lists to find the coolest places to go when you travel to new places!  

My Aunt Joanna is writing her list for State College, PA, the home of Penn State University. The town has 40,000 student residents that move through pretty quickly (including myself). I really like Happy Valley, especially getting to spend a lot of time with her and her family, but I will happily defer to her expertise on the businesses in the town that are truly great!
5. Kitchen Kaboodle : sure, I could shop at BBBeyond, but in this store I can drool over snarky dish towels, buy aprons made locally or get yet another garlic gadget. And then walk over to the library! A win! Which brings me to... 

4. The library! Why buy books you don't want or need to keep, when you can keep a library in business. Did you know the Philadelphia Free Library loans ebooks to any PA resident? Yup. I still buy books, too, of course, but the library makes it possible to try out authors and cookbooks, risk free. Non-profits need support too. 

3. Uncle Eli's art supplies: they always help me find stuff when I clearly have no idea what I am doing. Plus, they have a dog, and hipster buttons. Every town has toy stores, gift shops, kitchen stores -- I try to not shop at Big Box stores if I can choose small businesses instead.

2. Real maple syrup. Etsy has several choices, we like Maple View Sugar Works, a family business in Vermont. Artisanal mapling is very trendy now, but Maple View sells bricks of maple sugar for $10. Beat that! There are PA sugarhouses but I have loyalty to MVSW, and at least it's not ConAgra bottled colored corn syrup. 
1. Meyer Dairy. I can see the cows while I buy the milk. Natives are people who were born in State College. But you can earn "Local" status by owning the ubiquitous Meyer Dairy glass milk bottle carrier. When we got ours, I was waaay too excited!

Thank you Aunt Joanna for the awesome list! What are your favorite shops, restaurants, and businesses in State College? 

Want to write your own Loving the Local List? You fill my heart with joy! Just send me a list of your five to ten favorite local brands and stores (it doesn't have to be just around the street- a State specific snack or small chain of restaurants works just fine). Write a few sentences on why you love each thing (and I love pictures if you have them) and send them to sunshineguerrilla@gmail.com.
Would you like to buy more environmentally responsible or Made in America products? I've got you covered! Check out my Mega List of Shopping Lists for tons of ideas for any shopping trip.

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