We Love the Local List- San Jose and the Bay Area

by - Friday, July 08, 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!  
Mandy Chronert is one of the few people I knew while living in the Bay Area that actually grew up there. But she is the Bay Area, born and raised, and it's no surprise that she knows all about the gems around San Jose. When I moved there, I was blown away but just how many businesses were there, and it could be hard to see past the Targets and shopping malls to all of the amazing local businesses that also hide out in the area. I learned, and especially miss some local restaurants, but we are still lucky that Mandy can point you to some real gems! Take it away Ms. Chronert-
My Bay Area Local Love List:
1. SJMADE (http://www.sanjosemade.com/) – what a cool way to see local products and ideas at festivals and outside of Whole Foods on the Alameda. I've seen everything from natural beauty products, jewelry, clothing for local sports teams, coffee, and all the tasty treats (macaroons, biscotti, cupcakes) you can imagine! I follow them on Instagram to figure out when and where I can find new local things, which when I type that out it sounds ridiculous, but it is the best way to follow these small businesses in the bay area. 
2. Therapy (http://www.shopattherapy.com/) – clothing store with multiple Bay Area locations. It's comparable to Anthropologie, but with local products. Shopping or even just browsing is definitely my preferred mode of retail therapy. 
Thoughts from B- Yes, this store is awesome. We spent many a night walking through and lusting over house stuff in there. 
3. San Pedro Square Market (http://www.sanpedrosquaremarket.com/) – cool multi-use space that offers little pockets of food, beverages, entertainment, and shopping. 
4. San Jose Municipal Stadium (http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t476) – home of the minor league San Jose Giants baseball team. This is one of the best affordable activities to do in San Jose. There are frequently free tickets to the baseball games that you can pick up at local grocery stores (cost of an average ticket is $10.00 normally). It's such a quintessential San Jose activity that I have enjoyed since I was a small child. I still go to games whenever I can and my best friend even got married on home plate during the off-season last spring. The food and souvenirs are all local favorites (you definitely have to try the churros).
B Thoughts- Uh, this is an awesome suggestion. It would never occur to me to think about local sports stadiums as a place to celebrate regional food and such, but it's genius. 
Thank you Mandy! Have other stores, restaurants, or brands that you love local to the Bay Area? Write me a list! I know there are plenty. 
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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