Local-Mart

Thursday I went to St. Michael’s Orthodox Church, 125 Steel St., Youngstown for lunch.  In their social hall they serve dine-in or take-out Chinese food. For an Elecpencil friendly $5 they served a very fresh tasting beef or chicken non-fried dish. They were doing a brisk business and everyone had good things to say about the meal. The lunch is served Thursdays from 11-am to 4 pm.  I want to thank Janko at the “I Will Shout Youngstown” blog for posting info that led me to this great lunch find. He has a great blog and really serves the community with it so check it out.

R.I.P. Union Square Sparkle on Gypsy Lane. It was killed in cold blood by mass business murderer Wal-Mart. The Save-A-Lot near Wal-Mart then Giant Eagle on Belmont will likely be the next murder victims. I’ve already mentioned how a relative on break from college took a summer job at the  Wal-Mart on Belmont Ave. On his first day of work, they sat him down to watch their Wal-Mart doesn’t do unions movie. If you are in a union and patronize Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club you are cutting your own throat and the throat of union workers at Sparkle and Giant Eagle. Every social justice issue you can think of has Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club on the wrong side. How can you justify morally shopping there? Are their bargains really worth trading your soul for?

A few posts back I wrote about the great hamburger I had at Martini Brothers Restaurant 1300 North State St. (in the Golf Dome) Girard, OH. Well, Martini Brothers won first place in the most creative category with their Maui Wowii Burger at the 2010 Akron Burger Festival this year! The Cleveland Sandwich Board said that Martini Brothers had the best meat they tasted at the event. I attended the event in 2009, which drew 20,o00 over two days and enjoyed it very much.

I think of Akron as a bigger sister to Youngstown and it is one of my favorite towns. It really is home to the hamburger as they have some great places for burgers. For burger drive-up stands, Skyway and the sweet tasting burgers at Swensons are some great tasting bargains. I’m not much of a pop drinker but I order a California when I go to either. It is a Grape pop mixed with, I think, a Sprite and a lemon slice added. To sit down and eat a burger  go to Menches, Crave, Windsor Pub or even better Louie’s Bar and Grille which may have the best burger I’ve ever eaten. If you want some great pizza check out Luigi’s also get their salad with a mountain of shredded cheese.

The Akron Art Museum, We GallerySummit Art Space are well worth seeing as is a stop at artist Don Drumm’s Studio and Gallery. Mrs Elecpencil and I  just attended the 2010 Akron Art Expo. It’s  a free event and our favorite juried arts and craft show. Highland Square is a unique area where I’ve gone to do poetry at the Angel Falls Coffee shop. The Peanut Shoppe downtown is a neat shop also not to miss are the many thrift shops through out the Akron area. Instead of me listing everything worth seeing check out this map.

I think Youngstown could use something like Akron’s Burger Festival. The Mahoning Valley has so many good pizza shops I’d love to see a pizza competition. There could be categories like: best Briar Hill pizza, best white, best vegetable, best creative etc.  I’d also like to see a “buy local festival”  (or it could be part of the pizza festival) showcasing the great local businesses we have. I know we’ve had home and garden events showcasing local companies selling: windows, doors, siding etc. but I’m talking about an event featuring everyday local or regional affordable products we could be buying instead of the brands we do that don’t benefit our valley.

I know when I am shopping I make an effort to buy local products like: Schwabel’s bread, Gia Russa products, Ghossains, Rullis, Chieffo’s, Mt. Carmel sauce, DiRusso’s products, Phantom fireworks products etc. I’m sure there are a ton of local products I don’t know about. Maybe,  someone with more computer knowledge than me could creat a website listing local companies, their products and where they are available. We need to learn more about the businesses we have in our own backyard that we could be supporting. At a buy local festival,  local companies could give out free or nominally priced samples or coupons to buy their products. I’d like to see a few dollars charged to get in and the money go towards  a community project (maybe something like restoring the Paramount Theater).

I really think some kind of buy local event featuring local businesses could be informative. Also,  putting a face on local companies could help build relationships between buyers and sellers. It would show the community that these businesses are invested in the community’s future. I’m wondering if we have area people with enough business contacts to put on such an event. I am just an average guy who doesn’t know how to pull something like this off. I am willing to help in any way I can because I think it is something that needs to be done. Drop me an e-mail or comment if you’d like to see such an event or get involved. I’d love to hear any ideas you have. Maybe we could call a buy local event “Local-Mart.”

Ten reasons to shop local.

Toledo, Ohio’s Choose Local Campaign.

How about some regional music?

Celebrating their 40th anniversary here’s

Kent, Ohio’s The Numbers Band (15-60-75) : Jimmy Bell

also: She Becomes the Jones

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.  ~George Bernard Shaw






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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Local-Mart

  1. I agree about the Wal-Mart mass murder in not only our area, but many cities.

    I would love to see a burger festival type in Youngstown. I have attended Chicago’s and Gatlinburg’s Restaurant fairs in the past and they were spectacular.

  2. elecpencil

    LOTGK.~ Here is some info about that welfare queen known as Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club: http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/corporate_subsidy/walmart.cfm

  3. Pingback: Local = Goodness | Words and Meanings

  4. This is the closest we’ve got to the Local-Mart festival you’re proposing: http://www.greytogreenfestival.org/

  5. elecpencil

    Thanks for the comment. I was set up last year with the TimeBank at the Gray to green Festival. It was a great event and I’m looking forward to it again.

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