Farmer's market plus fashionable hat
  • Farmer's market plus fashionable hat
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Dear Hipster:

As a rule, I prefer to patronize small, local businesses over big box stores. I try to go to independent restaurants instead of eating at TGI Friday’s. If it was 2001 and video stores were still a reasonable thing, I’d go to my local store instead of Blockbuster. I think you get the picture. Recently, I have had some downright awful customer-service experiences from small businesses, especially restaurants. Sometimes I go, and things are just not up to standards. Other times, I get the goods and services I want. Now, I am in a quandary, at what point does my desire to use my consumer powers for good give way to my desire for getting what I want, without excess rudeness, incompetence, or inconvenience?

— Sandy

Nobody knows better than us hipsters the importance of confronting corporate oligarchy by shopping at farmers’ markets and independent coffee boutiques. We practically invented this! But patronizing a business that has the sole virtue of not being Target is like subsisting on a steady diet of grass clippings just so you can stick it to Monsanto. The “local for local’s sake” movement was a great idea a decade ago, and it still is, but small-business people have an equal obligation to earn and keep your custom. Don’t fear to take your business elsewhere, even if it means giving up on a local shop that’s lost your trust. It doesn’t mean you have to run straight for the Walmart, since there are plenty of independently owned alternatives. Find the ones that offer you a competitive product and agreeable ethics.

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Comments

Ponzi Aug. 19, 2015 @ 10:15 a.m.

"We practically invented this!" Hipsters did not invent farmers markets or "coffee boutiques." Before Starbucks got big they were small and they were across the street from one of the oldest farmers markets, Pike Place. I'm not going to waste my time pointing out all the other places in the U.S. and in other countries going on for decades, if not hundreds of years. Don't even try to take credit for things that were dreamed up and implemented long before you folks (hipsters) were born.

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eastlaker Aug. 20, 2015 @ 9:54 a.m.

I believe the Hipster was being arch.

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QueenMe Aug. 20, 2015 @ 7:43 a.m.

I quit patronizing the local farmer's market in my area, after two bad experiences. The first time, I paid $6 for a brown paper bag of oranges, nice fresh ones on top, the old, dried-up ones were on the bottom. Months later, a different vendor sold me bruised, half-rotten persimmons. No thanks, I don't have money to throw away.

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danfogel Aug. 20, 2015 @ 11:12 a.m.

I don't understand why someone would by anything from a farmer's market in a "brown paper bag". If you can't choose your own, then just keep walking. Only seems like common sense to me.

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