Pizza’zza is a small, local, family-owned business. That means we live where we do business. Our kids go to the same schools and play in the same parks your kids do. It means we’ll run into you at the farmers market and Boulevard Park. You’ll get to know us, and we’ll get to know you. And because we live here, we care about our community. There are hundreds of businesses like us in Whatcom County. There are hundreds who are decidedly not like us and the other local businesses here.
When you spend your dollar with us, significantly more of your money is returned to the community. When you visit a chain restaurant (not naming names here), much less stays in our community. (Studies on exactly how much vary depending on location; click these links for a nice summary of the research and reasons to buy from locally owned businesses.) When you buy a pie from us, that’s your money that goes to other local businesses and farms (Skagit River Ranch, Fairhaven Flour Mill, and on and on), local taxes (read: schools, fire, police, etc.), donations to local service organizations and non-profits (Common Threads Farm, Food to Bank On, etc.), and employee wages (and all the places those wages go).
When you visit that unnamed pizza chain, most of your money leaves our community. It goes to pay out-of-state accountants, purchase goods and services from other large out-of-state chain retailers and distributors, and make charitable contributions outside of our community. (On average, nonprofits receive 250% more support from small businesses than large businesses).
This narrative isn’t just about the personal vote you cast with your personal (local?) checking account though. It’s also a tale of the choices the businesses you support make. When you visit that unnamed chain restaurant (pick your villain here), where are they casting their vote? More likely than not, it is far afield of Whatcom County.
"... an average of 35% of our total food purchases come from local farms and producers in Whatcom and
When you buy from one of Whatcom County’s own, your money is going to support other local businesses. To belabor this point (because it’s important), consider that here at Pizza’zza, an average of 35% of our total food purchases come from local farms and producers in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. For us, that means $62,550 dollars reinvested in our local farms and producers in the past year.
And this brings us to Sustainable Connections. We are a proud business member of Sustainable Connections because they work thoughtfully, effectively and tirelessly to ensure that Whatcom County has a vibrant economy. And that helps all of us. Most of you are likely familiar with Sustainable Connections on some level. At the very least, their own market research suggests you are familiar with the Think Local – Buy Local – Be Local campaign. They do much more though: Sustainable Business Development, Green Building and Smart Growth, Food and Farming, Energy Efficiency & Renewables, and Think Local First.
Obviously, the one that is nearest and dearest to our pizza-loving hearts is the Food and Farming program. In fact, Will is an active participant in the Chef’s Collaborative, and we are supporters of Food to Bank On, all activities of Sustainable Connections Food and Farming program. (The specifics of our involvement with these programs is a story for another blog day, so stay tuned!)
Mind you, I’m not here to lecture (although it is a quality I possess in spades; just ask our kids). You spend your hard-earned cash how you wish. My purpose is to share with you our thoughts, ideals, and values and why we do what we do. As you do, we work hard for our little slice of the pie, and we want our money out there working hard to support our neighbors and the places we enjoy spending time. We’re lucky to call Whatcom County home and are proud to do our part to help it thrive.