Local businesses are the soul of any healthy community. They enrich our neighborhoods, give us places to gather (when gathering is safe) and provide the local flavor that makes our communities unique.
Staying afloat throughout the pandemic—and all the other surprises this year brought—has been a challenge for Oregon’s small businesses. Some are places we rely on for our essential needs. Others we simply love. Many are owned by leaders with deep roots in the community who have worked tirelessly for years to keep our local economies thriving.
Now we have the opportunity to give back by helping them survive these tough times.
If you have a limited budget to spend this year, you can still lend a hand by choosing one local small business to support. Maybe it’s your neighborhood corner market, or the hair stylist you haven’t been able to visit as often, or that quirky boutique where you always find the perfect gifts.
If you want to help but aren’t sure how, below are four OCCU business members we’d like to share for inspiration. We couldn’t imagine our community without them.
Life has been difficult for everyone this year, and stories give us a respite from the stressors of everyday life. After months of social isolation, it’s no surprise that book lovers are reading more than ever.
For more than two decades, Tsunami Books has been a beloved Eugene landmark, providing much-needed escape at affordable prices. Owner Scott Landfield, who has planted more than two million trees in the Northwest over the course of his career, describes the shop as a community bookstore.
“When you call us, you have real person on the other end of a phone,” he says. “One of my favorite things is getting to know our customers on a personal level.”
You can support Tsunami Books by:
- Browsing in-store with proper face covering and social distancing (capacity 12).
- Ordering online.
- Calling or emailing to see what books are available.
- Requesting curbside pick-up.
Jazzy Ladies Café
The eponymous ladies of Jazzy Ladies Café went into business because they wanted to help support our community. Their gift: Making delicious local food for their neighbors. Their homemade pasta, fresh salads and focaccia are made with locally sourced ingredients.
“When our customers support us, they double dip on supporting local,” says co-owner Michelle Reid. “Supporting our community is bigger than just our restaurant. We strive to have the majority of our ingredients come from local farmers’ markets and vendors in our community.”
Now they need their community’s support. With the weather changing, they won’t be able to host as many guests for onsite dining—something they’ll really miss.
“We love our regulars who stop by. It’s great getting to know them on a personal level,” Reid says. “Our customers are like our friends; we enjoy building a relationship with them.”
You can help Jazzy Ladies Café by:
- Ordering takeout online or by phone.
- Requesting curbside pickup (preferably) or delivery via Doordash.
Visit online: www.JazzyLadiesCafe.com
Radar Toys and Collectibles
For a toy shop, Radar Toys and Collectibles has had a unique journey. It began as an online store nearly ten years ago, but the owners missed connecting with customers and being a part of their community. Three years ago, they opened their physical location.
It’s been a blast.
“There’s something about walking into a toy store, the nostalgia and memories that are created for both adults and kids,” says owner Richard Goosman. “We’ve worked to create an atmosphere that is worth experiencing.”
Aside from the fun and games, the store has made it a point to give back to the community by supported school fundraisers, community giving and local events.
“We would appreciate the opportunity to help our community this holiday season,” Goosman says. “It means the world and goes a long way for us.”
You can support Radar Toys and Collectibles by:
- Shopping online by visiting their website.
- Visiting their store.
Visit online: www.RadarToys.com
Dan McTavish is a Duck who discovered a love of home brewing during his time at the University of Oregon. Fascinated by the braggot brewing style, which results in a hybrid between beer and mead, he opened Viking Braggot in 2013, hoping to carve out a niche within the rapidly growing brewery marking.
But it’s not just the brewing style that makes Viking Braggot unique—or even its Scandinavian menu.
“The whole supply chain for our business is based on local ingredients and vendors,” McTavish says. “The community is supporting more than our businesses; it flows down to our employees and our vendors. When people support our business, they support the 18 employees who live in our community.”
You can help Viking Braggot by:
- Dining in as limited onsite seating allows.
- Ordering a dinner box or family deal for takeout.
Visit online: www.drinkviking.com
We’re grateful for our local businesses and our community that’s supported them this holiday season. As we head into the new year, let’s continue to find ways to support our small businesses that are the beating hearts of our communities.
OCCU is not the seller of, and does not endorse or warranty any of the products or services provided by the businesses featured on this page.