Sunday, September 7, 2008

Chalk one up for our side

You all know I'm a bulldog about supporting independent businesses.

When I was young, my next door neighbors owned Brown Gardiner Drugstore in Greensboro. The owners, Ellen and Bill Brown, were true supporters of the neighborhood. They went to all the ball games at the local high school, fed students, lawyers, doctors, and just plain folks thousands of times at their lunch counter, knew our medical histories, cautioned us about drug interactions before it was a big deal. And the Browns were rabid Carolina fans as anyone who talked to them for five minutes knew.

After many years, the Browns sold the store, but the new owners kept up the personal feel and superior customer service. The lunch counter still served Carolina burgers and crinkly fries with fountain drinks.

Then, an Eckerd Store opened directly across the street. We all inwardly groaned, sure that our favorite drugstore would go the way of our favorite independent bookstore, News and Novels, and our favorite independent theater, the Janus. Every time I went home I expected to see that the building with its Carolina blue awning had been replaced by a boring three-story brick office building.

I am oh so happy to report that on my last visit home, Eckerds was dark and empty and the lunch counter at Brown Gardner was standing room only.

There's hope, people, there's still hope.


Heidi said...

That is an inspiring story! I love locally owned places over chains anytime!

mamie said...

Yep, Heidi, it does my little heart good to hear about a Borders going out of business while my local bookstore thrives!