(Note: This post was written by Laurel Regan and originally published in a separate blog called “Why Windsor…”, which was later merged with Alphabet Salad.)
Big box stores, national chains, non-Canadian-owned corporations doing business in Canada… you can’t get away from them these days. They have their place, of course – I myself have been known to take advantage of their bargain prices and wide selection – but what saddens and concerns me is their profound effect on smaller, locally-owned “Mom and Pop”-type stores, which seem to be harder and harder to find every day.
Since I’m pretty much brand-new to Windsor, and therefore my shopping and entertainment habits are not yet ingrained, I’d really like to make an effort to get in the habit of buying local where possible and practical. As I come across local finds or favourites, I thought I’d share them here in the hopes that perhaps my fellow Windsorites will be inspired to patronize our local businesses along with me (while we still can).
To kick off my buy local campaign, this past weekend my husband and I visited The Green Bean Café for the first time. We’re hoping to attend The Windsor Book Club, which meets at the Green Bean, so thought we’d check out the location beforehand.
According to their web site, the Green Bean Café is an independent coffee house specializing in fair trade, organic and premium coffee products. Oddly enough, the café is located in the basement of a church (2320 Wyandotte Street West, right next to the University of Windsor). We weren’t quite sure how they’d pull that off… in my experience, church basements don’t exactly have a coffeehouse ambience!… but we discovered that once you’re in the Green Bean it definitely doesn’t give off a church basement vibe. It’s quite large, but still feels cosy and comfortable, and we found it to have a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. There were several groups of students, and while my husband and I are middle-aged non-student-types, we didn’t feel at all out of place.
I had a tea and took advantage of the free wi-fi, while my husband read his book and enjoyed a grilled cheese panini. The service and prices were great, and according to my husband the panini was yummy, so we will definitely be back to sample more of the Green Bean experience.
I encourage you to give it a try yourself!