When we first opened Cafe Buunni, it was important to us to support other entrepreneurs, small and local businesses as we started our own. We made a real effort to identify local suppliers who use real ingredients and have sustainable business practices. We spent time at local markets and fairs, and talked to people in our neighborhood to get suggestions.
At that time, we were mainly focusing on the cafe and how our business sourced its goods. We are grateful that our business is growing, and we are so happy to see that many of our small and independent suppliers are thriving as well.
Over the years, we've become a lot more conscious, not only of our business sourcing but also our personal sourcing - our shopping. We make different choices as a family than we did before. This year we did almost all of our holiday shopping with small businesses and at local markets. As small business owners, we have experienced first-hand, and personally benefited from the power of individuals choosing to shop small and local, choosing to support an independent, family-owned business, when they have plenty of other choices.
Where you spend your money matters -- it makes a huge difference in the lives of families in your neighborhood and in the makeup of our neighborhoods as a whole. Every regular customer who chooses Buunni for their daily coffee run, sweet treat or weekly catch-up with friends (rather than a national chain) has a huge impact on our success. So does each person that has a Buunni Coffee online subscription.
Research shows that supporting local businesses generates four times the economic benefit for communities, than shopping at chain stores. According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, local restaurants reinvest nearly 80% of their annual revenue back into the local economy, compared to 30% of revenue from chain restaurants. We've felt this impact personally, and it's further encouraged us to shop locally.