HOW TO Impact Your Community by Shopping Local

By Faith Lewis

A healthy community is one where businesses and individuals are able to succeed and grow.
For Barsetti Vineyards’ owner, Janis Barsetti Gray, it all comes down to shopping local.

“I wouldn’t be here without the support of the community,” Janis says of her relationship with Galt, and San Joaquin County. “And I think it’s two-fold,” she says of her returned support.

As Janis stresses, shopping local can create a ripple effect that brings tax dollars, new customers, and local pride to an area. But with so many chain restaurants and stores—and the increasing prevalence of online shopping—keeping it close to home must be a conscious choice.

Get to know your community
If local businesses aren’t on your radar, it’s hard to support them. Janis suggests breaking out of your routine to find local businesses that offer the same products or services as the big boys.

“Know your community first. Know what you have—whether it is family owned coffee shops, bakeries, tasting rooms, or antique stores…” she suggests.

Support local businesses
Now that you’ve determined which businesses are locally owned, you’re done with the hard part. All that’s left to do now is shop!

A little digging may reveal that larger chain stores in your area sell local products. For example, many grocery stores will stock local wines, produce, or preserves. According to Janis, these items are often overlooked simply because they aren’t marked as local products—so don’t be afraid to ask for help or direction.

Get involved
For many local business owners, community involvement isn’t limited to business hours. They are often leaders in the community, helping to organize events that enrich the community and bring people together.

This is the case with Janis, who is in her third term as President of the Galt Historical Society, is involved in Galt’s Shop Local Group, and the Chamber of Commerce. She estimates that half of her time is dedicated to community projects, and finds this time essential because the more excitement there is about shopping in your community, the more businesses the area will be able to support.

“It’s all about support,” Janis says. “The whole idea is to make sure people don’t fail.”

For More Information:
Barsetti Vineyards

400 4th St., #150, Galt
(209) 744-6062