Co-ops Build Local Economy
When is one dollar worth more than a dollar? When it's spent in a locally-owned business, on locally-made or grown products.
Consider your purchase a dollar invested. Fiddleheads buys many goods from local farmers, bakers, brewers, cheesemakers and more. Those growers and crafters in turn support local staff and a myriad of services: accountants, plumbers, veterinarians, mechanics, landscapers, dentists, baristas, truckers, marketers. Or, as they are otherwise known, neighbors. National Co+op Grocers (NCG) estimates that every dollar spent at a local store generates $1.60 in the community, moving outwards in this neighborhood network.
Fiddleheads has always been committed to supporting our neighbors. So far this year, we've sold 1,223 unique local items, a 30% increase over 938 items last year. In calendar 2015, we paid local producers $305,000 for their goods, which amounted to 15% of our total purchases. We're ahead of that track this year, having paid $160,400 in the first six months of 2016. If we use NCG's benchmark, that's more than a quarter million dollars radiating out into our local economy in only half a year.
We have worked with 94 local vendors over the years. These include:
What is local? As a rule, any producer within a 100 mile radius of New London counts as "local," which includes Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts. Most of our farmers and dairy producers are much closer, within 20 miles of the store. We also source from producers in Vermont and New York, reducing food miles whenever possible.
Of course, Fiddleheads cannot source every product in the Northeast. Citrus, ginger, avocados, bananas, many spices, tea will always grow in tropical or sub-tropical climates. But we work hard to find and support as many local entrepreneurs as we can.