Shop local exclusively for the next 30 days. Can you do it?

Irene’s Pub general manager Mike Estabrooks shows off some food and drink, as the pub – along with most other restaurants and retailers – is open again in the Glebe. PHOTO: IRENE’S PUB

We’ve enlisted the help of local retailers and restaurateurs to show you just how easy it is to shop only locally for an entire month.

By Trevor Greenway

Mike Estabrooks truly knows what it means to shop local.

From the music to food to beer to customers, everything at Irene’s Pub is local, and that’s just how the general manager and bartender extraordinaire likes it.

“Irene’s Pub has been fortunate enough to be operating in the same space for over 30 years,” says Estabrooks. “As a result, most of the day-to-day faces are very familiar to the pub, most on a first-name basis. An overwhelming majority of our patrons hails from the surrounding neighbourhoods including the Glebe, Old Ottawa South and East and Centretown. The winter always brings fresh faces from afar, usually carrying a pair of skates on their shoulders.”

And when those rosy cheeks do pop into the iconic Bank Street bar for a beer and a bite, they’re not only supporting one local business but several. From the Ashton Brewing Company beer that they serve to Irene’s burger that is sourced from the Glebe Meat Market a block away, it’s all hyper local.

“Contributing to the notion of ‘support local’ has always been important to us,” adds Estabrooks. “Operating a small business in a community like the Glebe has given us the opportunity to forge relationships with many local businesses and musicians. Our relationships with suppliers like the Glebe Meat Market, McKeen Metro and Morala Trading has allowed us to provide a higher quality, fresher product to the customer.”

With businesses cross-promoting each other throughout the Glebe, it makes it even easier for residents to shop local and support their neighbourhood merchants. We challenge you to shop locally for one month and see just how easy it is.

We’ve enlisted the help of some local retailers to show how you can get everything you would ever need right in your backyard. From groceries and books to electronics and a suite of essential services that will keep you healthy, happy and in tune, it’s all available in the neighbourhood.

Shopping locally at a place like McKeen Metro Glebe is a breeze, as the long-standing neighbourhood grocery store has been embedded in the community for more than a century. Owner Rebecca McKeen says she probably knows 80 per cent of her customers by name or face, so it’s clear many of you are already doing much of your grocery shopping locally.

“As a company, we are a neighbourhood store, so our priority is the Glebe neighbourhood and the residents who want us to tailor our offerings to their needs. We appreciate the local business greatly, it’s a huge percentage of our business.”

In terms of local products you can snag from McKeen’s, the list is long. From Seed to Sausage meats and Little Victories coffee to Michael’s Dolce Jams to Top Shelf preserves and the irresistible Art-is-in Bakery goods, a trip through Metro is supporting more than just small businesses in the Glebe.

“Supporting local vendors is something we really pride ourselves on,” says McKeen, adding that the success of those around her contributes to the success of her store. “People can come to the destination of Bank Street and get their shopping done, hop into a hardware store, grab a coffee, have lunch. If everyone around us is successful, it makes the whole street successful.”

So, you’ve got restaurants galore and grocery options from Metro, Loblaws, Whole Foods Market and Il Negozio Nicastro. What about household products?

Just talk to Jackie Morphy, owner of All Eco Ottawa, who will set you up with pretty much anything you would need for the home – from shampoos to cleaning supplies to essential oils and reusable containers.

“I have so many household items that are needed on a daily basis,” says Morphy. “I have several plant-based natural Canadian cleaning product lines, all available in Prefill & Refill. These include dish, hand and laundry soaps, all-purpose, toilet and floor cleaners.” All Eco also carries coffee and local honey as well as natural, Canadian-made skin-care lines.

So, can you support your local economy and shop locally for an entire month? There’s clothing from shops like Delilah, Stomping Ground, Escape Clothing and Shoe Plus Shoe. You’ve got a suite of essentials from eyecare clinics and massage therapists to yoga and dance studios. Need dry cleaning? Yes, we’ve got that too at Glebe Tailoring. What about ski and bike and board shops? Kunstadt Sports and Sporting Life will have you on the slopes in no time while Joe Mamma and Top of the World will get you on the move. If you need a prescription, Whole Health Pharmacy is ready to serve you as are The Glebe Apothecary and Shopper’s Drug Mart.

With most shops open again, there’s no reason to hit up retail giants for a TV or a dog bed when AudioShop and Pet Value can help you out. Heck, you can even get Fido a new haircut at Purrdy Paws grooming spa.

Explore our website at intheglebe. ca to browse local shops and restaurants. They need your support now more than ever, and we all need them just as much.

Shop local. Because you can.

Trevor Greenway is responsible for communications and membership at the Glebe BIA (Business Improvement Area).

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