My Small Business Saturday got off to an early start on Wednesday.
At noon I picked up our Thanksgiving pumpkin pies and snowflake rolls at the re-located Roland Park Bakery and Deli. No longer at the back of the historic Roland Avenue shopping center, it is now on Chestnut Avenue, below The Avenue (West 36th Street) in Hampden.
When I walked in almost all of the tables were full. A woman I know from Stevenson was there with her five grandchildren. Neighbors from Goodwood Gardens showed up shortly thereafter, so it seems that many of Anita Ward’s longtime customers have followed her and her delicious baked goods to the new location.
She reported that she had topped her record and had baked pies and rolls for Thanksgiving. I’d better get my order in now for Christmas, and I’m hoping that she may consider making our family favorite: her banana cream pie. I never had any as good as the ones she used to make.
On the official Small Business Saturday, I only shopped locally. I went to Tech Lab at Belvedere Square, where they were giving out cloth tote bags. I tried to deliver a signed copy of Joe Ehrmann’s Inside Out Coaching I had bought earlier at The Ivy Bookshop.
At Gundy’s on Deepdene Road I found a brag-book for a new grandmother and my favorite brand of fleece pajamas for my husband to give me for Christmas. Others were also busy selecting gifts and having them wrapped in Gundy’s hallmark papers and curlicue bows.
One customer gave an impassioned speech about shopping locally and supporting small businesses that treat their customers and employees well.
This effort continues in the neighborhood with a three-day “Shop and Dine” effort sponsored by the Greater Roland Park merchants and the Roland Park Civic League. On Dec. 15, 16 and 17 many stores and restaurants in the area will be offering something special to customers. More details will be available on the Civic League website.
Besides keeping the proceeds in town, shopping local fosters community. The developers of Roland Park knew that and created a “business block” at the heart of the neighborhood. It is convenient for residents to have shops within walking distance. Neighbors see neighbors in nearby places. Longtime relationships develop between customers and business owners.
Eddie’s, Schneider’s Hardware, Gundy’s and Tuxedo Pharmacy have been the place to go for generations.