For the fifth year in a row, Goodrich Coffee & Tea (9450 Main Street) owner Richard Budde opened his doors and gave away free coffee to all comers. Once again, a steady stream of shoppers poured into the independent coffee shop he’s run from this corner of Central Main since 2008. Small Business Saturday in Clarence was once again underway.
The weather wasn’t the best. The cold snap had eased, replaced with 40 degree temps and a steady, chilling rain. But those attending were undeterred. From Twitter, from Instagram, from our Discover Main Street blog, folks got the word and came. Some heard from word of mouth, and some have been here many times before. Many professed a love for Rich’s premium, craft-roasted brew, others were there more generally to support local Clarence small business.
Lori Bruno was there joining her friend Anne Quesada, a veteran of Social Media Saturday, as we call it. “When you’re on a street that you drive down 30 times a week, you really don’t see it all,” Bruno said. “It’s nice to get in and meet the owners and find new treasures in our own town.” Quesada was quick to agree. “We definitely find them every year!”
Small Business Saturday, or the day after Black Friday, is building an awareness of how all things small benefits strong communities. “To me, shopping small means supporting local businesses… and the local economy” said Adam Niziol. Niziol, a Goodrich Coffee regular, is an example of how community bonds are strengthened by shopping local. Niziol attended high school with Rich Budde, and he’s been a Goodrich Coffee regular since reconnecting with Budde at a chance meeting a few years later.
Joe Genco agreed. “I can go in and see Rich behind the counter and know that being here makes a difference for his family, not some stockholder in Omaha.” Genco went on to name The Hurt Locker (9992 Main Street) and Smoke, Fire and Spice (10189 Main Street) as two local businesses where he planned to patronize later in the day.
Bruno’s plans were similar. “We’re starting here at Goodrich and then going down shop to shop to shop to shop and really enjoying it. I think more than ever, I’m noticing things I didn’t even know were in our town.”
At the close of the event, Rich Budde reached his hand into a bowl to pick out a name. The winner as it turned out was Joe Genco, who won free coffee from Goodrich for the rest of 2018. Fitting really, for a guy who moments earlier said “It’s Small Business Saturday. There’s no place I’d rather be than right here right now.”