The butterfly effect of mom 'n pop shops

The Butterfly Effect is a concept proposed in the early 70s to illustrate how relatively small events can lead to momentous effects. We know it from experience how seemingly insignificant occurrences can have a large global impact. The current economic situation is a resounding example no matter what you believe started it.

Within the context of small businesses like ours, we'd like to share how our business decisions ripple out to the farthest corners of our community positively affecting many lives on the way. Let's face it, we are in business to earn a living. Perhaps more importantly, however, family businesses start with a vision to bring something they found missing in their community. In fact, that's the biggest impetus for most small shops to collaborate with quality farmers and producers in order to create a unique shopping experience for consumers. That's what stands us apart from corporate big box stores and brings discerning customers through our doors.

In our relationships, we work out a basic deal with partner businesses - they buy goods in relatively larger quantities at a wholesale rate and resell to their patrons. That way we get exposure to their client base and in return, they earn a profit selling quality products for which we take full responsibility. Additionally, they attract savvy clientele because of the unique selection of goods that aren't available in a big box store. That's how mom and pop shops build diverse and precise product portfolios.

When Kelly Scott, owner of Harmonie Laden, contacted us about carrying our chocolate at her store, we were excited for two reasons. Firstly, having a presence in Harmony, PA meant that our customers from that region have easy access to our products. Secondly, her outfit presents a selection of chocolates and gifts from local businesses and Kelly's customers have come to appreciate  her efforts in putting it all together. One person says on her facebook page, "Great stuff! Great events, yummy candy and such a cute store with local merchandise." Another posts:

Head  North of us 27 miles and you'll find Core Goods, a local based bulk foods store in Oil City, PA. The co-owner Ashley Sheffer wanted to carry our chocolate Bliss Bites™ in a form that didn't involve wasting of packaging material. Ashley is passionate about the environment and one of the themes of her business is to reduce wastage. Together we came up with a suitable presentation and price point that her customers have loved ever since its introduction in December 2018 - just three months after the store opened. Here's one of the customer reviews:

For our own production and cafe needs, we look to local businesses for procuring ingredients where possible. Almost all of our supplies come from family-owned businesses and over ninety percent from within a 100 mile radius - from Yeany's Maple products in Marienville, PA to Bedillion Farms honey in Hickory, PA and several businesses in-between supply us goods we use to craft our chocolate and fuel our cafe. We are grateful to these families for dedicating themselves to bringing quality to the market that we can leverage to create something beautiful and delight our customers.

Keeping with the spirit, our suppliers may work with local businesses too - for their own work and personal needs. You can see how your one buying decision has a domino effect that trickles and spreads to the far reaches of our community, perhaps entire nation. It buys a child a drawing pad, a toy, a treat. It puts gas in vehicles and food on the table for many families to eat.

So, do not underestimate the power of your voting dollar. When you shop at a small store like ours, you are not only supporting our livelihood but also impacting the lives of families involved in the whole supply chain. A portion of every dollar you pay us goes into buying supplies from each of these families. That's what gets them out of the bed in the morning, gives them a purpose, and spurs their passion to do the best they can to elevate the quality of our lives.

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