Benefits of Shopping and Eating Local

As newlyweds, my husband and I would have likely already perished without Everest Cuisine and Kathmandu Bistro. Who would have thought that in the Black Hills of South Dakota, you could find an authentic slice of Nepal? It's a true story.

When a Nepalese family moved to Rapid City last year and opened Everest Cuisine, word spread quickly among locals that this Indian food was the real deal - a true taste of the Everest region. The friendly Nepalese family at Everest knows us by name, greeting us with piping hot food and gracious, mega-watt grins each time we visit.

Eating at local restaurants has helped my husband and I to eat better and fresher - in addition to supporting the community by choosing local establishments over chains. There are many ways that consumers can help their communities thrive.

Shopping local is a perfect way to broaden your tastes and support others living and working in your area.

For instance, consider purchasing craft beer from a local brewery; shopping at your farmer's market for fresh produce; buying handmade wedding and baby gifts from craft shows; and visiting your local coffee shop for your morning cafe latte rather than Starbucks.

National chains often can't give you the personal attention, genuine smiles, and specialized regional ingredients that mom-and-pop shops can. Plus, isn't it just fun to say "mom-and-pop shop?"