A senior’s view on shopping local

Merrilyn provides a senior's view on shopping locally.

I promised myself that I wouldn’t get embroiled in the discussion about shopping locally and the struggle that local business people have here in Princeton. However, I do have some observations which aren’t scientific but anecdotal. They may give some insight regarding seniors’ needs. As we are a significant chunk of the population of Princeton and area, I think the information may be relevant.

First, let me tell you where I shop. Nearly all our food budget is spent in Cooper’s which is literally steps from where we live. I shop there because, for the most part, we receive excellent service and find the selection is varied and fresh. In late summer, we make a run to Keremeos and buy our supplies in bulk from a fruit stand that has a reputation for both consistently high quality products and respectful service. We preserve fruit and condiments for two years at a time.

For several years, I have been making bread for health reasons and to save money. Our next biggest expenditure is for fuel for our car and our van. We have a loyalty card so nearly always buy from the same gas station. Since the price of gas is fixed in the ether somewhere, there is no point in changing stations. Speaking of our vehicles, we use a local mechanic exclusively and buy our tires locally.

Next on the list is medication. That too we buy locally, not so much because of a loyalty card but because it’s so convenient. Very occasionally we buy a magazine, toiletries or a chocolate bar from the pharmacy.

Here is the discouraging part for the struggling small business person. Paul and I have both reached the point where only our food, our vehicles and our medication are the areas where we can conveniently buy locally. Our further needs are comfortable shoes, bed and chairs. These are things we must try out before we buy. Shoes must be obtained from a specialty shoe store which 2,700 people can’t possibly support. By the time we reach our age, we’ve wrecked our feet, our backs and probably a few other parts. We don’t need any more clothes and if we do purchase them, it will be from the local thrift stores. We are barely buying green bananas, let alone brand new coats and outfits!

Our wants are few as well. We are constantly downsizing, purging our closets and storage areas and trying to give our “heirlooms” to our children who have different tastes and wants. I am buying digital books now as they don’t take up space in our one remaining bookshelf. Gifts for our grandchildren consist of money sent to their parents so they can choose to buy something appropriate.

As for meals in restaurants, Paul and I are looking for simple nutritious food that is low in fat, baked rather than fried, and smaller portions of the same. Soup is good.

We appreciate friendly service and discreet consideration for the little problems that may come with our age, such as being slower than usual.

I do foresee that many of us seniors will need services more than goods. I also understand quite clearly that we are not the only people living in Princeton. However, when you remove our demographic, it puts even greater pressure on the struggling small business person to figure out how to survive and even thrive while serving younger families. I can’t presume to advise anyone how to start or run their business but I can offer information regarding the needs and wants of a significant segment of the population of Princeton.

To all of you brave entrepreneurs, I wish you well and hope you can find your answers!


Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Birtch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Dan Albas
COLUMN: Reopening the international border

Governments in Canada and the United States are working towards reopening plans for the border

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Most Read