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Old 01-26-2014, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,432 posts, read 60,007,647 times
Reputation: 54097

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
The stuff you are talking about is just individual people doing nice things.
Wrong again! Chain stores have various ways of "doing nice things", both at the insistence of their corporate offices and at the discretion of the individual store employees, in ways I've already described to you which you seem to have ignored. Oh, well - your loss.

Quote:
Chains do not buy from local vendors/distributors/manufacturers.
They absolutely do. Why don't you ask at one?

Quote:
Starbucks uses tea produced in Seattle ..or used to be produced there. Milk that is not local. Baked goods from who knows where. Uniforms from their national,distributor....see the math here?
Yes, and it doesn't add up. Milk is too perishable not to be purchased regionally; same with baked goods. Do you wonder why the baked goods at Starbucks often are different from one region to the next? Because they use local bakeries to produce their foods - and the baked goods left over at the end of the day go to shelters, senior centers, etc.

And Starbucks doesn't sponsor bake sales - it gives cold hard cash to nonprofits.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,757,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Mom and Pops in general don't buy from local suppliers, either. You can give an example of a coffee shop, but any general merchandise place orders their stuff from China just like Walmart. How do you know all this stuff about the local coffee shop? Have you verified that they use all this local stuff? Just curious.
Well one special thing about the Bay Area (I don't know if you know the show portlandia, but it is true of Portland too, they have a hilarious skit about chicken in a restaurant), people love to give their pedigree of their ingredients. So they put a note on their menus about where stuff is sourced. And I am pretty observant, and also try to buy local, so I notice the brands of milk and so on. Any coffee shop here with a Starbucks level price point uses local milk from typically Clover or Berkeley farms. Higher end ones go organic from Clover or Strauss. People aren't shy about naming their purveyors. It is also part of their philosophy.

Since it is the land of coffee snobs, everyone hypes up where their beans are from and the date they were roasted. So it is super easy to find out. Most of our indie coffee shops here roast their own beans (or hire a local roaster for a private blend).

Oakland in particular is extra scrappy. There is a t-shirt company that makes a ton of different merchandise for local stores, produced in California, and the places will also name them directly as they are know for being well jnvolved in the community. (They have design and consulting services)

But people here are a lot more aware here than in other places about where stuff is from. A good portion of boutiques shoot for stuff made by local people. No one is particularly surprised if you ask (and I do often). Or you see familiar brands like Oaklandish (local made shirts) and Chronicle Books (coffee table books and other novelty titles). It is part Bay Area pride and part faux-exclusivity.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,083 posts, read 102,830,251 times
Reputation: 33147
The population of the Bay Area is 8,370,000 plus a few. It's bigger than the entire state of Colorado by about 60%. It's more than twice as big as the Denver CSA, in fact, almost three times as large. So it is hardly surprising that "local" goods can be found there. I have no idea what is going on in Portland. Isn't Portlandia fiction?

San Francisco Bay Area Combined Statistical Area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Denver-Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,757,248 times
Reputation: 26681
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Wrong again! Chain stores have various ways of "doing nice things", both at the insistence of their corporate offices and at the discretion of the individual store employees, in ways I've already described to you which you seem to have ignored. Oh, well - your loss.

They absolutely do. Why don't you ask at one?

Yes, and it doesn't add up. Milk is too perishable not to be purchased regionally; same with baked goods. Do you wonder why the baked goods at Starbucks often are different from one region to the next? Because they use local bakeries to produce their foods - and the baked goods left over at the end of the day go to shelters, senior centers, etc.

And Starbucks doesn't sponsor bake sales - it gives cold hard cash to nonprofits.
Yes they do. Starbucks is decent about supporting the community. I should clarify my definition of "local" it is pretty specific in my case. Basically a 40 mile radius constitutes local.

Starbucks "regional" purchasing basically represents an area that counts as most of the state. Let's go back o Starbukcs, they are currently sourcing west coast pastries and baked goods from La Boulange, a Bay Area bakery they recently acquired with aims of a national rollout. Starbucks is working its way to infusing everything. They purchased Tazo teal, they started private labeling they soy milks a few years ago. Maybe 10 years ago they purchased locally, but they don't do that any more, they make it all themselves. Probably 75% now! working their way to 100%. Like to Toriani syrup was replaced by Starbucks branded.

We aren't even discussing places like Chilis, Applebee's and McDonalds. They barely even make anything onsite, it is all reheated stuff. All the production happens elsewhere and gets shipped in.

But the most important thing about chains, is they have little permanence in their involvement in your community. As soon as they decide they'd like to divest they will. I'll talk about Oakland again, large chain grocery stores completely divested in huge sections of Oakland. Notably so-called east Oakland. There was not one chain grocery in that section, where a huge chunk of the population is for 40+ years. This is not an exaggeration, there was no Safeway, Albertsons, etc. People at that end of town needed to go to the neighboring places. Not, in the past 3 years there are new chain groceries that opened. Obviously they are only back because they felt it was ok to come back. This represents around 20-25 square miles of the city. With good amounts of population density.

On the other hand, my section of Oakland has every possible permutation of chain and indie grocery know to man with more opening. In my surrounding 10 square miles, I have at least 10 national brand grocery stores + indies. Chains are great, unless they have decided they don't like the demographics of your community. Then you are left with nothing.

Locally owned places care more about their communities and plan for a permanent investment in that area. Chains Arne doing it because of only policy or profits.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,757,248 times
Reputation: 26681
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The population of the Bay Area is 8,370,000 plus a few. It's bigger than the entire state of Colorado by about 60%. It's more than twice as big as the Denver CSA, in fact, almost three times as large. So it is hardly surprising that "local" goods can be found there. I have no idea what is going on in Portland. Isn't Portlandia fiction?

San Francisco Bay Area Combined Statistical Area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Denver-Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Portland is a mini metro, but they are just really into Portland grown stuff. Portlandia is basically a parody of Portland pop culture.

I mentioned it, because this is pretty much what it's like in the urban Bay Area to go out to eat. (And more and more suburbs too)

Is the chicken local? - YouTube

****

I went to Portland last summer and it was not an exaggeration....but we actually decided the Bay Area was worse, my friend and I make fun of it often. Went out out to eat last night, and out Mexican place had local meat. The really hard core places even use local spirits at the bar. They did clarify that the beer was all locally brewed.

Last edited by jade408; 01-26-2014 at 12:16 PM..
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,757,248 times
Reputation: 26681
Ok one more comment about "local"

Local stuff requires less resources to get their. Fewer truck miles and everything else. The multipliers effect is huge in terms of both economic and environmental impact. Chains don't provide that bang for your buck. Sprawl encourages everything to travel further....
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:41 PM
 
2,990 posts, read 2,717,105 times
Reputation: 5646
Quote:
Originally Posted by james777
No, not false, that is true. You need to look at the zoning codes of the towns in Pennsylvania. They do a great job of zoning out business and making one's property worthless by restricting the use of the building and parking regulations. Then they take it one step further by downzoning commercial buildings by giving notice to the owner in the form of a snail mail letter. The owner sells the building and claims he knows nothing about the new zoning, as does the listing agent. The sucker that buys the building now has a building that is severely limited as to what it can be used for, and most likely cannot be rented because of the parking restrictions.

This is just one big reason why business has left the rust belt for greener pastures in the southern states, or overseas. One can blame lower labor costs, but don't overlook the restrictions placed on land use by the crooked local politicians. You won't read about this in the media because the journalists are quite cozy with the local politicians. Besides, people don't want to have to walk far after they parked their car.




Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Do you mean the townships in Pennsylvania?

Personally speaking, I think Pennsylvania does far better from an "urban planning" standpoint than most states, because there are so many small cities and boroughs which were built up long before 1945, and had walkable commercial zones. Although in some cases they are quite blighted, every one pretty much has a few of these "classic towns" - and since they control their own zoning they usually have not been urban renewed into oblivion.


Townships, towns, boroughs of Pennsylvania, whatever one wants to call them, have far outlived their useful purpose, if they ever had a purpose. A place with a bunch of overpaid bureaucrats micromanaging very move made by the town's businesses, residents and visitors, which are shrinking in number every year, thanks to the unnecessary laws, regulations, and taxes placed upon them by the clueless bureaucrats. As I stated in my earlier post, this is a big reason why so much business and industry has left Pennsylvania for lower cost and less regulated locations.

As for the small cities and boroughs in PA that were built up long before 1945 with walkable commercial zones, I agree with you, that is efficient planning. However, I certainly cannot give credit to the state of Pennsylvania or any urban planners, because the state of Pennsylvania did not plan the towns that way, and they didn't even have urban planners planning those towns back then. The towns grew that way because people had to live, work, and shop close together because of lack of transportation.

You say that in some cases the towns are quite blighted. It would be easier to say that in some cases the towns are not blighted. The only towns in PA that are not blighted are the affluent suburbs and upper middle class suburbs of Philly, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg. The rest of Pennsylvania towns look like Armageddon. Blight is much too kind a word.

The only town in the entire state of Pennsylvania that is not blighted and is not an affluent suburb is Lancaster. They have done a great job reviving that city. But that is a special situation because lots of tourism dollars flow into the town because of the Amish and the surrounding Pennsylvania Dutch Country. They are fortunate because that is an industry that has not been able to pick up and leave, like so many other industries in the rust belt.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,432 posts, read 60,007,647 times
Reputation: 54097
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Yes they do. Starbucks is decent about supporting the community. I should clarify my definition of "local" it is pretty specific in my case. Basically a 40 mile radius constitutes local.
Go ahead and move those goalposts.
Quote:
Starbucks "regional" purchasing basically represents an area that counts as most of the state.
Not every region is the same, apparently, no matter how much you wish it to be true. The Starbucks here contract with a bakery about a mile from my house for its baked goods. The dairy products come from one of the four or five dairies in the area. The stores are happy to share this information.

Quote:
We aren't even discussing places like Chilis, Applebee's and McDonalds. They barely even make anything onsite, it is all reheated stuff. All the production happens elsewhere and gets shipped in.
One of my first jobs was in a meat packing plant, packing frozen hamburgers that had been processed over in the next county for McDonald's, Burger King, and the like, to be shipped to the stores in a three- or four-county region.

And if you think that independently owned restaurants don't have "reheated stuff" and have prepared foods "shipped in", then I have a nice bridge to sell you.

Quote:
But the most important thing about chains, is they have little permanence in their involvement in your community. As soon as they decide they'd like to divest they will.
Unlike any other business that merges or closes when it's no longer profitable? Businesses are not charities.

Quote:
Locally owned places care more about their communities and plan for a permanent investment in that area. Chains Arne doing it because of only policy or profits.
Locally owned places wouldn't care about their communities if they weren't profiting from them. Once again, businesses are not charities.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,476 posts, read 11,983,639 times
Reputation: 10579
Quote:
Originally Posted by james777 View Post
Townships, towns, boroughs of Pennsylvania, whatever one wants to call them, have far outlived their useful purpose, if they ever had a purpose. A place with a bunch of overpaid bureaucrats micromanaging very move made by the town's businesses, residents and visitors, which are shrinking in number every year, thanks to the unnecessary laws, regulations, and taxes placed upon them by the clueless bureaucrats. As I stated in my earlier post, this is a big reason why so much business and industry has left Pennsylvania for lower cost and less regulated locations.

As for the small cities and boroughs in PA that were built up long before 1945 with walkable commercial zones, I agree with you, that is efficient planning. However, I certainly cannot give credit to the state of Pennsylvania or any urban planners, because the state of Pennsylvania did not plan the towns that way, and they didn't even have urban planners planning those towns back then. The towns grew that way because people had to live, work, and shop close together because of lack of transportation.

You say that in some cases the towns are quite blighted. It would be easier to say that in some cases the towns are not blighted. The only towns in PA that are not blighted are the affluent suburbs and upper middle class suburbs of Philly, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg. The rest of Pennsylvania towns look like Armageddon. Blight is much too kind a word.

The only town in the entire state of Pennsylvania that is not blighted and is not an affluent suburb is Lancaster. They have done a great job reviving that city. But that is a special situation because lots of tourism dollars flow into the town because of the Amish and the surrounding Pennsylvania Dutch Country. They are fortunate because that is an industry that has not been able to pick up and leave, like so many other industries in the rust belt.
This is a pretty over-the-top statement. In most of the eastern part of the state (roughly including South-Central PA, the Philly Burbs, the area around Reading, and the Lehigh Valley) virtually every smaller city and borough is growing in population now. Some of them have "urban" problems like high crime and bad school districts, but they're pretty much intact in terms of built structure and could easily be turned around. Many of the rest are turning into quaint little gentrified neighborhoods in the suburbs - even those which weren't built to be upper-middle class to begin with (Ambler, West Chester, etc). Chester is pretty much the only small city which is a total dump on the level of somewhere like Camden or East Saint Louis.

The remainder of the state is a different story. Even though few have very bad issues with things like crime, the majority have been seeing steep population declines and large scale abandonment. This is particularly a problem in Southwestern Pennsylvania (further out from Pittsburgh) and in Coal Country in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Still, this area has less than half of the state's population, and is in general in decline, so it's not surprising the boroughs have not been doing very well.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,083 posts, read 102,830,251 times
Reputation: 33147
I think the township form of govt. in PA was meant for semi-rural areas. For example, when I was a kid, Chippewa Twp, in far western PA, about 5 mi. from the Ohio line at its western border, was transitioning from mostly rural, to mostly suburban. Townships were not meant for close in suburbs of large cities, IMO.
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