Shopping Local: Who, What, and Where to Buy From This Holiday Season

Abilene houses many locally owned businesses, and shopping from them benefits the entire community.


Photo courtesy of Texas Economic Development Corporation

Alicia Correa Trujillo, Staff Writer

It’s officially the holiday season which means mistletoe, holly, jolly spirits, and a lot of shopping. Whether you’re spending money on exclusive holiday drinks and good food, gifts, or magical experiences, you are guaranteed to be splurging quite a bit. This season, instead of giving your money to large corporations, consider shopping local and supporting Abilene’s plethora of small businesses. 

    Shopping local benefits more than just a store. By spending at Abilenian shops, you’re keeping your money in the community. Every time you buy local, you are helping to create jobs and are investing in our city’s future. Local businesses tend to keep resources local as well, so the entire community’s supply chain benefits from purchases. According to The New Economics Foundation, “[local] purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive.” So next time you find yourself in need of something, consider your local options first. You might be surprised at what you find.

    If warm drinks and good food is what you’re looking for, Abilene’s variety of cafès and restaurants can deliver. Monks coffee shop downtown, for example, offers high quality coffee, a selection of specialty drinks, and a cozy quiet atmosphere. This hometown gem has been standing proud and— according to their website: “keeping Abilene caffeinated since 2006.” If spicy breakfast and a home cooked feel is what you’re searching for, then La Popular Bakery is just right. This Mexican restaurant— commonly known as La Pop— is famous for their breakfast burritos and has now become an Abilene staple. Looking for a unique all American burger joint? Then you need to try Grumps Burgers. Plastered with pop culture memorabilia, this place greets you with the sweet smell of fried food and the sizzling sounds of a hot grill. Abilene isn’t short of fantastic local food joints, so there’s no reason to not get your meals and treats locally this holiday season.

    Our city boasts of a rich past; it’s visible in the exposed brick walls and the rusty metal signs. Abilene’s many antique shops are home to thousands of little pieces of the city’s history and much more. When looking for a gift for a loved one, what could be more special than a bit of that history? Vintage Marketplace is overflowing with antique knick-knacks and furniture, but with an easy to navigate layout you’ll find a unique piece for your needs in no time. Another option is Antique Station which according to their website “has been named Abilene’s number one antique store,” and prides itself on interesting finds at reasonable prices. These two stores just scrape the surface of Abilene’s local vintage shops, so go out and explore the past next time you find yourself in need of something special.

    The amount of small businesses that Abilene has to offer might be overwhelming, and you might find yourself not knowing where to start. Thankfully, there are several events which bring together groups of local entrepreneurs and put them all in one place for your convenience and enjoyment. Cabin Dinners—a college student owned event organizer— combines live music with cozy market place vibes. Shops frequently featured include Abithrift, Yo Martez and Runitback Classics, and are all locally owned clothing stores. They also often feature Fig and Honey Gelato and their own Cabin Coffee shop. The upcoming and highly anticipated winter light fest organized by United Way of Abilene will also bring local food vendors together. And not just that, all of the light’s displays have been created by Abilene’s own Lone Star Electric. Keeping up with upcoming events is one of the best ways to support local businesses.

    Abilene is so rich with unique stores and original shops that mentioning them all would be impossible. The few that have been mentioned are good representations of what can be found, but they are merely the tip of the iceberg. Remembering to spend locally will bring a boost to the community’s economy and will encourage further economic growth. So now, go out and explore everything that our beautiful city and its entrepreneurs have to offer. 



Schwartz, Judith D. “Buying Local: How It Boosts the Economy.” Time, Time Inc., 11            June 2009,,8599,1903632,00.html.