Small Business Saturday in the Willmar Lakes Area
By Bailey Hovland
It’s Thursday morning, and you’re lounging in front of the T.V., watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Smells of savory turkey, bittersweet cranberries, and mouthwatering stuffing waft out of the kitchen, completing
this picture-perfect Thanks-giving scene. Soon your house will be filled with the happy noise of friends and family, all coming together in the spirit of thankfulness and gratitude. Thanksgiving weekend has transpired into three full days of festivities, with Thanksgiving acting only as the starting event.
The minute Thanksgiving is over we move on to Black Friday, waiting in lines outside Walmart and Target at midnight to get the best deals on a new flat screen T.V. It’s chaotic and sometimes it’s easier to stay home and avoid all the craziness. But on Saturday the fervor of Black Friday comes to a halt and reverts back to the calm of Thanksgiving. It’s Small Business Saturday, a holiday to celebrate and support small businesses and what they do in our communities.
Downtown New London is brimming with activity on Small Business Saturday, where almost every shop on the block is a local business. The sweet smell of freshly baked bread mingles with the sweetness of cookies hot out of the oven, most likely coming from the New London Bakery.
Notorious for their specialty cakes and the “best cookies” (according to some enthusiastic Facebook commenters), this bakery is a local favorite and takes every opportunity to remind their loyal customers that each treat is baked with love. The Happy Sol and Ali J Boutique provide style inspiration for community members, keeping up with the latest fashion trends and making sure their visitors know what’s in and what’s not.
Over in Willmar, the numerous coffee shops open their doors to visitors to provide not only caffeine, but also a sense of community and purpose. Lulu Beans has open mic nights, bible study groups, and middle-schoolers who walk on over after a long day of school. The Goodness Coffee House puts on different events to draw the community together, like ‘Meet Your Neighbors’ and free Thanksgiving Day meal. And the new Brothers Cafe and Bistro welcomes people onto the Bethesda campus, a nursing home and assisted living facility, so that all people, young and old, can enjoy a cup of coffee together. And don’t forget Freida’s, my favorite diner in town, that has pan-cakes the size of your plate and crispy hash browns that you can watch being made right in front of you!
Spicer also has a few local gems to celebrate, including Urban Escape just across the way from Green Lake. Catch a matinee feature at the Spicer Cinema 4, a local movie theater with slushies and popcorn for treats.
I hear ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet,’ coming out on Thanksgiving Eve, is going to be an animated movie that can’t be beat. And just down the road is Tom’s Nursery, the place you can go to pick up a lovely fir Christmas tree. The smell alone, of sharp pine and fresh sap, will make you forget all about Thanksgiving and get in the spirit for the winter holidays: Hanukkah and Christmas.
These are only a handful of the many small businesses that are proud to call the Willmar Lakes Area home. I could go on and on about all the incredible places you could visit on Saturday to support local entrepreneurs, but then this would be a novel, not a blog. So this weekend, make sure to go out and visit some of the small business-es in the Willmar Lakes Area. They do so much for our community, and we can show them our love and appreciation by visiting them on this Small Business Saturday.
For a list of specialty shops in the Willmar Lake Area Click Here.
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