The chief of thegreenrock.ca has been building the Guide to the Good, a directory of businesses and organizations on the Northeast Avalon that fit the bill.
“The Green Rock did a survey back in 2011 that suggested that yeah, people are interested in buying locally, and they would buy more locally if they knew what was available and had access to it,” she said. “The challenge is for lots of these small, local businesses and organizations is that they have really limited marketing budgets, so they can’t get themselves out there. The people who know about them know about them, but other people don’t. What the Guide to the Good is trying to do is get them out there.”
The guide’s website — guidetothegood.ca — launched in November with about 50 profiles. Todd said it’s in a “pre-pilot” phase at the moment, “which is getting a critical mass in there now so that it will be useful to the public as well as to the people who are on it.”
The guide focuses on small, local businesses and community organizations, favouring those with a focus on reducing, reusing and recycling.
“Found, the consignment boutique, is a favourite of ours,” said Todd, also naming Evergreen Recycling and Modern Shoe Hospital as examples.
“Organizations like (Northeast Avalon) ACAP, the St. John’s Multicultural Association — these are organizations that do cool things and provide a really valuable service, and they tend to be trying to help people, and they tend to need help from people.”
The directory includes everything from Ripple Trail Farm to Johnny Ruth & Living Planet, with a variety of food, skin care, gardening and clothing options, to name a few. Profiles give consumers a glance at what the business or organization does, and lists contact and website information.
Along with the website is the guide’s Facebook page, which has extended its reach promoting specials and using Facebook Live.
“We’ll keep doing things like that, keep reaching out to small, local, green entities, to get them involved and increase the exposure of these types of businesses and organizations to the population in the Northeast Avalon,” Todd said.
She said the desire to shop locally isn’t new on the Northeast Avalon, but it seems to have been bolstered by the closure of some long-established shops in downtown St. John’s.
“I think that was a bit of a jar to everybody, because we do value our local businesses, and when they close it really causes people to have a look and see — how can we support the things that we want to keep without bashing other things? The market is big enough to support local without fooling anything else up,” she said.
What’s next is getting the word out and building up the website’s directory. Eventually, Todd said, there will be an app developed, which would be helpful to visitors as well as locals.
“If you think about coming to visit, and you come and you want to experience St. John’s or Pouch Cove or wherever, you will be able to use the app to guide you to these places so that you know where you’re going, you know how to get there.”
While the guide is specific to the Northeast Avalon at this time, the plan is to eventually be able to set up guides in other communities.