How to support local businesses (including cookbook stores)

The restaurant industry is reeling during this chaotic time. Also feeling the pinch are independent booksellers, many of which have been forced to close their doors as cities institute strict policies on which stores can remain open during the pandemic. Many stores and restaurants are shifting how they do business in order to stay afloat, as most of them operate on very slim profit margins in the best of times. Eateries that didn’t have takeout before are now offering it, often with curbside service so you never have to leave your vehicle.

NYC’s Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks

Things you can do to help, if you are in a position to do so, include buying gift certificates for use at a later time, ordering takeout food or delivery, and purchasing items online or by telephone. Some smaller places do not have the capacity to offer online purchasing, but they would be happy to take your order and payment info over the phone.

Helen Rosner has pointed out that many restaurants sell merchandise, and posted on Instagram a list of places in NYC that sell items like T-shirts, tote bags, hats, and other accessories. She later posted a second IG story to include additional eateries. Stores like Omnivore Books in San Francisco and Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks in New York City have posted about changes in their operations. If you had planned to buy a cookbook, why not give them or an independent bookseller near you the business? Amazon has billions of dollars in reserve; these small shops do not.

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  • amc  on  March 18, 2020

    Thank you for posting this.

    All locally owned retail is hurting, whether it is a hardware store, quilting store, cookware store.

    If you are lucky enough to still have them where you are, shop there. Call first. Hours and routines have changed.

    Full disclosure-I have been working in an independent bookstore for thirty years. I hope to still be doing so next month.

  • hillsboroks  on  March 18, 2020

    Powell’s Books in Oregon just announced yesterday that they are closing all their stores due to the virus and will operate online only. I am taking another look at the cookbooks on my Amazon wishlist and thinking of ordering a couple of them from Powells.

  • ccav  on  March 18, 2020

    Thanks for this message! I’ve ordered books already from 2 of my favorite local indie bookstores who are offering free local shipping. AND! You can usually get special deals as a frequent buyer and indie bookstores. It’s a win-win….the buyer gets some good books to bring cheer, and we can support these unique and wonderful businesses

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