Shopping Fairly Local

Andrew Lombardo

Local businesses may come across as typical stores; however, they are so much more than that. Business owners of local boutiques and cafes strive to economically contribute to the community, give back to those in need, and invest in schools that directly impact the community’s youth.

With the rise of well-known companies, such as Amazon, purchasing across the globe has become increasingly easier and more convenient. As a result, local businesses have started shutting down and have been transformed into more recognizable companies and chains. With the COVID-19 lockdown, local businesses have struggled even more with the new adjustments and shutdown earlier this year. However, within the heart of Flemington, there are hundreds of local businesses to support, including Gabby’s Pizza, Act 2 Books, 39Mine, Factory Fuel, The Mine, etc. 

Gabby’s Pizza, located at the intersection of the circle and Main St next to the UPS store, is a delicious Italian restaurant. They offer a wide selection of meals, from calzones to pasta dinners, and of course, an extensive pizza menu.  A safe way to support Gabby’s Pizza, and other food-related businesses, is to order take-out from the restaurant. They’ll cook the meal (following COVID-19 regulations), and customers can enter the establishment with a mask on and pick up their prepared food. If one does not feel comfortable entering the restaurant, they also have a delivery service. It’s a win-win situation: Gabby’s Pizza can get a source of income during the COVID-19 pandemic while residents of Flemington and surrounding towns get a great meal in return.

Furthermore, Act 2 Books, a bookstore located at 24 Central Avenue, sells used books that are less expensive than buying them brand new. Most of the books are between one to five dollars. While to some, this might not seem like an upside, but there are books that an individual would never find in a public library or on Amazon. This opens a window to find new books and new perspectives.

The best way to support most businesses is to take full advantage of their website. The Act 2 Books’ website allows someone to look at all of the store’s books virtually. It also enables someone to sort based on the genre of books, like adventure, history, poetry, LGBTQ+, and even horror. By utilizing the website prior to entering the store, an individual can limit their time in person. 

Lastly, The Mine, located at 30 Mine Street, is an antique store that sells all sorts of products. From clothing to record vinyls to dishware to nick-nacks, the store seems to have a little bit of everything. The products are unique and otherwise would have never been found online. The Mine offers curbside pick-up and delivery service, allowing individuals to pick up their purchase with no person-to-person contact or simply have it delivered to their doorstep.

As mentioned above, local businesses support the local people and the community. They are the backbone of any community and strive to create an inclusive and interactive environment with those in the county.