Breaking the Chain: Eat Local

Yesterday was a snow day, and it happened to coincide with National Pizza Day, so of course I had to order a pizza.

When I moved to New Jersey from Oklahoma and ordered pizza for the first time, I didn’t know where to order from. So, I did a quick Google search and found the pizzeria closest to our new house. It wasn’t a place I had ever heard of, and I was a little nervous ordering from a new place. I considered looking for a larger chain so I would know what I was getting, but it had good reviews and I decided to risk it. It was delivered in under 20 minutes, and I opened the box to find a piping hot, fresh, handmade pizza.

It was the best pizza I have ever tasted.

Now we order from there every other week, and yesterday was no exception. What better way to celebrate National Pizza Day than to order a pizza from a local Italian, family-owned pizzeria after all?

Sometimes we go in to pick up our order or to sit down and eat and I love to hear the family speaking Italian to each other in the kitchen, and when they call my kids, “bella dolce,” “bambino,” and “Piccolo.” They always remember us and ask if we want a large pepperoni with mushrooms on half before we have to say anything. Last time we were there my daughter made friends with an older woman who shared the same birthday as her. It is always a deliciously-scented community affair, and I wouldn’t trade it for all the Dominoes in the world.

When you eat at local restaurants, you’re given access to this wonderful group of people who are truly invested in their business and their service to their community. These are the people attending the Chamber of Commerce and City Counsel meetings in your town. The people who you can make friends with, and maybe even network with are down at the corner diner just waiting to meet you. Each pizza we buy is an investment in the business, the community, and the family who owns it. I love having that kind of personal link in today’s impersonal society.

So don’t be afraid to break the chain. Try something new by eating at the little old family-owned restaurants on Main Street USA.
You may gain more than a delicious dinner.