As my town has undergone tremendous growth in the last 15 years, more and more chain restaurants, stores, etc. have come to what used to be a small town. More variety, less personality. Here is my list of the best local businesses, in no particular order:
1. McCall's - my most favorite restaurant. If they ever sold the business, I would buy it. I love their hot ham on swiss! Unfortunately, I only go there a few times a year since they're only open for lunch.
2. Gottwals Books - a recent addition to the town, Gottwals is a used bookstore with great variety. They have a wonderful children's and vintage section, as well as books that cover almost every topic. While not specifically a Christian bookstore, they do carry a large variety of Christian books, and I haven't noticed any offensive material in their store. They recently started accepting book trades, although I haven't given this a try yet.
3. My Father's Place Pizza - yummy! My favorite pizza, hands down. I have a lot of memories there.
4. ABC books - this business specializes in paperback books. You can buy or trade for store credit.
5. Java Bytes - my loyal readers know how I love coffee. And when I want to sit down to drink my coffee, this is where I like to go. I must confess I don't go too often though, as their location is not convenient for me.
6. Children's Chest - I buy my son way too many clothes, but at least I get them from consignment shops! Children's Chest carries name-brand clothes that are in excellent condition. Their owner carefully sorts through toys and clothes and only sells what is perfect. You don't have to worry about finding something and buying it only to later discover a flaw. Children's Chest isn't truly a consignment store, because they buy outright the clothes and toys you wish to sell. You don't have to bring items in and then wait and hope someone buys them. You get your cash or store credit the day you bring items in. Children's Chest accepts items for sale only on Tuesday and Thursday.
7. Reggie's used cars - my family and I have gone to Reggie since he was Reggie's Dynomiser. He is the most honest mechanic my dad has ever met. He won't overcharge you or suggest things that aren't necessary. Sadly, Reggie got out of the repair business several years ago and now focuses on selling used cars. He has carried his honesty as a mechanic over to his new business to perhaps be the first honest used car salesman. Reggie certifies each car he sells and he services the cars he sells.
8. The Coffee Tree - when I want my coffee in a hurry, this drive-through is it! They have great coffee, good prices, and wonderful muffin tops for only $1. They have recently teamed with Java Bytes and Joshua Cup in a campaign against Starbucks, selling t-shirts that read, "Friends don't let friends drink Starbucks." If only they were open at night...