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Chamber encourages community to shop local this holiday season 

image from atascadero chamber of commerce

Shopping locally is ‘one of the best gifts you can give to the community’ this year

– More money stays in a community when its residents shop locally. According to the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, “$68 for every $100 spent at a locally owned business stays in the community. When spending the same at a non-local business like a national chain, only $43 stays in your community.” This in turn creates more local jobs, increases the diversity of products, supports community groups, keeps Atascadero unique, and reduces environmental impact.

“Shopping locally is one of the best gifts you can give to your community,” Atascadero Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Josh Cross said, “Your purchases at local establishments support local families running the businesses and the employees working at them. Families will use that money to frequent other Atascadero shops and restaurants that, in turn, support their own families. It creates a beautiful cycle of giving during the holiday season.”

Irish Oaks Mercantile provides an example of this cycle. Owned by husband-and-wife team Melissa and Matt Garrett, Irish Oaks originated when their children started making soaps and lotions to support the raising of their dairy goats as part of a 4-H Club project.

“We only feature products in our store from local, SLO County farmers and producers,” Garrett said, “When people shop at our store, they get to speak with the person that makes the products and learn the process.” Besides soaps and lotions, the store also offers meat raised on the Irish Oaks Ranch, candles, bath bombs, metalwork, clothing, hats, kitchen supplies, spices, sauces, and jewelry.

“When people shop locally for the holidays, they are actually supporting local families,” says Garrett, “They can feel good knowing they are getting a top-quality product, supporting the employment and education of our local youth, and their money stays right here in our community.”

Izzy Nunes, an Atascadero High School junior and 4-H Club member, designs and sells her Izzy Bzzzy Jewelry at Irish Oaks. “I started making earrings during the pandemic when I noticed people wearing more western-themed designs. I incorporate rocks, feathers, and leaves in my earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. There is something for everyone in this store.”

Visit in person at 7425 El Camino Real, Atascadero, or shop online at

Attracting local customers is key for Hope Chest Emporium. November and December are typically the biggest grossing months. Owner Karen McNamara shared, “We carry a huge variety of unique gifts from freshly-made to antiques including toys, tools, dishes, and Waterford goblets. We have 3,000 square feet of cool stuff, plus 500 square feet outside filled with garden accessories, furniture, and practical things for décor.”

McNamara is celebrating 7 years at this location with a sale the first weekend of December. When customers shop for the holidays, she’s hoping they’ll discover that they can come back for the things they need day-to-day. “We have everything you need for home, garden, gifts, and life.” Visit in person at 5800 El Camino Real.

For a full listing of chamber member businesses, visit


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at

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