Consumer’s Guide to Using Ekim’s Place

Do you love shopping local? Do you love taking an extra minute to support a neighbor instead of taking the easy route and going to the big box store? BUT - Do you hate getting lost in the web trying to *find* local businesses? We created Ekim’s Place just for you!

Shopping local and using local services is vital to Lakeland’s sustainability and growth. We all love Lakeland for the natural beauty, the community spirit, an active downtown, and of course our royal swans. To keep all that Lakeland is alive and healthy, supporting our local businesses is essential.

It’s astounding to learn how many locally owned businesses we have here in Lakeland. Each business is owned by a fellow Lakelander who also enjoys our royal swans and robust community. We have the quintessential pizza joints like Palace Pizza, a healthy side with restaurants like Anthony’s Health Hut, and modern hair salons like Swan City Hair.

But did you know Lakeland also has Wrap Companies that specialize in all areas of wrap and sign printing? (I’m looking at you Florida Printing Company!) And a micro-green grower in North Lakeland called Vitality Farms that offers grow kits and micro-green subscriptions? Yea, me neither! A big part of shopping local is finding businesses you never knew you never knew!

Once you get the local bug, it starts to consume every part of your spending. Your mind starts to think of local businesses first every time you go to buy something or find a service. If you need dog treats, instead of putting it on your Wal-Mart list, you think of who might sell dog treats locally. Visit Ekim’s Place Local Directory Category Pets to find Benson’s Canine Cookies sells not only dog treats, but also pet supplies, holistic dog food, and more! Discovery is my favorite part of shopping local!

Another perk of buying local is real ingredients, quality products, and sustainability. Locally owned businesses are more conscious of using real ingredients to create quality products as opposed to the mass-produced big box products that typically use cheap ingredients. Local entrepreneurs also encourage sustainable environments by buying local ingredients, creating less shipping and road use, and reduced overall waste.

Ok, now that we all agree it’s worth it to buy local, let me help you get started!

Ekim’s Place is a friendly website that features a Local Directory of small businesses in Lakeland. This directory is split into Categories and Sub-Categories to help you quickly and easily find what you are looking for. Click on a category and start exploring! Each business listed in the directory has a Business Ad that tells what they do/sell, lists contact info, and provides links to their website. Some businesses have a Business Page - a premium version providing an in-depth look at who they are and why they do what they do (see Broadway Real Estate Service’s Business Page).

If you aren’t sure which category will have what you are looking for, click in the Search Bar. Ekim's Place Collections

Enter a key word, such as “cookies” and all the Ads that have the word “cookies” will show up. This is a great tool to use when you don’t know where to start and *ALSO* when you want to explore and discover new businesses! Ekim's Place Collection Image 2The menu bar also houses “Other Directories” for the Community Outreach Page and Business Support Page. If you are looking to give back to non-profits that specifically help Lakeland, check out our Community Outreach. If you are a fellow entrepreneur looking for organizations who help the small business community, click on the Business Support.

Ekim’s Place Collections on the menu bar might just be the most fun and interesting part of Ekim’s Place! It is here we use our creativity to build groups of businesses for YOU, the consumer, to find useful collections like Things to do in Lakeland, Women’s Fashion, Barbers, Salons & Spas, and Local Eats.  We are adding new collections every day! In addition to being housed on one convenient page, the collections are also scattered throughout the website waiting to be discovered.

Shopping local takes a bit of effort, but Ekim’s Place is here to help you! I hope this blog gave some insight as to how to make our website work for you! Let Ekim’s Place be your “go-to” place when making your shopping list! Your mindset will quickly change and supporting local businesses will become a core part of your routine.

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