Students Shop Local

Tionna DeFreitas, Staff Writer 

Utica is home to a number of rising local businesses and there’s no better thing than shopping local and supporting local businesses. In the smallest towns, busy cities and everything in between, residents shy away from their sense of community and character and dwell into supporting national chain businesses rather than local businesses.

Utica is home to a number of rising local businesses and there’s nothing better than local food, clothing and coffee especially when it can’t be found anywhere else.

National chains and stores continue to gain market pushing local independent businesses out of the loop. Businesses such as Utica Coffee Roasting, The Tramontane Café, Linsey Lane Boutique and The Topping Tree are just a few independent local businesses and are prime examples of what it means to shop local.

There are numerous coffee chain businesses around like Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, but walking into a local café is an experience like no other.

“The smell of coffee grounds when you first walk in to Utica Coffee is riveting, that alone just wakes me up and puts a smile on my face,” sophomore and local resident Jaida DeGristina said. “I really love everything about it, from the atmosphere to the coffee. I just love how you walk in and get a personal interaction, the employees take the time and effort rather than doing everything fast paced like big chains, everyone is in a hurry, but here everything is mellow and calm.”

Along with Utica Coffee Roasting, there are numerous other coffee shops available. The Tramontane Café, which has been opened for years, is just now starting to get the recognition it deserves. It is a bakery, café, restaurant and entertainment hotspot that local residents admire.

Local bagelry, Bagel Grove made its staple to the Utica area for its signature bagels and breakfast sandwiches and is one of the few places that offer student discounts. UC student Gabrielle Taverne said it would always be one of her favorites.

“Bagel Grove has been one of my favorite bagel bakeries since I was in high school and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. Everything is so fresh and just so good,” said Taverne. “It’s true comfort breakfast food! As someone who plans to better the Utica area once I graduate with my business degree, I am all for supporting local businesses. I’d rather see my money go to helping better my city, than see it go to a large corporate business.”

Shopping boutiques and clothing stores have also paved the way for local businesses in the Utica area. The Topping Tree, which sells headband accessories and beauty care for men and women, and Linsey Layne Boutique, which offers women’s clothing for reasonable prices, are two of the well-known boutiques that customers love.

Taverne used to work for Linsey Grover, owner of Linsey Layne Boutique in New Hartford, and said she witnessed firsthand the amount of heart put into local businesses as opposed to large corporate chains. She said the unique style Layne brings into her accessories and clothing allows customers to buy things not offered in any other store.

“The topping Tree is such a cute and unique boutique! As someone who loves headbands and hair accessories, this store is perfect,” said Taverne. “Both Linsey Layne and The Topping Tree have such a friendly staff and such a welcoming environment.”