Downtown Greenfield — where everyone knows your first name

By Shelley Swift

When was the last time you knew a store employee’s name without glancing at a name tag?

If you make a habit of shopping local, it can happen a lot more than some may think. In fact, shopping at independent “mom and pop” businesses not only gets you familiar with the employees, but often puts you on a first-name basis with the owners themselves.

In downtown Greenfield, everybody knows Steve is the guy to go to when shopping for new running shoes or athletic apparel for the kids. Jim is the guy who greets you warmly as you sit down to dinner at the local Italian restaurant, and Don is the one who delivers Hometown Classic pizza to your door. Jayne makes the best gourmet chocolates, Jennifer runs the downtown gym, and Becky knows just which treats your dog like best. If you shop in her shop more than once, she’ll likely know your pooch by name.

Having a great network of likable, independent business owners is one of downtown Greenfield’s best assets.

The variety of goods and services they provide is a big part of what makes our downtown commercial district so unique. Not many historic downtown areas can claim to have their own hometown brewery, gastropub, pizza parlor and chocolate shop, all within a few steps of each other.

When travelers stop in at one of these shops on their way through town, they’re often amazed at what a great assortment of businesses have set up shop in our little neck of the woods. There’s not only a nice variety of dining options, there’s also a number of places to pick up some locally crafted goodies or to pick up a unique gift or souvenir. And it’s all thanks to the many business owners who have decided to call Greenfield home.

So stop in and chat with Tammy while perusing her gifts and home decor items at the Red Banana, or talk to Amanda and her mom, Loretta, while checking out their great boutique items at Ella June’s.

Check in with Crissy, Tiffany or Sheila at one of the many great salons in town, and perhaps pick up a bouquet from Deanna or Karen at a downtown floral shop.

One of the missions of Greenfield Main Street is to promote the Shop Local concept, and to remind consumers of what outstanding shopping and dining options exist in downtown Greenfield, not to mention fitness opportunities and service providers.

The Greenfield Main Street board of directors includes a number of people who live, work and own businesses near the heart of State and Main. Each member appreciates the diverse offering of shops and services that comprise our unique downtown area, and the entrepreneurs who keep those businesses running.

The next time you’re shopping, dining or browsing in the heart of Greenfield, be sure to introduce yourself to the folks behind the counter. And plan to come back often to shop and say hello.

Shelley Swift is the executive director of Greenfield Main Street, a nonprofit organization dedicated to informing residents and visitors about events and attractions in downtown Greenfield. For questions or comments, email dr-editorial@greenfieldreporter.com.