Commentary By Danielle Pelkey

The North Jefferson News




Let’s talk about business. If you drive down the streets of Warrior, Gardendale or Fultondale, you will pass large, corporate businesses and small “mom and pop” businesses.

I am a big fan of small businesses. Many times, they are easier to shop, and they usually have friendlier service. Customers can often be overlooked in larger stores. I’ve seen people practically beg employees to help them in stores, and I’ve seen employees dodge aisles so that they didn’t have to help customers who were looking like lost sheep in the middle of a pasture.

I also like small businesses because you can really get to know the people who run them and operate them. We have a small gas station down the road from our house and I just love going in there and shooting the bull with the cashiers. I don’t talk for long, but I always know that they will have something nice to say to start my day off right.

I also like small eateries. I would pick a corner diner over a chain restaurant any day of the week. Smaller places often have better tasting food, too.

At our office, we loved to eat at Zeng’s Chinese Restaurant. It was located just a few doors down from us and we spent a lot of time there. We would go at least every Friday. The cheap prices, quick service and delicious food made this a win-win situation for our employees who are on a budget.

Last month we were headed to our favorite food hot spot, but found a sign on the door saying that they were closed. There was a phone number on the sign. We called the number and they informed us that they had moved out of town.

We were all so sad. At least once a week for the past month, one of us has said, “Hey, why don’t we eat at Zeng’s today?” Then we all begin to cry and weep hysterically until we’re not even hungry any longer. Not really, but we really did love the food and service at Zeng’s. And I really did write a poem titled, “Ode to Zeng’s” to help us through our time of mourning.

I know it must be hard for small businesses to compete with large, chain businesses, but as much as I can, I try to support the underdogs.

I always shop locally and try my best to get bargains when I can find them.

The only thing about larger stores is that they can usually charge less for the items I am looking for. As much as I would love to always shop at smaller businesses, my pocket book doesn’t always agree with this idea. I still have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay.

So as often as possible, I will continue to shop with family owned businesses and eat at my favorite little places. I would like to encourage all of our readers to support our local businesses and try out a new restaurant when you get the chance. Who knows, it might just turn out to be your own little Zeng’s.

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