Saturday, February 26, 2011

Reason to Buy Local/Seasonal #2

This weekend has been great, and we're only halfway through!  Local businesses are to thank for my positive outlook.
Last night (Friday), we went and met some friends at a local sports bar/restaurant that they like.  It's just OK as far as food goes, IMHO, but it is right next door to Run AZ, where I have been hoping to go since London's Run for some new running shoes.
I was first turned on to Run AZ, which has two locations (one in Gilbert and the other in Ahwatukee), by a friend of mine when I was looking for new hiking shoes.  He suggested I go there, as they would find me shoes that worked with my feet and stride.  I know that some stores put people on a treadmill and all that business, but not at Run AZ.  When asked, the staff will tell you that the treadmill test only is helpful if you only run on a treadmill.  However, they can pretty much take a quick look at you in your stocking feet (I had to apologize for not shaving, as I had to roll up my pants past my calves) and then another of you walking, and they can find shoes that work for your arch, the amount you pronate, etc.
I tried on a pair of Saucony®, which is what I wore when I ran track in high school (so, so many years ago now), a pair of Asics®, and two pairs of Nike®.  While I liked the Saucony® shoes (the first pair I tried on), I loved one of the pairs of Nike®, which actually kind of surprised me.
Already put my Nike® iPod sensor thingy on it - ready to run!
I also picked up a new running shirt - blue, to help me "celebrate" Colon Cancer Awareness Month (March).
While I would have gone to Run AZ anyway, I was even more pleased to have a coupon that had come with my "bag o' shwag" from London's Run, so I managed to make the trip for under $100 - pretty exciting.
Zooey and I went for an inaugural run with them this morning, and it was great except for the fact that my iPod died three songs in, and since I can't stand running without music, I made it a 3.5 miler instead of a 5.5 miler.  I'll be charging the PowPod tonight so we can take our last long run before Run for Ryan House next Saturday.
Not that I was sad to cut the run short.  Earlier this week, Wildflower Bread Company held a Facebook/Twitter haiku contest.  The winner received free pancakes.  Well, being an English teacher/total nerd who used to hold poetry slams in class, I had to enter.  Guess what - I WON!!!!!!!!
Here was my winning entry:

Sweet, fluffy mouthful
burgeoning maple or fruit;
total satisfaction

They're soooooo fluffay!
So, after we picked up our veggies this morning, we headed over to the Chandler Mall so I could hork down some lemon ricotta goodness, served with some warm blueberry compote (delicious combo with the maple syrup and lemony pancake).  Scott tried their new brisket beef sandwich, and HRH took down some more bacon and fruit, washing it all down with milk.
Both Run AZ and Wildflower Bread Company clearly appreciate their customers and their community, whether that is shown by finding the right shoe for each customer or giving away free meals in a fun way.  Not that national chains aren't appreciative of their clientele, I'm sure, although the way McDonald's® has handled what I like to call its oatmeal kerfuffle doesn't really show that it has interest in being HONEST to its customers, something that I also find important.  But these two local businesses, as well as many others, can best interact with and respond to its clientele in a way that McDonald's® only can by supposing that Wisconsonites might enjoy the McBrat.

Reason to buy local/seasonal #2 - they clearly value and respect their customers!

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