I have had the same bank account since I first opened it when I was 16, the same auto insurance company since I first started driving, I have the same red comb that I have had since I took it from my mom when I was 15 and I use the same brand of eye liner ever since I started wearing make up. I am a loyal person.... well, except for those few friends in High School that I may have betrayed for a boy or something frivolous like that, don't comment please. I like familiarity. I like knowing that people know me on a personal basis and can call me by name. I like knowing that when I walk into the Guadalupe Farmers Market in Gilbert, owners TJ and Julie will say "Hi Cutie!" They will call me at home to let me know that they just received a box of my favorite organic pears and will keep a case for me. I like the fact that Bret at my Fresh & Easy will let me know when I walk in that he has some New York strip steaks for half price in the back for me. I like knowing that our family dentist will wave fees that our insurance won't pay just because we are long time clients. Being loyal has its' perks. I don't really care if Geico can save me a few bucks, I will never change my auto insurance as long as my company has kept up their side of the loyalty bargain. And, they have. I am taken care of. I love that feeling. America has in general lost that small town feeling. It is about cost and convenience, not quality or customer care.
I went to a breakfast club meeting at Joe's farmhouse grill the other morning and we noticed that Joe himself was there. I had to go over and introduce myself to him. I had to let him know how much I love his restaurants and all that he stands for. He has worked hard to preserve the landmarks around here. He has restored some old buildings, kept up his farmland and uses his own produce in his restaurants. I wanted to thank him for that, for keeping things real and not selling out. He is the real deal. It just so happened that that day they were giving out 3000 free 1/2 pound burgers, fries and a drink for the locals. That is just how he is. I of course came back and got my free burger along with a coupon for a free breakfast and another talk with Joe. I shook his hand and with that I will be his new loyal friend. He has his farm stand now open for the public on Saturday mornings and Wednesdays at Agritopia for those who also want to be his loyal friend.
What is my point? We need to take care of each other. We need to support those businesses that go the extra effort and don't sell out to the "man". In return, we will be taken care of. It may take an extra buck here and there, but when you are in need, you have the loyal friends behind you. You will have a real person to deal with, not an automated system that never gives you a real person. I should have been a 50's housewife and lived in a small town but since I am not, I have made my own small town by getting to know those who I do business with and sticking with them. Thanks for all of the perks my loyal friends! Thanks for knowing my name! Thanks for the free burger ,Joe and for the pears, Julie and TJ! They were ever so sweet!
So, here is the deal. Since we all need to take care of each other, especially in these times, let me know on this blog if you have a business that you want some loyal friends to come to. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you have to offer. You can let us know any great deals you have or offer a discount by mentioning this blog. Free advertising. One big happy blogging family. Thanks to all my loyal friends out there! Love ya.