Are you done with your holiday shopping yet?

Is your email inbox full of marketing emails from national retailers? It’s hard to resist because we’re all busy…it’s so much easier to just buy your present from a big box store or national retailer when they’re offering BIG discounts and even free shipping/guaranteed shipping before Christmas.

We hope you consider SHIFTING some of your spending this holiday season to a local business because…

shop local this holiday season


Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving 2014Growing up, thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.  I think it’s because my birthday usually lands on Thanksgiving weekend.  Nothing beats good food (including birthday cake) and time with my family.

We usually spend Thanksgiving with my uncles, aunties and cousins.  I come from a big family – my dad has 9 brothers and sisters so you can imagine how many cousins I have – and scheduling time to meet up with everyone is pretty difficult.  Thanksgiving was the only holiday that we could count on where usually, everyone can make it.

Has anyone else noticed how corporate America squirmed its way into this holiday? Many retail chains are open during Thanksgiving now and I feel sad for retail workers who HAVE to work this holiday season.  As consumers, are we really that hungry for sales?  Do we really need one more day to shop?  Our society has moved away from thanksgiving being a national holiday to be spent with friends and family into the biggest shopping weekend. What do you think about this? Will you be shopping on Thanksgiving?

Whatever you do, we hope that you and your loved ones have a wonderful thanksgiving.  We really are thankful for your support of Shift Local and we hope that if you do shop this weekend, you make your way to local and independent shops.

Love Mari

Congratulations Stephanie of Steffz Trends

Congratulations Stephanie of Steffz Trends

One of Shift Local’s favorite local business owner, Stephanie of Steffz Trends in Alameda, won the Independent We Stand’s “Indie Pride Contest.” Congratulations Stephanie!

Also check out other SF Bay Area local business owners who joined the contest:  Warren of Action Litho in Hayward, Derrick of Derrick Dobbs Photography in Hayward, Daniel of Croll’s Pizza in Alameda and the guys of On Time Signs in Hayward.

Marc and Mari

Did you know that…

“Walmart now captures $1 of every $4 Americans spend on groceries. It’s on track to claim one-third of food sales within five years. [As a result,] Walmart has dramatically altered the food system — triggering massive consolidation, driving down prices to farmers, and leaving more families struggling to afford healthy food.”

Institute For Local Self-Reliance

Here is the infographic from ILSR:


Shift Local Travel Edition: Oahu

Marc and I went back to Hawaii (for the second time this year) to celebrate a few things.  As we mentioned a couple of posts ago, one reason was to attend a wedding of one of my best friends from law school.   Another reason was to celebrate passing the California Bar exam and also my 29th birthday.  There’s definitely lots of reasons to be happy!



The last time we tried to do a Shift Local – Travel Edition post, I ended up just writing 1 review.  I think law school took over my life and time just passed by and it felt too late to keep working on that one.  So this time, I tried to take notes when we were in Oahu.

The first stop we made before going to our hotel is Helena’s Hawaiian Food.  Marc and I both really enjoyed the kalua pig and the lomi salmon with raw fish and limu.  Everything was pretty good though and we definitely got lucky because we came at a not so busy time – there was literally no wait time.  Helena’s definitely gained popularity with tourists since they were featured on Man v. Food and other shows.  What is also amazing about Helena’s is how friendly they are.  Elaine (Helen’s daughter) was so welcoming and took the time to make sure our visit great (see picture below, too bad it’s blurry 😦 ).

Elaine (Helen's daughter)

For a quick, low-cost and yummy hawaiian cuisine, you have to stop by Rainbow Drive-in.  We basically went there every morning for breakfast.


Another amazing local restaurant to check out was Side Street Inn.  Their portions were so big and we couldn’t finish what we ordered so we took them back to our hotel.  We still couldn’t finish the leftovers and I was so sad to throw it away before we went to the airport.   Yes it was that good!  Anything that says house special is a must-try (below is the pork chop and their famous fried rice).


We were also looking forward to shave ice.  When we were in Maui earlier this year, we just could not get enough of Ululani’s.  Our favorite shave ice shop in Oahu was Wailoa Shave Ice.  Our favorite combination of course was Melona and Coconut topped with the Snow-cap lots of Li-Hing powder.  Here’s a picture of me during our multiple visits to Wailoa.


For souvenirs, make sure you check out the local farmers’ markets.  There are several of them but the one we went to was the Kings Village one is on Fridays from 4-9pm.  We loved the coconut peanut butter made by North Shore Goodies.  Here’s a picture of our stash LOL:


Lastly, we highly recommend stopping by Wang Chung‘s for the most delicious drinks and some good ol’ karaoke fun.  Marc and I do not sing at all but the Wang Chung crowd and owner Dan made us feel so welcome.  Dan (pictured below with Marc and our friend Dennis) even hooked it up with a free drink and a beautiful lei after he found out it was my birthday.


What’s your favorite local establishment in Oahu?

Marc and Mari