While I’m on my proverbial soap box, I might has well take a moment to give a shout out to my homedogs. Every town in America is full of great mom-and-pop shops that give a little something extra over your big chain stores, and Charlotte is no exception. I try my best to shop local as much as I can so that I boost my local economy and give warm and fuzzies to those small businesses that do the same for me. Here are some of my favorites from the Queen City. If you’re not from Charlotte, please share a fav local spot that others might benefit from if they’re traipsing through your town!
1. Common Market The Common Market is a great little gem in Charlotte that just recently opened a second location in South End. While they’re not your typical “market” that carries everyday groceries, they do have a fantastic selection of hard-to-find wines and beers, along with tons of little trinkets that could be given as gag gifts. They also host free beer and wine tastings on certain days of the week, along with free music. And by free, I mean you can get your drink on and the locals working the place are more than willing to let you stay for a good long while. Plus, their lunch sandwiches are incredible, so it’s just about my favorite market in town. Common Market definitely has that small town, wanna get to know you feel. My favorite thing about this place is that they sometimes put a customized stamp on your receipt that makes you smile for the rest of the afternoon. Now, what big box chain store does something like that?
2. winestore. We all know that there are a billion different places to buy wine in Charlotte, but this spot is a favorite, despite the fact that we rarely make it there. Winestore is actually owned by a friend of a family friend, so I should be hustling my bootie over there more often to help a brotha out. Not only does this store house some fantastic wine choices for all price ranges, but their interior design is super awesome. Can I get a holla?
The special thing about winestore is that they have their wines categorized by events. You can stop by if you need a wine for a “hot date” or if you’ve recently been “laid off” – winestore has everything perfectly organized for each clever occasion. Genius, right?
3. King’s Drive Farmers Market. Although one of the many farmer’s markets in Charlotte, this one is our personal fav. It’s open 3 days a week and has some of the best veggies we’ve spotted in town. It’s a bit smaller than some of the other markets around these parts, but the smaller size makes things more manageable and easier to navigate. They also have a great selection of plants and flowers if you’re looking for something other than fruits and veggies. This place only takes cash, but that kind of makes me feel like I’m in a small town, grabbing some fresh fruit from a local farmer. Which, I basically am, minus the fact that this market is a hop, skip and a jump away from Uptown Charlotte. Scott and I frequent this market when we’re wanting to have a veggie night and we’re never disappointed with the product or the price. Happy shopping!