think. shop. buy. local

South Huntsville, September 2016

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1. Buy Local – Support yourself
Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locall yowned business, rather than a nationally-owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms – continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community.

2. Support Community Groups
Non-profit organizations receive on average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.

3. Keep our Community Unique
Where we shop, where we eat and have fun – all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust

4. Reduce Environmental Impact
Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation, and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.

5. Create more good jobs
Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally, and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.

6. Get Better Service
Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.

7. Invest In Community
Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.

8. Put Your Taxes To Good Use
Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally- owned stores entering the community.

9. Buy What You Want, Not What Someone Wants You To Buy
A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

10. Encourage Local Prosperity
A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

Liquor Express – Market Place Featured Business

Liquor Express and Craft Beer Store is not your everyday beer store. While you’re shopping for beer, wine and spirits in the new location near the corner of Pratt and Memorial Parkway, you can also enjoy craft beer with friends or fill your growler at the store’s 105 tap bar. You can catch the news or sports high-lights on overhead televisions from four-top seating. You can host a meeting, party, or reserve space to watch a ballgame in Craft – the comfortable and tastefully decorated event room. Plus, you can paint-your-own plates, bowls, and cups with professional ceramicists in classes the store hosts. Owner Bill Johnston has definitely expanded the definition of liquor store.

There are regular wine tastings, hosted by Bill’s wife Ginny Johnston, who is a former wine distributor representative. Store manager Allen Williams posts new products and featured items to social media to keep customers updated. Liquor Express also sponsors and promotes numerous festivals and events throughout the year. “We believe in giving back to the community,” Bill said. “Huntsville has become a real destination for craft beer lovers and we want people to know about the great things happening here, especially in our local breweries.”

“Allen Williams and Breonah Tolbert are critical elements to this store,” Bill said. “They infuse our operation with their passion for fine beverages. They put a lot of love into their work. We’ve built a great staff and their knowledge and experience with beer, wine, and liquor is obvious in any conversation you have with them.”

Customers are always wowed by the beautiful décor of the new location. Bill is modest about his role in the design, but his love for art led him to combine a variety of elements in unexpected ways. The reclaimed brick, glass tiles, and 33-foot heart-pine bar always draw compliments – and repeat business. The tap wall has become a major gathering place for both local and out-of-town craft beer lovers. “The store’s design was inspired by the craft movement in beverages. We wanted to remind people to slow down and look at the craft that goes into every item we sell. We don’t like to make a big deal about what we’ve accomplished, although we’re very proud of it. We just want people to come in and see for themselves what we have to offer. Once they’ve found us, they become regulars.”

Liquor Express’s stock is extensive and their prices are competitive. “We strive to have all the beers allowed in Alabama – and the finest spirits,” Bill says. The beer section features 100 feet of cooler space with local and national craft beer offerings, traditional domestic and import beers, seasonal selections, limited releases and other specialty items. The wine selection is eclectic and diverse, with offerings from all the most important wine regions in the world, and the liquor selection features everything from high-end spirits to classic brands to new releases. Call Liquor Express today for help with planning your party or stocking your own home bar.

Market Place Magazine
P.O. Box 14219
Huntsville, AL 35815

To advertise call (256) 533-8078