I overheard two women talking about their local butcher today. ‘What I like about him is that he really understands meat’ said one. ‘He does indeed, his father was a good butcher and so is he. Its nice to see the business in good hands’.
That little conversation confirmed to me the quality of our independent shops in Oswestry. Your local butcher does indeed understand meat. He should know where his meat comes from, how long it has been hung, the right cut for your needs, whether that’s a huge joint of beef or a single succulent lamb chop. He can tell you about the home made pies and sausages or hams and bacons he has cured. Likewise your local cheesemonger knows who their suppliers are, the optimum maturing time for your cheddar, the ripeness of that runny camembert.
Oswestry is full of independent businesses that really DO care about quality and craftsmanship, whether it’s a master diamond setter, or award winning book shop, a local vintner or popular restaurant. And the reason they care is you, the customer. You are part of the community and your satisfaction and judgment count. It is not just about chucking things into a trolley and paying at the self service check out. It is about tasting and trying, talking and learning, building up a relationship.
All these are intangibles, but vitally important in the building of a good consumer partnership. That is not to say that you don’t get good service in supermarkets, but sometimes, and it should be more often than not, you want the advice on the outfit that suits you best, you want to know that when you order a book, it arrives on time, that the bottle of wine is perfect, that the person you are talking to actually knows what she is talking about and cares that you get exactly what you need and want.
I do sometimes wonder whether we are teaching the importance of appreciation sufficiently. The perfect cup of coffee, the beautifully cut hair, that delicious piece of cake, they are not just commodities, they are representative of the values and beliefs of that business and that business owner.
Those values and beliefs define you and me, define our relationships and define our town.
Member since: 11th June 2012
Charmed to my boots by Oswestry and the Welsh Marches. I happily do my best to support the fantastic independent shops and businesses in the area through The Best of Oswestry.