Since the publication of our latest newsletter, we've had many people comment on or ask us why we promote other restaurants in our newsletters and blog. It seems to some a crazy folly, like we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
But many readers don't realize just how very small this town and island is. Those other restaurants are not so much our "competitors" as our neighbors. They are small business owners just like us. We may run into them on the street, at meetings or social functions; their kids may score the winning points at a local ball game, or might even work a stint for us over the summer. They may contribute to the next fundraiser for an islander in need of medical assistance, or to the many non-profit organizations on the island. And they may be the one we need to borrow a coffee urn or pound of butter from some day.
Like good neighbors, we want them to do well for so many reasons. We are not naive enough to think that people only want our type of food; we all like variety. The more good quality, successful restaurants our community has, the more options we have and the more attractive our community becomes. That translates to dollars being spent in town, which of course enriches the entire community.
It is that age-old concept that one hand washes the other, and they both wash the face. Or put it in any of the other phrases that people bandy about: a rising tide floats all boats; do unto others as you would have them do unto you; what goes around comes around. It is a simple but important concept, often forgotten in the bustle of the business world; when we help others, we help ourselves.
So we buy as much as we possibly can from local growers and producers, we support local charities, we bank local, shop local, and yes, we even toot the horn for other restaurants and businesses, because we are their neighbors. We can only hope that our neighbors share the same line of thought.