Bend has been a hot spot for entrepreneurs and startups for a while now – and the city knows the value that small businesses bring to the community and economy. You can experience the unique shopping and dining in Bend just by walking around downtown or checking out the latest festivals and events, but there’s one event in particular that’s focused on the area’s small businesses: Shop Small Saturday.
During Black Friday Weekend – the days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday – we’re used to shopping like crazy for the latest deals or that one device we want at a price it’s never going to be at again. But when chasing after limited inventory from all of the big brands, we often forget to support the local businesses that mean so much and have been supporting the city for years. So, Bend has designated this Saturday as our own “Shop Small Saturday”, an event devoted specifically to offerings from small businesses in the city.
Curious? Here’s what you need to know!
Where Is It At?
Shop Small Saturday is focused on the businesses that are located in the downtown area. This includes Bond Street, Wall Street, Franklin Ave, Oregon Ave, Minnesota Ave and Brooks Alley. All of the businesses operating in these areas will be ready with their own “Shop Small” offerings. That’s dozens of businesses within easy walking distance!
Remember that weather is a factor when planning your activities and bundling up is always a good idea. Fortunately, this year has been relatively mild so far so weather shouldn’t be much of an issue for strolling around. We suggest parking at least several blocks away from downtown and walking into the heart of the action.
Are There Any Specific Activities?
Absolutely! Mimicking activities like the Bend Ale Trail on a smaller scale, Shop Small Saturday offers a Shop Small Passport courtesy of the Downtown Bend Business Association. These passports are designed to collect stamps from each small business that you visit during the event. Once you have completed the passport, you can enter it in a lottery to win one of a dozen or so prize baskets filled with seriously great local goodies and products.
Of course, that’s just one part of what you can do. The event also includes live music, vendor booths from around Central Oregon, games to play, drinks from a variety of famous establishments in Bend, and more!
If you have time, check out a little of everything! However, there are a few stops that we highly recommend you try if you find yourself there:
- Crater Lake Spirits: They’re famous for offering free drinks to keep you warm in the winter weather and their liquors are very reasonably priced as well as inventive.
- Dudley’s Bookshop Café: A great place to stop by, get warm and check out a cozy house filled with used and new books.
- Goody’s Chocolates: A favorite downtown stop, this candy store has delicious treats and is an easy walk from pretty much anywhere!
- Looney Bean: A cheerful and charming little coffee house perched right by Drake Park with views of the Deschutes River, lots of nooks to settle in and of course, delicious coffee!