Take-out isn’t just for food

March 26, 2020


Leslie Anne Tarabella - Shop locally in Fairhope, AL
Look what landed on my porch!

Of course we’re all in shock about the Pandemic, but we’re also trying to keep our heads on straight and do what we can to help each other.

Because it would break my heart to see people lose their jobs or for our beautiful downtown to suffer, I’m trying to do business the new way. Everyone is supporting the restaurants by ordering take-out with curbside service, so I’m trying to do a bit of take-out therapy with the other shops.

Fairhope merchants are especially in need of shoppers because our annual Arts and Crafts Festival was cancelled, and all the stores had stocked up in preparation for hosting almost 200,000 extra visitors to town. They are loaded up with good things and need help!

M&F Casuals, Fairhope, AL

I sent a Facebook message to the ladies at M&F Casuals in Downtown Fairhope, and they remembered how much I adore Gretchen Scott’s line, so they sent over a few photos of new Spring designs, then because an employee lives close to me, dropped it off at my doorstep. Isn’t that the best service ever? Small-town kindness overthrows fear of a virus any day!

Leslie Anne Tarabella Fairhope AL
Another Gretchen Scott favorite from M&F Casuals I wore at Christmas.

They are open now by appointment only, but will gladly help you over the phone or by Facebook messaging. They’ll meet you at the curb for a germ-free fashion hand-off. I just love this store!

Shop locally at M&F Casuals in downtown Fairhope, Alabama. Leslie Anne Tarabella
I don’t want to show you my whole dress because a lady always likes to have an element of surprise, but let’s just say it has many, many colors and they are BRIGHT! It will be the perfect way to celebrate getting out of lock-down someday soon, I hope. It’s definitely a dress for joy!

Old Time Feed and Garden Supply - Leslie Anne Tarabella

Another local favorite that had my order waiting for a germ-free pick-up was Old Time Feed and Garden Supply. Kelly took my call, and I just told her how many tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs I needed, and it was ready when I arrived. I had already paid over the phone, so it was a quick load-and go. Kelly said everyone in town has the same idea. It’s beautiful weather here, and gardening is something productive we can do while staying clear of other people.

Fantasy Island Toys, Fairhope, AL
Fantasy Island Toys is also another favorite store of mine. Even though my boys are grown, I still manage to find something fun here every time I visit. How about grabbing some sidewalk chalk for those kids down the street from you? Fantasy Island has a drive-up lane behind the store so you don’t even have to get out of your car.

Page and Palette Bookstore
And of course, I’d be a lame author if I didn’t mention the nice people at Page and Palette Bookstore. They’ll meet you at the curb and give you a happy sanitized smile – which big online bookstores will NEVER do!

The story I’m working on for next week’s newspaper column is about this very topic of supporting local businesses. Instead of hanging Christmas lights in March (don’t get me started), why not have the Christmas spirit now and do our Christmas shopping early with local businesses? – HEY!!! THAT’S A GREAT IDEA! (thanks, self).

Tulips on the banks overlooking Mobile Bay on a happier day.

No matter where you live, consider contacting a local business and doing some shopping with them. Everyone still has birthdays and special occasions we need to remember, and local owners turn around and spend their profits back in the community, so it’s a win-win for all of us! — stay tuned for the full story a week from now, and until then, I hope you are all safe, healthy, comfortable and at peace.

Coming tomorrow, a story about how our children are watching our reaction to this life-altering Pandemic . . . and why my granddaddy ate over 4 pounds of bananas!

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