The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.
Today I was in Promenade Market, the little liquor store on Wilshire and Malden, buying a can of iced tea. When I got to the cashier, I realized I only had a dollar in my wallet. The iced tea cost $1.10.
“Can I get you next time?” I asked.
“Sure,” the cashier said.
I gave him my dollar and walked out with an epiphany.
If I was in Wal-Mart or Ralphs and asked, “Can I get you next time?” they would look at me like I was crazy. So why was it okay at Promenade Market? Because I know the guys who work there, I am a loyal customer, and we trust each other.
This, I think, is the benefit of small, local businesses. Instead of seeing customers as faceless objects, like large corporate stores, they see customers as humans.
I don’t care that the prices are a little higher at Promenade Market. You can’t put a price on trust and community.
This is Kami, who works at Promenade Market.