Many Logan Square residents are likely already aware of the “local” trend and its value for local entrepreneurs. Is “Buying Local” a trend? Will it come to pass, or is it a sustainable marketing strategy for local businesses? How will it grow in the coming year?
Localization 2.0: Deep Local Integration
The Localization movement gained considerable momentum recently in large part because of the growth of farmers markets and economically driven interests to support local communities and retailers. The response from consumers was largely positive. Consumers responded by shifting purchase preferences toward supporting their local small business neighbors. The results have been well-documented and include benefits such as stronger local economies, ensured diversity of choices and sustained community character.
Where is the localization trend heading in 2014? There will be a growing development toward deep integration of localized products and market development. Deep local integration is at the heart of Localization 2.0. The first wave of localization introduced an opportunity for consumers to have a regular, consistent and diverse platform to purchase local goods, such as farmers markets, food trucks, local services, hyper-local community organizations (like LoganSquarist).
The new wave of localization represents a deeper integration of local supplies, suppliers and services to create a highly integrated local experience of products and services. Not surprisingly, the seeds of this new wave began within progressive communities. The Logan Square business community served as an example of Localization 2.0 and how the trend will likely continue to develop and mature. The roots for hyper local collaboration can be traced to local pioneers like Lula Café (recently hosted a Comfort Station dinner), a restaurant aiming to source from small Midwestern farms. Due to the abundance and variety of local producers, many new opportunities for hyper-local integration have already emerged.
Leading by Example
At Half Italian Grocer, a wide variety of hyper-local artisan groceries are available, however owner Nancy Kamp’s secret sauce is literally baked into her deeply local product experience: she offers in her locally sourced and produced toffee biscotti or her superb homemade lasagna with local sausage from her nearby butcher.
Katherine Anne Confections is a fervent supporter of local businesses, including pastries from Pilsen’s Beurrage, coffee from Ipsento (@ipsentocoffee, 2035 N. Western Ave.), and tea from SenTeaMental Moods. Other examples of hyper-local integrated products are highlighted in seasonal creations where she has explicitly teamed up with local chefs and artisans to share ingredients and ideas, and creatively collaborate to combine their talents and locally-made ingredients into a new and original hyper-local delicacy. Katherine Anne Confection’s bourbon and ginger caramels made in collaboration with the team at FEW Bourbon (in neighboring Evanston) are defining the Localization 2.0 movement in the way it incorporates collaboration and local ingredients to result in an original and a deeply-integrated local product solution.
It’s a bit early to predict the longevity of localization or the degree of success which Localization 2.0 will experience, however it seems certain the momentum, the market and consumer satisfaction related to more local business and deeper integration of the localization movement continues to gain steam. Throughout 2014, Logan Square neighbors can expect to see much more of Localization 2.0 take root.