What is local?

The Dawson's Market mission is rooted in staying locally focused by sourcing products within a 100-mile radius of our store and partnering with locally-owned businesses for our daily operational needs. For us, buying local is a way of life and a big way to support our local community.

Here's a few reasons why we choose to support local:

Shipping & Transportation
Shipping and transporting goods creates greenhouse gases that damage the environment and affect our health. Transportation by shipping produces emissions of 1 billion metric tons of CO2 and uses 11 billion gallons of fuel per year internationally. Buying locally-sourced products and goods greatly reduces these numbers and lowers the large numbers of emissions and pollution that the environment is already suffering from.

Reduced Packaging
Locally-sourced products tend to require less packaging. Produce coming from 50 miles away is less likely to get damaged and the propensity for spoilage is less than produce arriving from across the United States or overseas, since the trip is shorter. Because of this, local goods require less preventative packaging, greatly reducing waste and saving the ecosystem.

Locally Grown Food Tastes Better
Food picked locally is and delivered within a day or two is still crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor. Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles. In a week or more delay from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink and produce loses its vitality. Food from your local community is more fresh and we know that you will taste the difference.

Locally Grown Food is More Nutritious
Food that is farmed locally is less processed because it is not produced by large commercial companies. More than that, it is usually delivered to you at the peak of its ripeness, which means its nutrient content is higher and intact. Foods that need to travel tend to lose nutrients during the process and are often exposed to unexpected elements. Eating local also lets you meet the people who produce your food and ensure proper farming methods (which we do!).

Local Food is Often GMO-Free
Local farmers don't have access to genetically modified seed, and most of them wouldn't use it even if they could. If you are opposed to eating bioengineered food, you can rest assured that locally grown produce was bred as nature intended by farmers who avoid GMOs and pride themselves on their natural methods.

Local Food Supports Local Farm Families and Businesses
Farmers are a vanishing breed as commodity prices are at historic lows, often below the cost of production. Many farmers get less than 10 cents of the retail food dollar. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full price for their food, which allows them to afford staying on the farm and doing the work they love. Dawson's Market stays close to nature by supporting its local farming community.

Local Food Builds Community
The connections we have with our farmers are very valuable to us. Knowing your local farmers gives you insight into the seasons, weather and the beauty of agriculture. Much of the time, connecting with local farmers gives you and your family access to farms where you can go to learn about nature and really get to know where your food comes from. These relationships, built on understanding and trust, are the ones that thrive.

Local Food Preserves Open Space
You have probably enjoyed driving out into the country and appreciated the lush fields of crops, the meadows full of wildflowers and the picturesque red barns. That landscape will survive only as long as farms are financially viable. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape, allowing farmers to keep their land and maintain its beauty.

Local Food Keeps Your Taxes in Check
Farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas suburban development costs more than it generates in taxes, according to several studies. On average, for every $1 in revenue raised by residential development, governments must spend $1.17 on services, requiring higher taxes of all taxpayers. For each dollar of revenue raised by farm, forest, or open space, governments spend 34 cents on services.

Local Food Supports the Environment and Benefits Wildlife
Farmers grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace nutrients used by their crops. Cover crops also capture carbon emissions and help combat global warming. According to some estimates, farmers who practice conservation tillage could sequester 12-14% of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industry. Plus, farmlands provide the perfect environment for many beloved species of wildlife.

Local Food Preserves the Future
By supporting local farmers today, you help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful, and abundant food.

Still not sure why you should buy local?

Here are 10 reasons we think are worth considering:

  1. Support Yourself: Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms — strengthening the economic base of your community.
  2. Support Community Groups: Non-profit organizations receive on average, 250% more support from small businesses than they do from large businesses.
  3. Keep Your Community Unique: Where you shop, where you eat and have fun — all of it makes your community home. One-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Tourism businesses also benefit.
  4. Reduce Environmental Impact: Locally-owned businesses make more local purchases requiring less transportation. They set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
  5. Create More Jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employers nationally as well as in our community and provide the most jobs to residents.
  6. Get Better Service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.
  7. Invest in Your Community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in your community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in your community's future.
  8. Put Your Taxes to Good Use: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally-owned stores.
  9. Get a Greater Selection: A marketplace full of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
  10. Encourage Local prosperity: Economic research shows that entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character, flavor and style.
Community Request

Community Request

We listened to your requests. As you may know Dawson’s has always had a strict set of standards for all
of the products we stock. These standards travel around the store consistently from one department to
the other. We will always stock primarily items that meet these standards. However, with the reopening
of Dawson’s in 2018 we have added a few items that we sign as “Community Requests”. These account
for less the 5% of the items in the store and are found mostly in our Grocery department. Examples of
these items include bottled Coke, Wonder Bread, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Daisy Sour Cream,
Budweiser, Bounty Paper Towels, Windex, and Berger Cookies. These items are selected because they
either represent a significantly lower cost then their natural alternative, fill a gap where no natural
version is available, or are top of class/brand with a compelling story or history. We do our best to sign
all of these items with the Red Community Request Signage. If you are ever unsure if an item is a
Community Request please ask any steward and we will identify the ingredients that may be of concern.
Dawson’s is committed to being a long-term part of the community. To achieve this goal, we have
listened to our customers and added items that will help them complete their full grocery shop with us
and not have to travel to another store for a few items.