Do You Support Local Business? Unconditionally?

In the past I have blogged about how I love to support small, local business. However, like Chris Brogan, my support for small, local business is not unconditional.

We have two cats in our house. (when you read that sentence, you can imagine the tone of voice to be me saying, “we have pests in our house.”). And these are indoor cats. Indoor cats do their nasty business inside our house. Yes, I also find this disgusting. So I am always searching for the newest and greatest way to get rid of the results of their nasty business. (Is there anything nastier than cat urine?)

Cat Litter
Cat Litter

A large grocery store down the road got me hooked on this silica crystal cat litter. And it was great. No smell. None.

Rather than sending my money to a corporate office somewhere in eastern Canada, we visited our local pet food retailer, a store owned and run by an elderly gentleman who also stocks the silica cat litter.

And we started buying the silica crystals that he stocks in his little store.

And then the smell of cat urine came back. In a brutal kind of way.

You may have seen this sign in businesses, “If you like what we did for you, tell your friends. If you didn’t like what we did, tell us.”

Thinking we could “help” the guy running the store rather than just going back to the grocery store brand, we went in and told him the cat litter crystals he was selling do not work and that our experience was that they very quickly stink of cat urine.

His response was remarkable. He told us we were wrong, that this is the best cat litter on the market. For a moment I argued with him. I said, that was not my experience and in fairness to him, we wanted to let him know so that perhaps he could look into a different brand so that we could continue to support his business.

He said, “No, this is the best there is.”

Our response? “Sorry pal, you won’t be seeing us any more; our money will not be spent in your store anymore.”

What would you have done in this situation?


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