Our View: In defense of buying local

DKS Editors

In a few short weeks Dunkin’ Donuts will open its doors to the students of Kent State. Dunkin’ Donuts will join an already crowded market of coffee serving cafes and restaurants in Kent. Including Dunkin’ Donuts, Kent has six viable options for students and citizens to get a good cup of coffee. All of these choices for coffee offer roughly the same items—pastries, all of the variations of coffee and tea, quiet spots to study or read and friendly staff awaiting your arrival.

But how does one choose which coffee shop to visit?

Some of you may already have your allegiances for a wide range of reasons but we are here to argue in defense of the local business. The arrival of various chain restaurants, bars and coffee shops exemplifies a shift in the type of businesses setting up shop in Kent. A shift from small, local businesses to more chains and larger businesses looking to capitalize on a large student body (Kent State reported all-time highs in enrollment this year) with a need for food, and more specifically, caffeinated beverages.

We urge you to not forget the small guys as businesses like Dunkin’ Donuts arrive in Kent. Scribbles Café, a small coffee shop on Water Street, recently changed ownership from the original 15 year owners to long time employees of the local business. This change in ownership should bring a change in scenery and approach for Scribbles, a necessity in a small town with big coffee competition.

As local business adapt to compete with the newcomers, we urge you to not forget the small businesses that came before the new visitors in Kent. These businesses help define the allure of Kent, a small college town with a distinct cultural identity. A walk through downtown Kent will help you understand this cultural identity. You can stop in our local farmer’s co-op and then purchase a handmade piece of jewelry only two doors down.

How many other college students can same the same thing? So, as more and more businesses look to capitalize on all of you, please remember the businesses that were here before the gold rush.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.