BN Life

#ShopLocal in BN

Celebrate #NationalSmallBusinessWeek! The Bloomington-Normal area is home to many unique and wonderful small businesses that work hard each and every day to serve our community. From specialty spice shops to hand crafted jewelry to gardening supplies, we are blessed to have a variety small shops that keep our communities fun, vibrant and thriving. While there are many reasons to #shoplocal, most importantly it keeps money and jobs in our communities, allows customers to make connections with local business owners, and keeps our area unique!

You can find a small business on nearly every corner in our area. Here are just a few to keep in mind for National Small Business Week. For a full list of businesses, click here!

Coffee Hound

Started by Steve and April Fritzen in 2002, Coffee Hound has expanded to 3 locations here in the Bloomington-Normal area. All three coffee shops are cozy and trendy making it the perfect environment for a coffee date, a spot to work, or a place to meet up with friends. When you’re visiting the area, consider this local coffee shop to help wake you up. Their friendly staff is ready to pour you a cup and talk coffee!

Red Racoon Games

The store was founded as Gryfalia’s Aerie in 2007, and after Jamie & Kelly Mathy purchased it in 2014, the couple renamed the store to Red Raccoon Games in July of 2015. Nestled in Downtown Bloomington, Red Racoon Games is one of the largest board game stores in the area! Visitors will find board games, card games, children’s games, and even role-playing games. They also have space for 90 people to play games at any given time. It’s a hidden gem that’s perfect for any game lover!

The Garlic Press

This women-owned business has been operating in Uptown Normal since 1976. Dorothy Bushnell created this shop to sell specialty cookware but is always adding new, fun and unique items! There’s so many hidden treasures that you won’t find anywhere else. And you can’t forget to head over to the other side of the store to get gourmet popcorn and sweet treats!

Casey’s Garden Shop

This shop is ideal for any garden lover! Originally a market that helped feed locals and Route 66 travelers, this family business is now a full-service florist and garden center that has served the surrounding area since 1949. The very friendly and knowledgeable staff will be able to help you pick out the perfect flowers or give input on garden designs! Enjoy the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and the colorful views of the many flowers!

Grove Street Bakery

Since opening in 1996, Grove Street Bakery has been serving delicious made-from-scratch baked goods! This local bakery brings the community a mix of old-fashioned and contemporary products made fresh daily. It’s the perfect spot to grab a sweet treat any day of the week. Their staff will make you feel at home with their friendly, personable service.

The Olive Bin

After visiting South Carolina in 2012, Traci Howe thought that the Bloomington-Normal community needed a specialty olive oil shop. She set her plans in motion and opened The Olive Bin in November 2013. This small business features the largest, freshest selection of single varietal extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and aged balsamic vinegar on tap in our area. The Olive Bin is more than just a shop, it’s an experience. Every customer is greeted with bread, ice cream, and brownies for a personal tasting experience. While you shop, taste the oils with the bread and even put some balsamic vinegar on ice cream!! It’s a unique experience you won’t get anywhere else.

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