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How to Love Where You Live: Shop Local

Does spending your money at locally owned businesses really make a difference? The answer is absolutely, unequivocally (and often deliciously) YES.

On the Friday that the long-anticipated ice cream shop Sugar Magnolia finally soft-launches in downtown Blacksburg, VA, traffic through the doors doesn’t falter for eight hours. When I wander over around 3 o’clock, every table is taken, so I eat my coconut chip cone while repeatedly showing my husband bon mots from their hilarious card selection (e.g., “Whatever you’re going through right now, carbs are the answer.”). I tell Tom Raub, who owns Sugar Magnolia with his wife Michelle, that I might just become, at long last, the kind of person who sends cards. “That’s how we encourage people to build community,” he replies. “By sending cards to other people in the community.”

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