Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Small town service

QUINCY IS BIG enough to have, you know, a Sam's Club, cookie cutter chain restaurants, and really high gas prices.

It's small enough to have charm, strange customs, and fabulous service at locally-owned businesses.

I had two examples this week of great service at locally owned businesses. The first came at Carl's Shoes. When I worked for Gus Macker I never had to worry about buying new shoes, but that's been a few years and now I'm nice to my feet on my own dime, because I like to walk the dogs and playing in a band means a lot of bopping around.

Size 14!
I like Carl's Shoes because the owner, Ed Blaesing, is a good guy. His dog used to hang out in the shop and sadly passed away late last year, and any pet-friendly business is a winner, for obvious reasons.

I had an idea of what I wanted and what I could spend. It was busy, but I got immediate service, helpful advice and several options. I bought awesome running shoes that are comfortable on my size 14 feet.

I looked up the price online when I got home. You know what? Maybe I could have saved a buck or two, doing the keyboard shuffle or going to a place where you have to dig everything out yourself. To me, the great service and friendly advice was priceless. I had a great experience. And next year when I need new shoes, I'll be back and Ed knows it.

So on to the second example...

One of the things about playing in a rock band is the loud noise you are constantly exposed to, and I haven't been good to my ears over the years. So I finally bit the bullet and went to see Kevin Ballard at Quincy Audiology, just a few blocks up Maine Street. I don't think there is an online equivalent to this kind of service.

Kevin was smart, professional and showed me several earpiece options. He cleaned out my ears (you don't want to know, let's just say I can hear better now) and expertly took a cast of each ear. In a week or so I'll have custom earpieces which should filter out a lot of the high-end screech we get from our on-stage monitors, and I might still be able to hear in the sunset years. Sheryl might like that.

There are lots of places like this in Quincy. It's part of what makes living here so nice. And it's something we strive for at Second String Music, as well. Keeping local business local is the key to a healthy local economy. Yes, I used the word local three times in one sentence.

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