I'd like to use my last "Hayley's Pick" ever to, as I usually do, champion the need for all of us to support local small businesses. Yep, you're going to have to eat your vegetables for dessert! Take notes. This will be on the test, and it's worth more than half your grade. Local, independently owned small businesses are the heart of San Luis Obispo County and the reason we (some of us, anyway) still want to live here. Folks who have never owned their own business—never hitched their livelihood on some scrappy pie-in-the-sky dream—might not quite understand how important supporting local is. That dollar, however rumpled, torn, or downright smelly (money is gross), is power. Go to the farmers' market and meet your neighborhood agricultural heroes. Buy a can of Capriccio Tuna, "caught one line at a time" by a friendly Morro Bay fisherman, then send them a direct message on Instagram with 10 fish emojis stating in all caps that it's THE BEST TUNA YOU'VE EVER HAD (OK, you don't have to copy me exactly, but you get the idea). Grab a bag of Cacti Coffee beans, roasted in small batches in Santa Margarita by a local coffee nerd. A good rule of thumb is to buy things from local nerds—they know exactly what they're doing and they will totally inherit the earth; sorry Amazon. Every day we are building the SLO County we want, one sip, nibble, and bite at a time. I will leave you with one last recommendation for you. Pick wisely. Δ
Hayley Thomas Cain has made a career out of being both picky and nerdy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.