Over its 18 years in Petaluma, Jungle Vibes had been a crowd favorite, selling smart toys, games and gifts for both young and old.
But last week, the store closed, unable to pull a profit in the difficult economic times. Co-owner Wayne Morgenthaler blamed online retailers and smart phones that enabled shoppers to price compare with the touch of a button, often sending them to chain stores like Target and Kmart.
The beloved toy store may have been emptied out, but the store owners also left a message for the community, taping "Buy Local" fliers to the windows. The fliers extoll the virtues of shopping at locally-owned businesses, including economic vitality, a sense of community and character. 'Nuf said.
So, you tell us. Is it important for you to support local businesses and what do you love about it? Do you think the city should pass ordinances that ban big box stores altogether or is there a way national retailers and mom and pop shops can get along?