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Are you Local?

Roses Are you local? This is not a 10-year census question, but rather a fun chance to learn more about the businesses that you patronize. Sometimes it is obvious, but then again you may be surprised by what you learn. Inquire with the person behind the register and learn about the owners, the staff, and the business mission. The questions will peak your interest, add enrichment to the shopping experience, and help you become a truly conscious consumer while finding out more about your neighbor. 

I asked a few questions like this just yesterday at Flowerama when I purchased some roses. I was surprised to learn that the Flowerama stores in Iowa are owned in Iowa and the headquarters are based in Waterloo.

Have you asked someone if they’re local today? 

dsmBUZZ Membership and Merchant GUIDE

Open_hand dsmBUZZ Network Merchant and Membership Guide 

dsmBUZZ Merchant

1) Offer and honor a special savings and/or service that you will provide exclusively to dsmbuzz members.
2) Review your information monthly at
www.dsmbuzz.com to be certain it is accurate.
3) Provide feedback to dsmbuzz so it can be the very best benefit for you and the members.
4) Refer and promote merchants in the network and make recommendations to others about dsmbuzz.
5) Network to dsmbuzz regarding information you feel will benefit the small business community and dsmBUZZ members. If you learn of a service or organization that will be good for all of us to know about, please share it and we’ll make sure it gets out there too.

dsmBUZZ Member

1) Shop local businesses consciously. How can you share your dollar purchases within the local market?
2) dsmBUZZ membership savings are to be offered exclusive of other sales and specials provided by participating merchants.
3) Membership good for one year of value within local network.
4) Terms and conditions are subject to change at dsmBUZZ.
5) Provide your feedback often as we want this to be a value to merchants and consumers of Des Moines and surrounding area.
6) Post your experiences with participating network businesses at dsmbuzz.com for the specific merchant.
7) Get value with all that you do by using your dsmbuzz membership program.

Wishing you the best for 2007

XmassfinalFrom David and I, and our family, we are looking forward to building stronger relationships with all the people in our lives and to the future for all the people we will meet. Our goal is to make a difference in the support local movement for 2007! Peace and Joy to everyone.

"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are." unknown.   

A movement BUY LOCAL

Local_movie_cartoon Start up small and learn as you go is the dsmBUZZ moniker. We were a newsletter (one of David's first cartoons from our early newsletter efforts shown here) wanting to focus on local business. More than a year later, and we're now thinking like a small business ourselves, as well as a movement, and want to continue to add value to our community.

A seed grows and conversations get started so that pretty soon we end up meeting others who can really make it all happen. Mike Sansone of ConverStations is the dsmBUZZ mentor. As we progress in learning just a fraction of the wealth of information that Mike possesses, the light in our brain turns on - the filaments of our imagination burn bright and brighter still. We start to see how ENORMOUS this can all be. Blogging expands the world of the Internet and makes tangible the reality that we are part of a collective bigger us

dsmBUZZ is ready to launch, and now we see that our focus can be Des Moines AND the larger issue of supporting local entrepreneurs everywhere. The question now that we zoom out, is what other programs exist in Iowa that support a buy local movement? Larger still, what are other communities doing to help build support for local business? We came across Sustainable Connections in Washington State and absolutely loved their "reason list" for buying local. Pretty compelling stuff. Do you know of any other voices out in the wilderness shouting for sustaining local business? Share the sites and information with us at dsmBUZZ.

SBB - winter 2006- Wine Shops local

In this issue we look at three of the locally owned wine shops in the Des Moines area.

  • JTs Wine and Spirits - John Teeling
  • Wine Etc. - Nancy Chavannes
  • Casa di Vino - Howard Bernstein

We also thank the ethnic grocery merchants who participated in our first ever tour. Thanks again! We offer tips on picking the perfect bottle of wine when you don't know a lot and talk about dsmBUZZ program.

Download v2_winter_issue_2006.pdf

Consciously consume and buy local

Empty_plate_clean It’s a given that if you put a large plate of food in front of me I’m likely to eat everything on it,  continuing even after I’m full. Is this a childhood lesson in action (“finish your vegetables!”) or just gluttony?  Either way, I have come to realize that I have an immediate reaction when confronted with large amounts of anything. If I see a lot of something, I tend to operate on the concept that I must need a lot it.

This thinking is on high alert when I shop at one of the warehouse chains. I become overwhelmed by the shear bulk of items available on the shelves. The result is that I respond to the urge to “get my share” and stock up my cart to bring it on home. Once I face my cupboard though I realize the truth that I already have a full case of cling peaches from the last shopping trip.

It’s not that I want to feel guilty for being a consumer, but I do want to be more aware and have respect for what I consume. I want to shift from a “hoard mentality” to the “there’s plenty enough” idea. Could this be a New Year’s resolution in the making? Maybe 2007 can be my “year to become a conscious consumer”.

With that as a theme, shopping local takes on a new meaning for me. When I buy from a local business I focus more attention on the impact of my purchasing power. I appreciate the bigger picture when shopping small and I feel the positive result that my buying has on individuals who have invested in the community where I live. 

For example, the rich and flavorful coffee along with the light and fluffy egg sandwich at Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure is extra wonderful because I have met the owner Julie McGuire. I know Julie’s passion and business creativity went into getting that breakfast set down in front of me.

I’m already on the floor in lotus and humming my mantra….be a conscious consumer…be a conscious consumer. There’s the Zen of it. I’ll focus less on buying a lot because it is cheap and available and recognize value that extends beyond cash.  Could it trim my consumer waistline but fulfill my consumer spirit more?  I’m banking that it will.

Ethnic Grocery Stores in Des Moines

Check it out:

Chef Josh Beck will take us on a tour

A Taste of Italy - An Italian Village on University

Wang's Asian Market - Foods from all parts of Asia

Luna Foods - Bosnian market

Memories of Immigration: Ed Vander Hijde, Rudy Thill

La Michoacana - Mexican Market in Valley Junction

Hilal Groceries - Middle Eastern Foods

Download volume_2_issue_2_summer.pdf

Coffee Houses in Des Moines

Download volume_2_issue_1.pdf

Check out stories on Coffee Houses in Des Moines.

Friedrich's coffee makes a name in wholesale

Grounds for Celebration - Growing their own coffee

Java Joes - Downtown comeback leader

Tones Brothers - local spice company once was in coffee business

Don Lenahan - Memories of the impact of World War II on Coffee

Zanzibar's Coffee Adventure - Julie McGuire's passion for coffee revealed.

vinophiles uncorked in Small Business Buzz


Jill Owens-Realtor


Jill Owens - Realtor


The most crucial factor when purchasing or selling real estate is one's choice of  Realtor. Since 1987, Jill Owens has exhibited an outstanding level of professionalism, market knowledge and ethical standards in an atmosphere where her customer is the most valued component of the transaction.  Jill's assets as a Realtor  combined  with the sophisticated tools and strength of Iowa Realty  will assure you of having the edge in today's competitive real estate market.

Jill has 20 years of experience in the realty market and an expertise in interior design. She's worked successfully placing the right buyers and sellers together because she understands their needs. Her valuable free analysis of your home will provide you the tools to maximize the best of your property so that your house will sell faster.


or call 515-274-6703.


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