Top Ten Places to Shop Local

 By: Laura Kelton

Chattanooga (UTC/The Loop) -All over Chattanooga, businesses and individuals alike are supporting local shops in troubling economic times.

Shopping local provides a great sense of support in the Chattanooga area. With hundreds of small businesses all over the community, the opportunity to shop local lies around every corner. Supporting local businesses has been seen as one of many ways to take part in the ever-growing ideas of being “green.” Not only is it a way to keep those businesses open, but also helps in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through less shipping and travel.

Chattanooga is a place booming with some great places to shop and dine, and here are a few ways for you to support your local economy.

10. Niedlov’s Breadworks

Niedlov’s provides Chattanooga with some of the most fresh, beautiful bread in the city. They specialize in organic breads that are naturally leavened, and their process may take up to 20 hours. Their signature loaf is the “Wholely Whole Wheat” comprised of unbleached wheat flour, whole-wheat flour, water, sea salt, and yeast. Their phrase, “We love to knead. We knead to love,” says it all once you have sampled their goods. Not only can you purchase their breads at the bakery located at 215 E. Main St., but they can also be found in local restaurants such as The Blue Plate and Easy Bistro and Bar.

9. The Blue Plate

The Blue Plate is located at 191 Chestnut St. and is open Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Their restaurant offers both a breakfast and dinner menu all day long. As a local business, they understand the importance of supporting other local businesses and provide goods from Bluff View Bakery, Niedlov’s Bakery, River Ridge Farms, and Stone Cup Coffee. UTC sophomore Sarah Binion said that The Blue Plate has a “fun, modern, comfortable atmosphere. It’s a cool place to just hang out with people while enjoying a good meal.”

8. Aretha Frankenstein’s

Quaintly tucked away in an old house on Tremont Street, Aretha Frankenstein’s offers a wide variety on their menu. From breakfast food to quesadillas, it’s the perfect place to pick up an evening snack, a coffee, or a beer and run into a few of their neighbors. What makes Aretha’s stand out the most, is their substantially large pancakes. Standing at an inch high, they’re hard to measure up to. UTC student Anna Tribo said, “I don’t think I could ever go back to normal pancakes, I would have to eat 10 of them to make one Aretha Frankenstein pancake!” 

7. Rembrandt’s Coffee House

In the heart of the Bluff View Art District you can find Rembrandt’s Coffee Shop. In a beautiful French stucco building, there is interior and exterior seating to hang out and enjoy an item from their full menu. Their menu ranges from coffee and pastry goods to salads, sandwiches and paninis. A perfect spot in the rain or shine, their warm and inviting atmosphere creates a great spot to meet with friends or study for a test.


Rembrandt's dessert display and toasty fireplace!

Rembrandt's dessert display and toasty fireplace!

6. Collective Clothing

Reflective of their name, Collective Clothing is a vintage clothing and accessory store located at 3933 St. Elmo Ave. While the majority of their merchandise is vintage, they also feature local handmade goods. Collective Clothing has also become an entertainment hub for local artists to perform at. Local DJ Daniel Lewis comments, “Collective Clothing is not just a thrift store. These are clothes handed down, but many of these are sorted through, and are actually relics of their time. I’ve seen tour t-shirts from bands and hip hop groups that were actually tour t-shirts printed in that time. Collective reminds me of the shops you see at Little Five in Atlanta, because that’s what it’s modeled after.” Collective Clothing will be featuring items in the MainX24 fashion show at the Choo Choo on Dec. 5.

5. Chazzy Dogz

Owned by their neighbor, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Chazzy’s Hot Dog stand claims itself to be “Chattanooga’s Coolest Little Hot Dog Shop,” so my friends and I decided to check it out. The shop is no more than a walk up window with a few patio tables outside, but in that little space they have a whole lot to offer.


Chazzy's convenient walk-up window at the corner of 2nd St. and Market St.

Chazzy's convenient walk-up window at the corner of 2nd St. and Market St.

Guests can choose from “Nathan’s All Beef Hotdog” or “1/4 Pound All Beef Hot Dog” ranging from $2.50-$3. After making their decision, they can then pile it high with any toppings they wish – for no additional charge! And trust me, if you can think of it, they have it. They suggest a few styles such as “The Basic Chazzy Dog,” “Chicago,” “Atlantic City,” or “Tijuana.” It is an unbeatable hot dog, for an unbeatable price. Chazzy is open Sunday- Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

4. Greyfriar’s Coffee and Tea Company

A local coffee shop in the downtown district at 406 Broad St., Greyfriar’s Coffee and Tea Co. is the home of RareCoffee. RareCoffee offers freshly roasted coffee beans for sale on their website and in house. Their passion brings about a quality of coffee that can only be brought about through “thoughtful experience and creative artistry” according to their website. Be sure to stop in on your next stroll downtown on a cold winter day.

3. Chattanooga Cupcakes

Located at 500 Broad Street, Chattanooga Cupcakes is a sweet deal for some sweet treats. Owner Sonya Reagor said she has always wanted to open up a bakery of sorts, and cupcakes seem to be the hot item right now.


Even the building looks delicious!

Even the building looks delicious!

With an assortment of cupcakes on the everyday menu to featured cupcakes of the day, there is something there to satisfy any sweet tooth. From Lemon to Chocolate Overload, these cupcakes are melt in your mouth succulent and stacked high with delicious icing. UTC sophomore Nick Friend said that Chattanooga Cupcakes “offers some of the most extravagant desert treats I’ve ever laid eyes on. Not only do they have a colossal amount of icing, they are very creative with the flavors that they use, like cappuccino and red velvet.” Friend also comments that they provide a comfortable and relaxing environment that “seems like it would be perfect for a day date.”


Nick Friend enjoying a cupcake with Sarah Finley

Nick Friend enjoying a cupcake with Sarah Finley

2. Leo Handmade Gallery

Leo Handmade is located below Clumpies in the Northshore strip along Frazier Avenue. The gallery features handmade clothing, jewelry, accessories, and posters from local artists. Owned by Bridget Miller and John Hall, Leo’s brings about a clean, creative atmosphere along the strip. Some artists featured in the store include Young Monster and OwlEyes’ Accessories. Stop in to pick up a one of a kind item, and make sure to check the back room for $20 and under vintage items!


Accessory display

Accessory display


Look what I found! OwlEyes' Hair Accessories for sale

Look what I found! OwlEyes' Hair Accessories for sale

Want to learn more about OwlEyes’?

1. The Chattanooga Market

The Chattanooga Market is a local weekend hot spot to find both family and friends on a Sunday afternoon. With vendor’s selling items from fresh produce, art, jewelry, and cooked goods, the market provides a free, fun atmosphere for all. The market has something to keep everyone entertained in the afternoon with a rock-climbing wall, children’s play area, and live music.

Local artists such as Paul Fontana find the market to be a great place to show and sell their art on the weekends. Fontana’s photo transfers onto wood drew me in that Sunday as I mingled with the locals and talked to them about their goods. He says the market gives him a great way to get his art out there and tell people about his work, which can also be found at the In-Town Gallery on Frazier Avenue.

Although closed during the colder months of the year, the Market offers events such as the Holiday Market during the first weekend of December. The festivities will re-open April 25, 2010, and go on throughout the summer and fall.