Discover the magic!

The Olde Towne experience has been treasured by visitors the world over-an opportunity to shop our fine antique shops, visit our galleries and unique specialty stores, enjoy excellent dining, both indoors and out in one of our many fine restaurants and pubs. Discover all of the magic yourself.
Discover Olde Towne Portsmouth!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Olde Towne Portsmouth; Every Day Is Small Business Day

Anderson-Wright is an example
of the unique shops in Olde
Towne Portsmouth, VA.
O.K., hopefully you have seen advertised during the past few years; a campaign promoting Small Business Saturday, the Saturday that follows Thanksgiving requesting your support of local small stores as a consideration to your holiday shopping experience.  That’s great and kudos to American Express for getting behind this and for marketing to all the need to support your local small businesses. But for small business communities like ours, we simply cannot survive on the once a year marketing program or the occasional local "city held" events to bring people downtown, to shop, dine and experience our quaint historic seaport and hopefully frequent our businesses enough to keep our doors open and stay in business. So, if you haven’t heard this stated before then I’ll state it again: we the small business owners, the mom-and-pop shops and restaurateurs that make up our city's downtown are in business everyday and every day is a small business day.

"When you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than nationally owned businesses, ... you strengthen the economic base of the your community.”

Unique shops and specialty stores are the staple of Olde Towne Portsmouth shopping experience.

This blog is written to help support the entrepreneurs, the small businesses that are the engine of our local and national prosperity and a proud reflection of Olde Towne Portsmouth and our Nation’s character. “From our unique mom-and-pop storefront shops that anchor High Street and offer unique merchandise or special services customers can't find in big box stores to the chef or family owned and managed restaurant that brings to you an exceptional dining experience. Many of the dollars spent here in small businesses stay in our own town, supporting our schools, police and fire department and creating community. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our Nation’s promise.

Brutti's Restaurant is one example of the fine dining establishments
that no longer resides here in Olde Towne Portsmouth.

Since the economy began to decline a few years ago, we have watched small businesses that our neighborhoods relied on struggle and then close. Many just closed overnight. I stopped by a favorite local restaurant to find huge “out of business” stickers posted all over the door - they just couldn't make ends meet, so their debtors came and shut them down. I direly miss our former shops and galleries now gone who took such pride in their businesses and marketed themselves with such enthusiasm. I miss the local wine and cheese shop and the natural foods store which brought amazing products that could not be bought in a grocery store. I miss the extraordinary art galleries and antique shops that once lined High Street in abundance that are now faint memories of our past.  

"First Friday" was a monthly
event designed to promote Olde
Towne's unique shops and
Olde Towne’s “First Friday”, a monthly event fashioned by a local art gallery owner, created an opportunity for the small retail shops to stay open at night together and an opportunity for shoppers to frequent the stores during the evening hours. Art galleries promoted show openings; others offered light fare and specials for the wandering shopper. This was the type of thinking that made Olde Towne great and brought attention to our community. Unfortunately, the gallery is gone and so are most of the participants that were the staples of the event. But these are the kinds of businesses that help form and bring together communities, but the only way they can survive is if local consumers are aware of how important it is that, when we are able to buy, we buy locally. When small businesses do well, communities flourish and our economy will grow.

So, this blog will feature over time all of the locally owned retail businesses and restaurants that exist within the downtown/Olde Towne business district. You will read about what makes them unique,  about products and services that can only be found here in Olde Towne. You will discover through these pages the Olde Towne restaurants and what makes them special. These articles will be the key to this blog and hopefully you will discover for yourself the magic that they bring to our Olde Towne Portsmouth- the magic they bring every day to Olde Towne!


  1. Great Tool to have! Portsmouth VA has all the best to offer and that is evident from a rich History of Patriotic Pride of this Nation. With America's first Navy Hospital as well as Navy Shipyard. The stories that we can share with the world through social media such as this are going to make a good impact. Thank you Joe.

  2. Another great blog, Joe. Is there anything you can't do ?