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Uncle Jack Fultz’s Memories of Carter County: Shopping local, then and now

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

If there is one thing we have been unapologetically vocal about since this newspaper started, it has been shopping local. We truly feel that supporting local businesses improves the quality of our communities, the quality of our lives, and the quality of opportunities available to our families. 

There are other benefits too, whether it be fresher bread (see Think It Over) or more responsive customer service (see Job Work Solicitor). It was true 100 years ago and it’s just as true now. 

Of course, we try to be a little more diplomatic today in how we approach it. Our businesses definitely aren’t threatening the loss of bakeries that may never return – though, as we all make our sandwiches on Heiner’s or Betsy Ross loaves that can last for months, we might consider the item placed in the paper by Kitchen Bakery back in September of 1920. 

Businesses might be more diplomatic about it now, and use a Chamber of Commerce instead of directly engaging with the public via newspaper write-ups, but the passion for supporting local people is, in general, thankfully still here, even if Kitchen Bakery isn’t.

We’ve definitely seen a fall in the variety of locally produced goods and the number of locally owned businesses since the industrial heydays of Grayson and Olive Hill, but we’ve also seen some interesting growth over the last several years as the communities have found their new identities and people have made the choice to shop local instead of hopping in the car and driving to Morehead or Ashland – the future envisioned by Kitchen Bakery that came to pass with the advent of cheap automobiles, but one we’re now actively looking to reimagine. 

Who knows, maybe someday someone will prove the bakery wrong and open another place to get fresh baked bread in Olive Hill or Grayson. Both cities have seen growth recently, and a boutique bakery might have a place in the future of either city – if we’ll support it. 

I sure hope we will. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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