From MICHAEL SHUMAN
[Author Michael Shuman, Local Dollars, Local Sense, is well-known here in Mendo. He was here most recently giving an all-day seminar, and gave two wonderful presentations about local business during our successful fight to stop the Masonite Monster Mall. Entrepreneur Jason Brown, Your Local Market in Bellevue, Washington, is a dear friend. -DS]
What happens next in the economy – the nation’s, the state’s, and Seattle’s – no longer lies in the hands of Capitol Hill politicians, the Federal Reserve, or even the boards of companies like Microsoft and Starbucks. It depends on entrepreneurs like Jason Brown, who has big ambitions for his small business. Jason recently opened a grocery store in the heart of downtown Bellevue called Your Local Market. It combines the best features of Whole Foods, like high-quality local and organic products, with down-to-earth prices and familiar brands of low cost cleaning products.
Jason, however, is not your typical small businessperson. For more than three decades he has been an innovator in retailing. He brought Columbia Sportswears to New Zealand and Australia. He created the Natural Apothecary, which was sold to Wild Oats, and then went on to develop Andrew Weil Vitamin Advisor. He grew a bi-coastal company called Organic To Go, which at its peak made healthy options available in 33 cafes and 150 outlets.
Today, Jason is all about “local.” He and his team have scoured the Pacific Northwest for great suppliers of local fruits, meats, and wines