For years, John Dodig and his husband Rodger have done their holiday shopping on Amazon. That often means gift cards for their many children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings and friends.
This year — with memories of years gone by — they headed to a mall. But after 2 hours in Trumbull, they’d found exactly 2 gifts.
Depressed, they left.
Driving home, they decided to try downtown Westport. They parked in the Baldwin Lot behind Brooks Brothers, and headed to Church Lane.
On a whim, they walked into Savannah Bee Company. The manager greeted them warmly.
John and Rodger learned about bees, honey, sustaining the environment, and the store’s strong support for the community. They also found several perfect gifts.
They put them in their car, then browsed more stores in Bedford Square and on Main Street.
“We found something for everyone on our list — and had a great time shopping,” says John, who retired in 2015 after 11 years as Staples High School’s well-respected principal.
“Everyone in every store went out of their way to be helpful. They were beyond friendly.”
John and Rodger finished their shopping, feeling like “supportive and thankful Westporters.”
John’s advice: “Forget the malls. Shop locally! Our shop owners need our support. And they provide everything we need during this gift-giving season.”