Editorial: looking through a local lens


Sarah Baker

Image by Sarah Baker.

Story by The Baker Orange Editorial Board

There’s no place like home, and in this humble and historic little town, we are capable of creating memories we will carry throughout our lifetimes – memories that are unique to us here in our college home in Baldwin City.

However, many students often forget that small, local businesses can help make our college experience more memorable, and despite what we may sometimes think, they’re always in danger of disappearing.

With the recent closure of the locally owned gas station, the Santa Fe Market, students and community members alike are seeing just how easy and inconvenient losing a local business can be. Now that we only have one gas station, the fight for gas pumps is on.

In order to prevent future damage to our Baker University experience, we need to remind ourselves of how important our local businesses are and make an effort to keep an eye out for local options when we shop or dine.

The typical fast-food chains attract us by being quick, cheap and safe (a pizza from Pizza Hut tastes pretty similar no matter where you order it). While Baldwin City has many mainstream, fast-food options for meals and groceries, including Dollar General, Subway, Sonic, Taco Bell and more, the locally owned and operated stores and restaurants can be places to make memories and enjoy delicious food specific to Baldwin City.

Many students would have to admit their time at Baker would have been less satisfying without lunches and late nights at El Patron, the quick to-go boxes of Chinese food courtesy of Joy Garden or even the oh-so-common emergency grocery runs (that might have actually included running) to the Baldwin City Market.

We sometimes overlook shopping opportunities as well, especially now that many of us are buying Christmas gifts. As a couple of examples, there is a local antique shop on High Street, right next door to campus, and the Shirt Shack sells Baker gear and custom-designed T-shirts.

The community of Baldwin City and Baker are all in the Wildcat family. By shopping and dining locally, we show our appreciation for the community that has grown right alongside our university. Without our regular support, some of our favorite memory-making restaurants and stores won’t always be here for future Wildcats.