Sasha Murphy is a proud supporter of local businesses, but it wasn't until she heard a member of City Council speak about an initiative to shop locally that she was inspired to create a shopping version of a pub crawl.
When Councilman Peter Rubino discussed the 3/50 project—where consumers pick three local businesses and spend $50—during a council meeting, she was inspired.
"I do shop local, but how can I get more people to shop local?" was a question she posed to herself.
Borrowing an idea she had seen in other communities, Murphy began meeting with local businesses to organize what became Shop the Shores crawl.
The crawl starts at 9:15 a.m. Saturday at Caffe Far Bella, and then participants will car pool or caravan through the city to businesses including Kitty Deluxe, Gilbert's Hardware, Circare, Harper Sports Shop, Comfortably Yours, Artisan Knitworks, Gifts Afloat, Urban Attic, and lunch at Ardmore Park Place Cafe.
"It is great they are doing this to help their community," said Blair Gilbert, owner of Gilbert's Hardware, of the organizers.
Gilbert will be offering free lawn bags and 40 percent off LED flashlights to participants in the crawl.
Murphy is hoping the first crawl will be a success, and hopes to expand the event to include a spring event and an even larger holiday shopping crawl in 2012.
For Caffe Far Bella owners Jack and Karen Palazzolo, the crawl is opportunity to welcome new customers into their business on Nine Mack Drive.
"It will be huge for us," Karen Palazzolo said. "Anything that can bring additional awareness is huge."