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Meet Sheri Metzler of Local Fare

Hi Sheri, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I discovered The OC Mix through my sister. It quickly became our go to spot on Saturdays for the Farmer’s Market and for my sister, the coffee at Portola. I fell in love with the atmosphere and mentioned it to a local friend who manufactured specialty sauces with the idea of him opening a shop there. When he expressed is lack of desire to get into retail, I asked if he would sell to me and the idea for Local Fare started growing. I started with his locally made sauces, added others and servingware.

I leased the smallest spot, only 200 square feet, but within six months moved to a larger space. There have been definite “bob and weave” moments. My little store has evolved over the years (I no longer carry specialty foods) but I always strive to support local artisans as much as possible.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t always been smooth. I feel the biggest learning curve has been to recognize that your customer demographic may change and you will need to adjust accordingly to those new desires.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Local Fare?
What makes me the happiest is when people come into my store and say it calms them, especially during these tumultuous times. While I do carry lines that are popular and sold many places, I search out unique one of kind gift items to support local artists when I can.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
Ah, another “bob and weave” moment. In December, I had planned that my January focus was going to be “Unplug”. I brought in puzzles, cross stitch kits, paint by number kits, etc. How could I have known it was exactly what was needed. But when the closure happened, I focused on my website and was able to continue filling my customer’s needs. Staying in touch with my regulars was also important along with a huge dose of empathy for everyone.

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