Life At Net Friends

Small Business Saturday 2021: Local Businesses We Love at Net Friends

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Net Friends

Small Business Saturday is on November 27, 2021 this year! In many ways, small businesses are the backbone to every local economy. This annual event is intended to spotlight and support independent retailers, small dining establishments, and local service providers in our communities.

From town to town, people will be strolling down their Main Street to “shop small” this Saturday. At Net Friends, we love to see our customers and neighbors in Bull City flourish. We are proud to belong to a thriving community of Durham businesses since 1997.

In fact, we have a deeply rooted history on Durham's own Main Street, where our office was located for 20 years (from 1998-2018, before we moved into our new HQ in January 2019).

From our Main Street to yours, we invite you to support local this holiday season, wherever you're rooted! This year, we are inspired to feature fellow local businesses that our Net Friends staff love to enjoy—from our favorite independent bookstore to a rave-worthy barber shop.

Local Businesses We Love at Net Friends

Check out our staff recommendations and discover why we love and celebrate these local businesses:

Holly, Finance Director:

"I love Cocoa Cinnamon and Caffè Driade as my go-to coffeeshop faves! There is a really cool toy store in Cary called Science Safari. They have so many interesting toys and games."

I love Caffè Driade because it is a woman-owned business serving great coffee and tea, that you can enjoy outdoors in an idyllic setting among gardens and trees.
Photo Credit: Caffè Driade Website

Will, Customer Success Manager:

"If you were putting off getting your hair cut during COVID, or haven’t found a go-to place: Arrow/Pedro Williams is a great locally owned chain. In non-COVID times, they have a fresh beer waiting for you when you get your cut. Bonus: I’ve got two family members that work there (shout out to Annie and Andrew). They have an awesome URL as well:!"

Luis, Technical Account Manager:

You should give Spanglish a try! It’s Puerto Rican and the soup takes you to your abuelita’s house. It's located in downtown Durham in front of City Hall.

Francisco, IT Support Specialist:

"I’m addicted to the Arroz con gandulez y pernil at Boricua Soul in Durham, near the Bulls Athletic Park. It’s a very Xmas-ie food for us Puerto Ricans and I get to have it here in NC all year around!"

John Snyder, CEO:

"Atomic Empire is such a treasure! We buy all our board games and card games there.

Before the pandemic, Joel [our COO] and I sat down at Atomic Empire together and played a game called Dominion in the back of the store, where they have hundreds of sample games to test out.

Since then, I've purchased 4 different expansion packs along with the original game. My family and I have played Dominion for numerous hours, creating lasting memories and loads of quality time."

Neelesh Patel, President:

High Strung is a great resource for guitars and other string instruments. The staff and owners are incredibly friendly and they offer remote lessons with some truly talented musicians!
Photo Credit: High Strung Violins & Guitar Website

Kristi, Accounting Bookkeeper:

"The Mac House is one of my favorite restaurants back when I worked in Raleigh. They specialize in mac and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. I never had a bad meal there!"

Emily, Marketing Coordinator:

"Gocciolina, an Italian restaurant in North Durham, is my all-time favorite happy place. I highly recommend their crispy fried eggplant anti-pasta! They layer it seasonally with heirloom tomatoes (or beets in the summer) and gorgonzola, before drizzling balsamic reduction over it—chef’s kiss! Also, if you haven’t visited Golden Fig Books, you must! Its namesake comes from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar."

David (owner of Golden Fig Books) truly sources the BEST gently loved books and prices them unbelievably fair. I became a Patreon member with them during the pandemic and really enjoyed discovering new books from their recommendation videos.
Photo Credit: Golden Fig Books Website

Rob, Lead Solutions Architect:

"We love Pulcinella's Italian Restaurant in South Durham. We've been going there since before our kids were born—and then Mike, the owner, offered my daughter a job when we were there celebrating her 15th birthday this spring (she took it, so you're likely to see or talk to her on Saturday/Sunday evenings). Everything is good, but I think their bread (with the dipping oil) might be my favorite."

Support Local for the Holidays

The season of giving is snowballing into full-fledge holiday festivities! We invite you to consider our local favorites when you’re planning gifts for loved ones. A gift card or visit to one of these local establishments (or any small business) will definitely spark joy all around this season!

Quick Recap of Our Favorite Local Businesses:

A Net Friends Announcement

We are excited to announce that John Snyder, Net Friends CEO, has recently joined the Leadership Council for the National Small Business Association (NSBA).

John will serve on a sub-committee that advises on matters related to technology, while promoting the interests of small businesses to our policymakers in Washington, DC.

Stay tuned for the official press release in January 2022!

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At Net Friends, we believe in the power of human expertise. While we leverage AI to enhance our content and processes, all blog posts are written and edited by our knowledgeable staff. You can trust you are getting insights directly from our team.

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