As I sit here in this corporate chain coffee shop, (name withheld for my protection) I feel a twinge of guilt reviewing The Delocator. That’s because The Delocator’s mission is to help people find independent, locally owned coffee shops, as opposed to, say, Starbucks.
The site works well enough. When I put in my (US) zip code, it brought up two columns. On the left were the locally owned coffee shops, and on the right, the chain stores. From there, the user is free to chose based upon their economic philosophy. The cafe that I’m in was not listed, so I used the add feature and it was up later the same day.
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The Delocator has plans to move beyond the US to Canada and the UK, but as it is run by just one person, that may take a while. In the meanwhile, you can get the code here and try to set it up in your home country!
In addition to adding more countries to their service, The Delocator is also branching out to movies (chains vs. local movie houses), corner bookstores vs. Borders and Barnes and Noble, music stores and even organic food.
Now about this time you’re probably wondering why people couldn’t just do a simple Google search instead of trying to remember The Delocator site.
In fact, the Google map does list the same coffee shops. So what’s the point? The point is that The Delocator is providing not just a search function, but an anti-corporate chain stores philosophy as well.
So it’s your choice, do you want to use the great Google machine and click on Starbucks, Inc. so that you can participate in sending your local dollars to some far away corporate headquarters, or do you want to support The Delocator and it’s list of local cafes owned and operated by your fellow townspeople? “Support the underdog and promote a future that includes the culture of small businesses” cries the developer. It’s your call, but remember, some day you may have to answer to The Delocator!