By Donnabeth Leffler
  • Greetings!

    July 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

     During the past week or so, I’ve been in two drugstores. Both times someone called out to me with a hearty “Welcome to _______.” It happened again when I stopped in a home improvement store.   It seems the Walmart greeter idea has spread. I was going to say it’s become contagious but that would be a less-than-subtle way […]

  • Filling the Border(s)

    June 24, 2011 at 11:11 am

    You know that 25,000+ square feet of empty retail space we used to call Borders? Well, we may soon be calling it something else! Joe Mendola, property manager with Tri-City, Inc. tells this Savvy Spender that he’s in serious talks with three different tenants and there’s a possibility a fourth will enter the picture.  Not surprisingly, […]

  • Open for Business

    June 17, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    When I first started writing this column, I sent the Chapelboro honchos a very brief bio. When asked to expand it I added that I chose to cover business from the consumer perspective because, here, business is public policy more than anywhere else I’ve ever lived (and that’s not a few places!).   In my quest […]

  • The Grocery Gavotte

    June 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Forget the government’s new pie-shaped food guide; I’m still living by the pyramid. Well, mine is more of a triangle and it doesn’t represent food groups in the way nutritionists hope it does. Mine is a triangle that moves between Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter and back again. There are some side trips: Farmers’ Markets, […]

  • Meeting The Meat House: A New Business Owner Profile

    June 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

     As your Savvy Spender, I sometimes want to know the story behind a place where I might do some of that savvy spending.  This made me interested in the new store on Franklin: The Meat House.   Getting to know new business owners is part of my mission here on so I pulled up one […]

  • A Business Owner's Return to his Roots

    May 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    As your Savvy Spender, I plan to report on new businesses sprouting up in our midst and also those that close.  There’s another category of interest also: when an established business changes hands. I recently sat down to chat with the new owner of one such business.  Though he’s new neither to Chapel Hill nor […]

  • BUY LOCAL: A 2-Way Street?

    May 20, 2011 at 10:43 am

     I really believe in trying to spend my money locally.  I don’t always do so but I really do try.  And this is true not only for goods, but services as well.  I look at it as sort of part of a public service that benefits all if we help each other. The benefit accrues […]

  • Changes in Store (sorry!) at Carr Mill Mall

    May 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

    We’ve been hearing about changes at Carr Mill Mall in bits and pieces:  Fleet Feet left for elsewhere in Carrboro (as reported by the WCHL News team at the end of April), and a few weeks ago I mentioned the upcoming move by Jewelworks to University Mall. Manager Nathan Milian told me there’s also news […]

  • Moms as An Economic Engine

    May 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

    This time I’m going to veer off the shopping experience to discuss what I believe is hidden economic engine in our towns… and one that honors Mother’s Day.  Wait until you read how I tie those two together!    I have lived many places both in this country (small, medium and large towns) and abroad […]

  • J.Crew and University Mall

    April 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Remember these crowds from over the winter? These are people lined up to spend money in our University Mall! With no more drugstore, rumors of Dillard’s leaving, the departure of the Children’s Store, people whispered and railed that the mall had too little to offer. What then were all these people doing there? The shopping […]

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