Local Spotlight: Suzy Dailey

If there is one name you simply must know in Ogden it is Suzy Dailey. Suzy is an incredible force in our wonderful community and she selflessly gives back to Ogden time and time again. Whether working on supporting local businesses and throwing amazing parties with local first Ogden, maintaining the sunflower community garden  or running one of her Grounds for coffee shops, Suzy Dailey is engaged in her community.

I was privileged to do an interview with Suzy about her work with local first Ogden and Grounds for coffee so read on and learn a bit about this amazing local.

When did Local First (Ogden) start?

I joined the Local First Board of Directors in Salt Lake in 2007 with the purpose of bringing the Buy Local message to Ogden. It wasn’t until April of 2010 that we established the Ogden Chapter and got to work with our projects.

What does Local First (Ogden) do?

So far we’ve mostly been fund-raising. As you can imagine, it’s difficult to have any staying power without money to back it up. The Local First Ogden Core Committee meets monthly to plan the quarterly meetings which bring the Local First Ogden Partners, as well as, the Ogden community together. We’ve have 3 quarterly meetings (2 of which were fund-raisers) and have raised several thousand dollars. This puts us in a good position to begin planning for 2012 activities.

Why is supporting local important?

When you shop at a local, independent business your dollars are circulated 3 times further than when you make purchases at a national chain store. Local, independent businesses use local resources such as; accounting firms, marketing firms, insurance companies, etc. This keeps the dollars within your local community. Large chains stores purchase these services from wherever their corporate headquarters is located. Smaller independent businesses are more likely to carry locally manufactured products since the buying decisions are made here in Ogden for Ogden shoppers, not by some far away corporate purchasing agent. Local, independent businesses have been proven to contribute more in terms of time and in-kind donations to their community as well. The studies that back up these claims can be found at the Buy Local First website; www.localfirst.org. Check it out.

How would someone get involved?

We meet the 3rd Thursday of each month (except in December when we are all too busy running our local independent businesses) so our next meeting is January 19th, at 6pm, location to be announced. This is a great time to join. With funding in place we are ready to plan how to get the Buy Local message out to the Ogden community. We will be brainstorming ideas and creating committees to take on the tasks that  we decide will have the most impact and be the most fun. Our activities generally focus on Community Outreach, Partner Recruitment, City Coordination, and Public Events. The idea is to expand our volunteer base to spread out the workload, as well as, broaden our skill set and expertise. So far, it has been an amazing group of fun and talented people. We just need more of them.

When did you open Grounds for Coffee?

–Dan and I opened our first location at 3005 Harrison Blvd., in November of 1991.

What does Grounds for Coffee offer?

GFC is a local, independent, specialty coffee shop. Serving fresh roasted coffee and espresso based beverages. We have freshly prepared deli items and bakery selections for quick take out or to snack on in our shop. Non-coffee drinkers will also find a large selection of delicious drinks. Our hours are 5:30 am to 11 pm, 7 days a week. WIFI is available, too. We open our walls each month to a local artist and from time to time invite musicians play. We just finished the third season in our community garden which is located directly behind our building.

What is your favorite part about owning a local cafe?

I enjoy the freedom of being my own boss and having the opportunity to make the decisions that drive our business. Also, it give me the flexibility to volunteer  time to other organizations that I deeply believe in. The other great joy is our customers (many who we see everyday) and, of course, our staff. Combining these two groups, there’s never a dull moment in our coffee shop. I should write a book!

What do you love about  Ogden?

Well, strangely, I don’t live in Ogden. It’s a long story but Dan and I live in Salt Lake. What I do love about Ogden is the sense of community that the residents have around their city. There are so many wonderful and committed volunteers who really add to the quality of life in Ogden. The community driven organizations that bring events and opportunities to the citizens of Ogden are truly outstanding for a city it’s size. The GOAL Foundation, Ogden Nature Center, Ogden Arts Festival at Union Station, Project Success, Ogden Arts, and Weber Pathways are just a few that come to mind that we try to support. There are so many others as well.

What are three things our readers should know about you?

It probably sounds pretty contrived, but as we enter our 20th year of business in Ogden, Dan and I often discuss how lucky we are. We’ve been embraced by the community and try really hard to give back as much as we can. I guess another thing people may not know is that Dan and I both grew up in Michigan and love to play euchre, but never as partners!

Do you read Indie Ogden?

I try to keep up with Indie Ogden via Facebook and by email. Unlike so many of your younger fans I don’t like reading from a computer screen. I look forward to your future ideas about a printed publication. I’m old school in this way. What I do see is great and so enthusiastic that I always enjoy it. I especially like your list of things to do. Seem like I often  have schedule conflicts with a lot of them, but that is good, right? So many things to do and so little time to do them! Keep up the good work, Mikaela!

Mikaela is a transplant from Portland, fell in love with Ogden her first day in town and created Indie Ogden the next week. She enjoys outdoor adventures with her 2 kiddos and making a mess crafting. You can find her at a local cafe or cycling around town with her family.