Many of my fellow Minnesotans are avid supporters of local businesses. Whether it is tacos from a truck, boutique haircare products, or craft beer, we like to shop local. I’ve noticed a slight change though, when the weather gets nice we still seek out these local stores and sources but we do so a bit differently.

I noticed it last week, at a shop near my apartment. I walked in, I was in a bit of a hurry and I knew what I wanted yet I still stopped to chat with one of the employees. It wasn’t the normal “How are you“ with little concern for how they actually are but an actual conversation with jokes and everything. It made me think, even though I was on a mission, I wanted to stop and make a human connection; something that had it been winter, I wouldn’t have done.

I realized that these local businesses that we frequent have become more than just sources of products and services that we want to see succeed, but they are places to hang out and connect with other like-minded people.

The good weather brings brighter attitudes and pushes us to stop and take a moment to actually find out how someone’s day went, if they’ve tried the newest beer, or heard of the new bike models. The local shops have become more than just a part of our neighborhoods and daily routines but an actual part of our life that we make time for, even if we are already short on time. And I like that.