Award-winning concept store

CouCou (hello) and welcome back to our blog! In today's blog post, we're covering everything you need to know about the importance of supporting local businesses in Boston. We'll uncover how it boosts the community, sparks economic growth, and keeps the unique vibe of the area alive. Plus, we've got a handpicked list of some of our favorite local businesses in Boston that you absolutely have to check out. So, whether you're a Bostonian through and through or just swinging by, keep reading to find out why shopping locally is more than just a cool trend, it's a way to keep the heart and soul of this historic city beating strong!


Why Shop Locally in Boston

Shopping locally has always been the heartbeat of lively communities, and Boston is no different! Since 2014, the South End has been buzzing with new local businesses, each adding their own sprinkle of magic and personal flair to the neighborhood. One such gem is ours, CouCou! Despite all this growth, our love for the local community and our mission to support other Boston-based businesses remain rock solid.

Why Choosing Local Matters

As the retail landscape becomes increasingly dominated by large e-commerce and big-box retailers, it is more important than ever to support local businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, accounting for 99.9% of all businesses in the United States. They also account for 64.9% of the net new jobs created in the country and have a significant impact on the vibrancy and economic health of local communities.


Despite the important role that small businesses play in the economy, they face significant challenges in competing with larger retailers. The rise of e-commerce and the increasing dominance of large online retailers have made it more difficult for small businesses to compete.

The Benefits of Supporting Local Businesses in Boston

Economic Advantages for the Community

There are many benefits to shopping locally in Boston. When you choose to support local businesses, you are making an investment in your community. Shopping at locally owned businesses helps to keep money in the local economy. In fact, for every $100 spent at a local business, approximately $68 stays in the local economy. This money is then reinvested in the community through the payment of wages, local taxes, and the purchase of goods and services from other local businesses.

Impact of Shopping Local

Shopping locally in Boston also has environmental benefits. By shopping at small businesses in your local community, you can reduce the need for long-distance shipping and help to minimize the environmental impact of the retail industry. This is especially important in the current climate, as concerns about the environmental impact of human activity continue to grow.

Guide to Boston's Local Business Scene

In this section, we’ll provide a guide to some of our favorite local shops in Boston. These shops are a must-visit for anyone looking to support local businesses in Boston.


CouCou (that’s us!) is a local kids shop that was founded by then mother of one, Astrid Motsenigos, in Boston in 2016. CouCou is a concept store that offers a curated selection of independent international brands. You will find sustainably produced, high quality clothing, toys, and lifestyle products for children. Shop our latest arrivals online and stop by our South End location on 24 Union Park Street, Boston, to meet our team and learn about all the best local shops in the area! As you may have heard, we are moving to a new location soon, so please make sure to sign up for our newsletter to find out where that will be as soon as we announce it! 

Bittersweet Shoppe on Newbury

Bittersweet is a women-owned and operated small business with a flagship store located on Newbury Street in Boston. Bittersweet was founded by Tracy Casavant. Her Newbury store opened in the middle of COVID-19 and thrived against all odds. If you’re looking for a sweet treat and a premium beverage you can find her shop at 257 Newbury Street, Boston.


Hudson Interiors

Hudson is a local shop located at 12 Union Park in the South End. It is a family-owned business that was founded by Jill Goldberg. Hudson is known for its unique blend of contemporary and colonial styles. The shop is a reflection of Jill’s style and her love for all things design and beauty. Hudson is a must-visit store in Boston!


Beacon Hill Books and Cafe

Beacon Hill Books and Cafe is another local gem located in historic Beacon Hill. The shop is nestled at 71 Charles Street and is housed in a building that dates back to the early 19th century. The bookstore is a quintessential Beacon Hill establishment and is a must-visit for book lovers. In addition to its impressive collection of new, used, and rare books, the shop also has a cafe that serves coffee, tea, and light fare. The cafe has a charming patio that is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee and a croissant while soaking in the beauty of Beacon Hill.


SOMA Optical

SOMA Optical is an independent optical shop located at 8 Union Park in the South End. SOMA was founded by Christos and Alissa in 2019. The pair are experts at fitting and selecting eyewear to suit any style. SOMA Optical is a real mom-and-pop shop that has thrived entirely through word of mouth.


M Flynn Jewelry

M Flynn Jewelry is another Boston local shop located at 40 Waltham St in Boston’s historic South End. M Flynn was founded by the Flynn sisters, Moria and Megan. M Flynn is a unique jewelry store that is known for its beautiful designs and high-quality craftsmanship. In addition to its own designs, M Flynn also features a curated selection of other designers. 


Formaggio Kitchen

Formaggio Kitchen is an iconic specialty food shop with several locations in Cambridge and Boston. Formaggio Kitchen was founded in 1978. What started as a small cheese shop has since grown into a specialty food boutique that is beloved by locals and visitors alike. Formaggio Kitchen is a mecca for foodies and is known for its incredible selection of artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, wine, olive oil, and specialty grocery items. 


Boston Public Market

The Boston Public Market is a great place to shop for locally made food products. Located at 100 Hanover St, the market is home to a diverse selection of small businesses and local vendors, including farmers, fishers, and food producers. You’ll find a wide variety of locally made and sourced products at the Boston Public Market, including fresh produce, meat and seafood, dairy products, baked goods, and specialty items.

Shake the Tree

Shake the Tree is a boutique located in the North End of Boston. The store is housed in a historic building on Salem Street and is a local shopping destination known for its unique and eclectic selection of clothing, accessories, and home goods. Shake the Tree is a great place to shop for gifts, with a curated selection of products from both local and international brands.


Covet is a women’s clothing and accessories consignment store located in the South End of Boston, though they also have two other locations in Beacon Hill and Back Bay. The store is known for its sophisticated and modern selection of clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. Covet was founded in 2013 by owner, Hanadi Hamzeh, and has since become a go-to shopping destination for women in Boston. With a curated mix of emerging designers and established brands, Covet offers a unique shopping experience both in-store and online.


South End Buttery

South End Buttery has two locations in the South End of Boston, one at 314 Shawmut Ave and a second at 367 Clarendon St. The South End Buttery is a local favorite, and it is known for its delicious baked goods and coffee, as well as a complete restaurant menu and wine bar. The Buttery is a great place to grab a coffee with a friend, enjoy a meal with your family, or pick up a sweet treat to go. What makes the South End Buttery even more special is its commitment to supporting the local community. 

Challenges Faced by Local Businesses

While there are many benefits to shopping locally in Boston, it is also important to acknowledge the challenges that are faced by local businesses. Small businesses face a unique set of challenges that can make it difficult for them to compete with larger retailers.

Competition with Big Box Retailers

One of the biggest challenges faced by local businesses in Boston is competition with big box retailers. Large retailers have significant resources and buying power, which allows them to offer lower prices and a wider selection of products. This can make it difficult for small businesses to compete, especially in industries that are dominated by large retailers. In order to survive and thrive, small businesses need the support of their local community.

Navigating Economic Uncertainties

Local businesses in Boston are also more vulnerable to economic uncertainties. Events like recessions, natural disasters, and global pandemics can have a significant impact on the financial health of small businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has highlighted the vulnerability of small businesses. Many small businesses were forced to close their doors during the pandemic, and the ones that were able to survive are still faced with the challenge of rebuilding their businesses in a post-pandemic economy.



As we look towards the future, the importance of supporting local businesses in Boston cannot be overstated. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy and the heart of our local communities. By shopping locally in Boston and supporting the city’s vibrant small business community, we can help to create a more economically vibrant and resilient future for our community.


At CouCou, we are committed to supporting local businesses in Boston and beyond. We encourage you to think about the impact of your purchasing decisions every time you shop to make a conscious effort to support local businesses in Boston. Shop our curated selection of high-quality products for children online or stop by our South End location to learn about all the best local shops in the area!

  • Until next time, à bientôt!