Silicon Valley would hardly fit anyone’s definition of small business, but the fact is the high tech capital of the world is made of many small towns – San Jose excluded – with lots of small businesses.   I live in one of these towns, so I get to enjoy ‘small town living’ on a daily basis.  Home for me is Los Gatos, a 125-year-old town, which means the cats in Spanish and is so named because of the many wild cats that used to roam the area (some still do). Conveniently, Los Gatos is about a 30 minute drive from Plantronics headquarters in the coastal town of Santa Cruz.

Take it from a proud resident, Los Gatos more than lives of up to reputation as a friendly community with an alluring downtown that boasts a variety of unique and charming shops and restaurants. Still we are not without the major chain stores. They moved in over the past few years displacing many of the boutique shops.  Though the big retail brands have impacted the legendary complexion of the Town, it has managed to retain a small town feel.  On Saturday, I was excited to support some of the small businesses that still add so much personality to my community.

Here’s a chronicle of my Small Business Saturday Los Gatos Style

10:00 a.m. Time to get styled at Parlour 308 in preparation for a day of local shopping.   Parlour 308 is actually several small businesses within a small business!  My hairstylist, Wendy, is self employed and accepts my payment via American Express using her iPhone and Square technology.  Very cool.

12:30 p.m.  My daughter, who is home from college, joins me for lunch at new The Mmoon restaurant that features several varieties of Argentinean empanadas.   Tasty and healthy!

1:30 p.m.  We bought gifts at one of my favorite shops, The Black Cat, known for its vast assortment of hats and jewelry.  Owner, Janet, was ready for shoppers with her Shop Small welcome mat!

2:00 p.m. We bought a cool cat toy for my 18 lb cat, Bayley, at Purrsnickety, a 30 year old business (and appropriately named store)!  Incidentally, the adjoining store is Bow Wowser.

My family had dinner at Gardinos, a family owned Italian restaurant on the downtown strip and visited with Pete, one of the owners.   It was a great way to end the day with scrumptious food  —   they don’t hold the garlic at Gardinos – in a festive setting.

All in all, I enjoyed a great Small Business Saturday in my favorite small town.