Our Focus

High Country Local First from Chris Grasinger on Vimeo.

High Country Local First is a non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen our community and local economy by supporting locally owned, independent businesses and farmers through education, promotion and networking. High Country Local First envisions a community where local businesses are prosperous, where citizens make informed decisions on how and where they purchase goods and services, and a community that as a whole becomes more self-reliant by utilizing the strength of its own assets.

When purchases are made locally, rather than from national chains, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms – continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community. Also, significantly more tax dollars are kept in the High Country, helping to support schools, civic services and community improvements. When you purchase local, the health, wealth and vitality of the community are improved. Think Local First!

Our Programs

The Local First Campaign is an effort to increase awareness and support of independent, locally owned businesses in the High Country.

As Michael H. Shuman, author of Going Local , writes, "Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs."

Food and Farming Program

The Food and Farming Program is dedicated to supporting and building a sustainable local food system in the High Country. This website is an effort to bring together the various sectors involved in the local food movement here in the High Country. Through our website, we will be able to provide the community with information on where to buy local food, why this is so important, what events and workshops to attend, and opportunities for individuals, organizations and businesses to network through our “communities” page. We have a plethora of farmers, organizations, restaurant owners, grocers and consumers who care about growing food locally and sustainably. We now need to get ourselves organized and networked to grow this vital sector of economy and create the health, wealth, capacity and connections of a resilient community.

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Local First News

Food Glorious Food: From A Website To Your Door
Goldbely CEO Joe Ariel freely admits that his company is an agent of food pornography. Just visiting its site, one is overwhelmed with images of glistening meats, sparkling fruit pies and flaky pastry. It’s all just a tease, though, until you order from one of Goldbely’s food-purveyor clients. Click here for full story
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Locally owned businesses can help communities thrive and survive climate change

By Stacy Mitchell

Cities where small, locally owned businesses account for a relatively large share of the economy have stronger social networks, more engaged citizens, and better success solving problems, according to several recently published studies. Click here for full story

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The Idea of a Local Economy by Wendell Berry
A TOTAL ECONOMY is one in which everything-"life forms," for instance,-or the "right to pollute" is "private property" and has a price and is for sale. In a total economy significant and sometimes critical choices that once belonged to individuals or communities become the property of corporations. A total economy, operating internationally, necessarily shrinks the... click here for more

More Information

If you need information about any of our services, please feel free to use our contact form.

Business Spotlight


Recess is located in Boone, NC. Rider owned and operated. It is the only 100% skateboard and snowboard shop in the area. Opened October 2009 and located on Highway 105 in the heart of Boone. Recess offers a great selection of product from the best skate and snow brands around. We have a very knowledgeable... click here for more

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*We would like to thank local photographers; Alistair Burke and Tommy White for allowing us to use their photographs on our website.

High Country Local First is fortunate to have fiscal sponsorship and business support from Inquiring Systems, Inc. (ISI) while we await our 501 (c)(3) status. ISI’s focus is directed toward developing, nurturing and maintaining the resiliency, viability and sustainability of ecosystems and related business entities. With over 30 years of experience in assisting organizations and businesses in the role of advocate, counselor, planner and consultant, they are positioned to help High Country Local First in growing the community you love

A Special Thanks to our Founding Sponsors and Sustaining Members