Before ever considering buying Bob Slate Stationer in Harvard Square, the current owner Laura Donohue was a customer walking into the shop “to see something pretty and be happy when [she] was having a bad day.” When she learned that the store was planning to close and saw customers grieving in the isles, she realized the store was a local gem worth preserving. She’s been the owner since 2011 when she acquired the business from the second generation of the Slate family. Customers rely on Bob Slate Stationer as a steady source for their favorite tools that they know will work for them and that they love. “We provide stability,” says Laura, emphasizing how taste often leads people to repurchase the same products again and again. Her goal for ten years from now is “to still be here”. Shopping local helps businesses like Laura’s build a foundation as they work to compete in a challenging marketplace. Her buyers live locally and “know what someone who lives here is looking for.” They cater to a variety of customers including Harvard University’s faculty, staff and students, as well as the local shopper who wanders by in search of a special greeting card.