About Shop Durham

The concept of Shop Durham really begin with our sister site, Best of the Bull. It’s local blog written by locals about the city of Durham. Writing only about businesses, organizations, bands, etc. that were founded here in Durham. The site grew quickly in popularity simply because we were sharing what makes Durham, well, Durham. Great people and great local businesses.

We wondered how we could take it a step further and encourage locals to support the homegrown businesses that keep Durham unique. Enter, Shop Durham!

Keepin' Local First

The program began in December 2017 so we are truly still in the baby stages! The response from the local community has been nothing short of incredible. We launched with 100 businesses and continue to add more every month. As of May 2018, you can save at 140 spots around Durham. We designed the program to reward you for shopping locally, but it’s not just about saving. It’s a mindset. It’s a reason to choose local first next time you need a gift, a cup of coffee, a quick bite to eat, a new outfit. 

The Shop Durham card is your key to Durham. Whether you’ve lived here all your life, just becoming acquainted with the city, or if you’re looking to visit or relocate. We hope it inspires you to visit local businesses that you may not have heard of otherwise! 

We hope you enjoy the journey and discover something about the city that is new to you.

Why Shop Local?

Durham's Unique Character

Durham is known for it’s unique character, history, and people. We want Durham to always stay true to itself. Stay local, unique, and maybe a little gritty.


Strength Local

Locally owned businesses circulate 3 times more money back into the local economy than chain stores. That’s because local businesses re-spend that money throughout the local economy at a much greater rate.


Our local businesses communities foster a sense of place, social capital, promote civic engagement, employ our community, and bring social enjoyment beyond the exchange of money for goods.

Property Values

Neighborhoods served by successful independent businesses gained, on average, 50% more in home values. Local business owners are your neighbors. They genuinely care about the well-being of your community because it’s their home too.

The Team

Katelyn Belch


I’m an owner of multiple small businesses and if you haven’t noticed I have a thing for Durham. Maybe it’s the down to earth but incredibly talented people or the small city feel with endless things to do or the unique businesses you can’t find anywhere else. Most days, you’ll find me chasing our toddler around, snapping photos of my favorite spots around Durham — or selling a house or two. (Shameless plug for my company, Katelyn Leanne Real Estate Group)

Running Best of the Bull and Shop Durham takes up almost all of my time, but I love it immensely and it doesn’t feel much like work.


Tony Belch


I’m a Durham native and have loved watching this city transform. One of the things I enjoy most about Durham is the diverse population that creates such a wonderful mix of art, culture, and perspectives. 

Durham has become such a wonderful place to work and live. Most days you will find me working at Duke University or doing my best to keep up with my entrepreneurial wife and energetic son! We hope you enjoy Shop Durham as much as we enjoy doing it. It’s a great way to discover local businesses around Durham!