Ballard man builds e-commerce tool to boost local businesses

A man in Ballard has created an easy way to shop local: it’s called Sook, and it features over two dozen Ballard and Seattle small businesses.

Jonathan Sandals is the founder of Sook, which emerged from his realization that due to the pandemic closures, he had no easy way to shop at his favorite local stores. The name is a play on the word “souk”, which describes bazaars and markets in the Middle East and North Africa.

“If I wanted to buy a jacket in Ballard or Seattle, I would have to visit 20 individual websites for small businesses rather than shopping for them in one place,” Sandals tells My Ballard. “It’s because of this problem that the small businesses we love are getting eaten alive online by larger corporate retailers who are a one-stop-shop.”

So, he decided to create Sook, which operates as a Google Chrome shopping assistant extension. He has 28 businesses featured so far, with more to come. Sandals even included an alert feature that tells shoppers on larger sites (think Amazon or Nordstroms) if there are similar products available from local small businesses.

Seattle is the launch city for Sook, but Sandals says they’re planning to roll out another 20-25 other American cities. Stores can sign up for free, and business owners must be on Shopify to be featured on Sook. Sandals says they’ll also be expanding to other e-commerce providers such as Squarespace and Magento.

A few of the Ballard stores featured so far are Gold Dogs, Prism, Market Street Shoes, LUCCA Great Finds, Kick It Boutique and Re-soul.

To browse the local offerings, follow this link to download the extension on Google Chrome.

12 thoughts to “Ballard man builds e-commerce tool to boost local businesses”

  1. What is the relationship of this web site creator to the blog? Question how Google will use your personal experience to collect more data? When all stores are virtual with owners who are not from or of this neighborhood , what does it really mean to have a local store?

    1. Both the web site creator and this blog are possibly members of Q-Anon. The Google data will be used to find and eat children. Your question concerning retail has been referred to the Department of Commerce.

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