Not so much an item for sale but staff who care about the sport, who don't sell beginners Pro models, staff who ride themselves, who ask the right questions find find out what board is best for the customer.
I've seen a lot of people who just want to sell gear, I've seen 80' (shortest length) rope being sold to beginners, I've seen beginners sold boards that where years old, for high prices, sold boards that where much too small for them. I've even seen binding screws that had been hammered, that's right hammered! into a board.
Independent brands would be great but the right staff is paramount in my opinion.