Over the past decade, Franklin’s downtown area has thrived.
Unique restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops have made for a vibrant scene, coupled with community events, festivals and concerts.
In recent weeks, a group of new businesses have opened up or reopened existing shops, bringing fresh opportunities to downtown.
Jackie Eanes, owner of Take Root Country Store and her husband Scott are new additions to Franklin’s business community. Take Root Country Store has been a 25-year staple in Greenwood. When Jackie first started the business she set goals for herself and her business, one being able to open a store in Franklin.
“I’ve always loved Franklin, we used to live here for nine years but that was before the downtown area started taking off, we’ve been looking just for a few years after seeing what was going on here. We were able to see how the businesses worked together,” Jackie Eanes said.
Jackie and Scott Eanes weren’t the only ones that noticed how the business community helped each other grow. Nikki Frederick, owner of Frozen Paradise, recently opened her store on East Jefferson Street, offering shaved ice, ice cream, açaí bowls and more.
Frederick is a resident of Franklin and admired the environment that cultivated downtown. Though she had been planning to open Frozen Paradise for years, she waited until she found the perfect brick-and-mortar location.
“I wanted to open something like this for five years but I just couldn’t get downtown, I knew I wanted to be permanent and not mobile, that was my big hindrance just waiting on a storefront,” Frederick said.
Staying local was a priority for her; Frederick and her family spend lots of time downtown by visiting different stores and restaurants.
“We are the ones who shop locally so I knew I wanted to be a part of the downtown atmosphere,” she said.
Part of the success of Franklin’s downtown can be attributed to the support that the entire business community gives each other. The atmosphere makes new owners feel wanted, said Andrea Brewer, the new owner of Benjamin’s Coffeehouse and Bakeshop
“I had an at-home bakery, where I would sell at festivals and farmers markets, then I was approached by the previous owners about maybe buying the shop,” Brewer said.
Brewer and her fiancé moved to Franklin 4 1/2 years ago and didn’t realize how quickly they would feel at home with the location and the community. She never imagined herself owning a coffeehouse, so before she made a decision to buy the shop she wanted to test the waters by working at Benjamin’s to see if she would be interested.
“My fiancé and I found Franklin and just fell in love, I told him I never wanted to leave and that’s how we ended up here and we don’t plan on going anywhere,” she said.
Since deciding to come on as the new owners of Benjamin’s, they’ve been receiving positive feedback and help from customers and other local business owners. Staying local is what helped these businesses grow, Brewer said.
“I kept everything local, from my insurance company to my (certified public attorney), everything is within walking distance for me… I made sure I kept it local because word of mouth was the best way to share the news about Benjamin’s re-opening,” she said. “That’s how I introduced myself everywhere I went as ‘I’m the new owner,’ because every one was curious of what was going on here and they decided to come and see what was happening.”
Brewer noticed once she shared the news, people from her bank, insurance company and others have been frequenting Benjamin’s.
Each of the new or newly reimagined businesses provide different services for the community. Take Root Country Store sells a variety of items for those that want their home to feel more rural and rustic, items such as braided rugs, candles, home decorations and more that you might find in places such as Nashville.
“We provide a lot here at Take Root but if a customer comes in looking for something we don’t have or sell we aren’t afraid to send them to other local stores that would be able to help them,” Scott Eanes said.
The connection created between owners is important for small businesses and the connections are what helps these businesses grow.
“That is the best part about staying local is being able to help other local owners grow their business as much as we grow ours,” Jackie Eanes said.
Take Root Country Store will hold a grand opening, with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. Thursday at 11 a.m. Guests can find refreshments and receive a gift with a purchase.
Frozen Paradise is expected to hold a grand opening as well, though the date will be announced in the coming week.