A rainy morning didn’t stop shoppers from checking out downtown establishments on Small Business Saturday.
From 9 a.m. to noon, Independence Bank offered free shopping bags with exclusive coupons. Frankfort residents made the most of it.
Downtown’s newest establishment is Main Street Diner, which replaced Pollo Bandido. Megan Farney, who runs the diner with three other owners, said they jumped at the chance to open it. They tore down and painted walls, redecorated and opened the diner on the Wednesday before the annual Candlelight Tradition.
“You had Marshalls, you had Backstretch, you needed a diner downtown and if we didn’t jump on it, someone else would have,” Farney said. “We want to definitely be those people that everyone counts on to be ready, be happy, give you good quality food all the time. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Frankfort residents John and Janna Unger enjoyed a “second breakfast” of eggs and hash browns in the 1950s-style diner. “We’re glad they’re open seven days a week,” John said.
“Working together is the biggest thing,” said Farney, who graduated with a culinary arts degree from Sullivan University in Lexington. “If all the restaurants and all the people downtown really work together, it really will thrive.”
Meanwhile, on St. Clair Mall, Danetta Bailey sold jewelry at Gliteratti Treasures, which she owns with her husband, Stephen Smith. Bailey opened the shop a year ago when she retired from state government.
“I couldn’t sit at home and I had a passion for jewelry,” Bailey said.
Bailey built her client base selling jewelry at shows. Many of her original customers now frequent Gliteratti.
”You get to where you know your customers really well,” she said. “We have a lot of tourists from the Bourbon Trail too.”
Among their offerings, Gliteratti features crystal and silver crosses and guardian angels made by Mariani, a company in Israel.
Around the corner on Broadway, Frankfort residents Dustin and Audrey Stewart took advantage of a free day from watching their children to check out Poor Richard’s Books, a Frankfort stalwart for more than 30 years.
Hannah Weeks, who has worked at the bookstore for seven years, praised her boss, Lizz Taylor. “Lizz is amazing, keeping cool local things in stock and keeping her hand on the pulse of new authors and supporting them and having signings. She does a good job having diverse subjects.”
Adjoining the bookstore is the Kentucky Coffee Tree Cafe, where customers took a break from the blustery weather to sip lattes and chat. Next door, novelty shop Completely Kentucky catered to shoppers seeking uniquely Kentucky-crafted curios.
Owned by Ann Wingrove, Completely Kentucky has sold regionally made arts and crafts for 29 years.
On Saturday, employee Rachel Blevins helped customers seeking holiday gifts. How does being a part of Frankfort’s downtown small business community make the employees feel? “It makes us feel big, I guess,” Blevins smiled.
Others seemed to agree as they enjoyed their rainy Saturday perusing downtown’s myriad small businesses.