What’s up, Middlesboro? New businesses coming to downtown

Published 10:01 am Friday, January 27, 2023

What’s Up Middlesboro? Have you made it to Mountain Mugs Craft and Coffee at 101 N 19th yet? Well, if you haven’t you need to go grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the atmosphere that Megan and Addison have created in this space.

They are also scheduling classes for the craft side, so reach out to them at 606-499-3369 or mountainmugsky@gmail.com and set something up.

Join me for Connect @ 6 on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 6 p.m. at the Arthur Museum. I will be sharing about some really cool events that we have planned. One event that I will share about is a Regional Talent Contest. If you sing, have a band or play an instrument you will want to be at this meeting to see how you could be the Entertainer of the Cumberland Gap Region for 2023. I will also have a few prizes to give away to attendees. I am excited to tell you that Madison Greene, the Founder of Ally’s Crew, will be sharing about her non-profit that helps find homes for furry babies. She has been up and running for only a couple of months, but already has some amazing success stories. Come out and learn about Ally’s Crew.

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Another new downtown business – Magnolia Blossom – will have their Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. Owner, Sarah Crawford, shared that they will be doing some giveaways on that day, so make sure to add this event to your calendar.

Special Valentine Shopping Night will be on Thursday, Feb. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Currently I know that these shops will be participating: The Emporium at 2120; Style and Grace; Hello Beautiful; A.D. Campbell; Fountain Square Pharmacy; Cosmic Cafe; Blue Sparrow Tattoo; and Magnolia Blossom. This will be a great time to finish up your Valentine’s Day shopping or to start it.

With our Main Street event calendar starting to take shape we are really excited, but also a little concerned about volunteers to be a part of the fun. This month I offered a morning and evening volunteer training class, but I know that some of you still were unable to make one. If you have a group of family/friends and/or a business that would like to be a Main Street volunteer I can arrange a training session just for you. The training is simple and short, but it is very important to our Main Street program. You can email me at downtownmiddlesboro@gmail.com if you would like to set up one of the special training sessions.

As excited as I am to share with you about new businesses coming downtown and fun events we plan on having I still struggle with frustration. Frustration? Yes, the frustration that new businesses and fun events need people to come and be a part. Maybe you say that your budget doesn’t have the capacity for shopping. That is a valid issue and I totally understand, however you can still help me support our downtown businesses. You can share social media posts, you can tell share with friends and family near and far about our downtown businesses, and you can even just take time to just go into the businesses and talk with the owners/employees. It really does mean a lot when someone comes in a shop, looks around, and takes a minute to chat and that doesn’t cost you anything but time. Most of our downtown retail businesses are open during the week and Saturdays, so there are lots of opportunities to visit with them.

I want to close by saying how lucky I am to call Middlesboro home. Living in a crater and being surrounded with gorgeous mountains is amazing. Sharing smiles, waves, and conversations with people that I see everyday is totally a blessing. Middlesboro truly is a very special place. Maybe you don’t feel this way or understand why we feel that way. Have you ever thought of a diamond- they are all shapes, sizes, colors, and clarity, but they all start out the same way, roughs lumps of pale colored glass- nothing you would think was special. However, when the diamond is cleaned off, shaped, and mounted it becomes beautiful and sought after. So Middlesboro might need to clean up, shape out a quality area, and be presented in a positive light, then we will sparkle and will be the sought out place to live, work, and play. It is not an overnight fix, but it can be accomplished.

Be proud of who you are and where you live- you are amazing!