It’s National Dairy Month….. Featuring Hatcher Family Dairy

This week’s blog is all about celebrating ‘cows’ with June being National Dairy Month. But not just any cows, but Tennessee cows and not just Tennessee cows but a local family dairy where 1824 General Store gets their milk for their customers; Hatcher Family Dairy.

I don’t know about you but I like ‘fun facts’ so here’s some on Tenn cows:

  •   270 dairy farms in Tenn
  • ~148 milking cows per farm
  • ~40,000 milk cows in Tenn
  • ~2,015 gallons of milk are produced annually per cow
  • Tenn cows produce 80.6 million gallons of milk per year
Hatcher Dairy Farm Cows

Now that you know the scoop on Tenn cows – I want to tell you specifically about Hatcher Family Dairy.

  1. It’s family  run… duh!  (Hatcher Family Dairy) They have been supplying milk to our store for several months now.
  2. They are located in College Grove.
  3. Their land has been farmed for 5 consecutive generations since 1831. That in itself is pretty amazing.
  4. Hatcher milk is the ONLY brand we carry in our store and is sought after by many in the region.
  5. They are really great to work with!!
Three Generations of Hatcher Farmers

You may be asking yourself, “What is so special about Hatcher milk?” Well, lots according to their website and their many satisfied customers.

  • Their milk is all natural which means they don’t add anything artificial to their whole milk, 2% or skim milk.
  • All their milk is produced only from their cows.
  • A Hatcher is involved in every aspect of the operation from feeding the cows, to milking the cows, to processing the milk, to transporting the milk, to the marketing of the milk, to the managing of the store.
  • The cows primary source of forage is grass.
  • No cows are given artificial bovine growth hormone, recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST).
  • The milk is NOT raw. (It is illegal to sell raw milk (retail) in the state of Tennessee for human consumption.)
  • The whole milk is pasteurized not homogenized. That means the cream rises to the top just the way it should naturally.

They also have the reputation for the ‘best’ chocolate milk around. People come in our store specifically for the chocolate milk; grab a pint or a half gallon next time you’re in. I guarantee  you will be hooked on it.

We always have a selection of Hatcher dairy products in our store. But if you want to be sure to get what you want on a weekly basis – we offer a service to our customers that ensures they will have farm fresh milk every week and the quantity and type they want. You can message us on Facebook @1824generalstore or email us at 1824generalstore@gmail.com on or before Friday at noon with what you want and we will have it the following Thursday ready for you to pick up in our store. 🙂

If you want to get up close and personal with the Hatcher cows, they offer farm tours. That would be a fun family outing with the kiddos. We are so fortunate to offer farm fresh, local, Made in Tenn dairy products to our customers. If you haven’t tried Hatcher’s milk yet – I invite you to come on in and check it out.

Please follow us on FB and Instagram @1824generalstore and give Hatcher a follow also @hatcherfamilydairy. We would appreciate it!

Until next time 🙂 Angela

 

‘Small Businesses are Saving Our Main Streets’

I was talking to a friend of mine this week about the revitalization of downtown Mt. Pleasant and she asked how my store was performing. I told her about my efforts on social media and print media to reach both local residents and visitors.  I also told her my desire to share information about my store’s products and Mt. Pleasant City in general through a blog I recently started writing.

She pointed out that starting a new retail business is not an easy undertaking even in an established town of developed foot traffic like downtown Franklin, TN, for example. When one opens a business in a busy town, marketing focus is on the store, the products, the service and the customers. Opening a retail business in a town that is experiencing a revitalization effort has less foot and car traffic. The businesses cannot and do not just focus on marketing their store but in addition the owners find themselves marketing the town itself; an additional challenge for the small business owner.

It was one of those things where I knew that was the case for me and others in our small town but it didn’t hit me until she presented it that way.  As I thought more of it, I realized this is so true. Many of the downtown businesses market not only their store products and specials, but things happening in the City of Mt. Pleasant or events merchants have planned in order to draw more visitors and shoppers to downtown.

According to Small Business Revolution’s website, ‘Small businesses are saving our main streets.’ As we traveled the country capturing the inspiring stories of 100 small businesses we recognized that nowhere in America are small businesses more critical, and more under siege, than in our small towns. We created the Small Business Revolution – Main Street to help those small businesses, and in turn, those small towns, reignite the spark that drives them and keeps people coming back.

American Express supports and helps market the ‘Shop Small’ movement as they recognize the importance of small business in America.

‘Small businesses help ensure local economies stay strong and vibrant’.

 

Did you know….

  • There are 580,453 small businesses in Tennessee
  • Of these there are 80,234 businesses that employ 1-20 employees
  • Small businesses make up 99.5% of all Tennessee businesses
  • 42.09% of all employees in Tennessee were working for a small business in 2014
  • Businesses with 1-4 employees had the largest loss (closing their doors) in 2014 (Data from SBA)

It’s quite amazing how many small businesses there are in the State of Tennessee.  I so enjoy doing business with our suppliers of ‘Made in Tenn’ products as they too are small companies and many family run just as we are here in downtown Mt. Pleasant. They understand the challenges we face and the desire to bring a product or service to Tennessee communities and be a small part of the local economy.

There are so many unique and quaint small businesses in Mt. Pleasant’s Historic Downtown Area to visit.  In case you weren’t aware what makes up this area, the area runs from Bond Ave to First Ave and one block east and west of Main Street. Within this historic district there are several businesses; retail shopping, restaurants and services. So…………..

What can you and I do to help Mt. Pleasant become a vibrant, bustling, place for people to live and work again?

Become involved in the town’s revitalization efforts by:

  • Following us and the other businesses on Instagram and Facebook
  • Tell friends and family about Mt. Pleasant
  • Share this blog with friends and family
  • Attend community events and meet and mingle with neighbors and strangers
  • Attend and get involved in City Commissioner meetings
  • When in need of food, gifts, clothes, a place to eat, flowers, auto body work and mechanical work, hardware, computer repair……. check out the Mt. Pleasant businesses to see if they have what you need or want first before going elsewhere. Every service/store has a variety of products and prices sure to fit different budgets.
  • Share your ideas on how we can all help and participate in the revitalization of this quaint, historic small town.

Thank you for supporting local businesses in Mt. Pleasant and throughout Tennessee.  By shopping local, it helps improve the business owner’s chances of serving their communities for years to come.

Until next time 🙂  Angela

 

J.M. Thomason Seasonings

My vision for the blog is not only to talk about Mt. Pleasant and our store but  the Made in Tenn products we sell in our store.  I don’t want to just tell you a bunch of information about how great the products are (even though they are) but to tell you about the people, the family, the vision, and/or the history of the company. Most are small businesses and many are family run. Learning  about who is behind the vision and operations of the company is fascinating to me  and  I hope it will interest you as well.

For my first Made in Tenn product blog  I thought it would be fitting to post about a company and product that we carry in the store  that’s not only a Made in Tenn product but a Made in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn product. How cool is that!! Did you even know we had one?

Let me introduce you to McKinley Thomason, President of  Doug Jeffords / J.M. Thomason Seasonings company.  When we opened the store in November 2017, I was already carrying the seasonings from J. M. Thomason; a very popular item in the store.  It was exciting news for me and the City of Mt. Pleasant finding out the company was moving to our small town. It would not only create new jobs but bring a new industry. Prior to the company physically relocating to Mt. Pleasant, McKinley stopped in the store to introduce himself as he knew we carried his products and has since delivered a few orders; such a nice guy. 🙂

It all started with the Doug Jeffords Company back in 1961. McKinley’s father, John Mack Thomason was a salesman for the Doug Jeffords Company, a company providing quality seasonings, spices and custom blends for the southeastern states. In the early 80’s, John Thomason purchased half the Jefford’s company and later bought the remaining half. Today it remains a family owned and operated company. Doug Jeffords Co has been selling their seasonings to chefs and restaurants for more than half a century.

McKinley’s father passed away in 2005 but the family has continued to follow his vision for the company. Then in 2013 McKinley launched the J.M. Thomason seasonings for retail named after his father. He created nine seasonings for home cooks using natural, quality ingredients. The tins they come in were designed by a local artist and are cool enough to give to someone as a gift. Which by the way many people who purchase them do give as a gift as well as using them for their own grilling, baking, sautéing etc. There truly is a seasoning blend for everyone to enjoy.

In addition to naming the retail seasonings after his father, Doug Jeffords Company also gives a percentage of profits from the J.M. Thomason seasonings to a non-profit organization called Heifer International. Their focus is on Working with communities to end world hunger and poverty and care for the Earth.

In 1989 his father moved operations to a 12,000 square foot building in Cool Springs where they remained until 2018. They were outgrowing the space, hence the reason for looking at other options. In March 2018 – the Doug Jeffords Company moved to a 77,000 square foot facility in the Cherry Glen Industrial Park in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn.

When asked why they chose to move operations and how things are going since being in their new place, McKinley said, “We made the move to Mt. Pleasant to expand our production capabilities and provide our customers with a higher level of service. Since the move we have grown for the past two months and are looking forward to years of being a part of the Mount Pleasant business community.”

If you haven’t an opportunity to try their spice blends, I highly recommend stopping in our store and checking out all nine seasonings. We have ‘smelling jars’ so you can decide which one you would like to try by first smelling the aroma before purchasing.

Thank you McKinley and Doug Jeffords Company for choosing Mt. Pleasant for your business operations.

Until next time 🙂 Angela

We Love Our Customers!!

I love having customers visit our store be it new, returning, local or out of State. It’s fun chatting it up with them and  getting to know a little bit about them.

What I have noticed since we’ve been open is there are quite a few people that have lived in Mt. Pleasant for a long time but also  quite a few people that have moved here in the last few years from out of town and outside of Tennessee. Some are retiring here, some moving their families from Murfreesboro, Franklin or Florida…. the list goes on.  People are seeing that Mt. Pleasant housing is still affordable, the area is beautiful, the town is quaint and they want to be a part of it.

One of the fun things about owning a retail business is that I get to meet several people throughout the day both locals and visitors. Let me introduce you to a few of our customers……….

A Local Resident of Mt. Pleasant

Meet Michelle! She’s a frequent shopper in the store. She moved here about the same time that we did.  She is demonstrating that we have red carts in the store to hold all of your goods AND it rolls. This way your hands won’t freeze with frozen food purchases and you have tons of room to put all the things you love in your cart;  much more room than an armload.

An Out of Town Visitor 

Meet Mike Wolfe from the show American Pickers that owns Antique Archaeology in Nashville and is invested in Columbia, Tenn as well. He  walked in the store and of course, I immediately recognized him from American Pickers since it is one of my favorite shows. (No, not just since he came in here as you might be thinking)

I never thought I would be the ‘star struck’ kind of person but I was.  I was actually a little nervous yet thrilled he stopped in my store. But I wondered what brought him here.  So I asked him and he said he heard good things about the store from people in Columbia so he wanted to come and check it out. He did some shopping, we chatted a bit and then he went on his merry way. It was a fun experience. So, you never know who might be next. People tell me Luke Bryan has a place in Mt. Pleasant so who knows? He may be my next visitor. 🙂

A Sweet Little Girl

Meet this sweet little girl. I really enjoy having kids in the store and seeing their faces light up looking at the toys or getting a bubble gum from the 1 cent bubble gum machine. While their parents shop, they have fun playing with a wind up car or emoji ball. And this little girl drew a picture and gave it to me.

So whether our customers are small, residents of Mt. Pleasant or visitors from out of town or celebrities – just know I appreciate all of you and thank you for stopping in our store.

Until next time 🙂 Angela

 

 

 

First Blog Post: My Story

This is my first blog post for 1824 General Store. I’m so excited to put this together for people to read and enjoy.  In our store we have so many wonderful Made in Tennessee products and artisans. However posting on Facebook or Instagram only allows for a short caption and sometimes a longer one is needed in order to describe these wonderful artists and products in addition to other topics of interest. In giving thought to how I can offer more than a short caption when appropriate; I thought ‘why not a blog?’ The grammar may not always be perfect and I’m sure a typo from time to time will happen but you’ll get the gist of it. 🙂

I thought it would be best to start my first blog with a little information about myself and why my husband Matt and I opened this quaint General Store in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn.  My background is not in retail but rather healthcare business. I started out pursuing my nursing degree many, many years ago but during that time I had an opportunity to work on the supply chain/business side of healthcare and fell in love with it. I changed my focus from a nursing degree to a business degree and obtained a Masters in Business Administration. Since that time I’ve worked in various leadership roles in healthcare businesses.

Then back in 2016 , my husband Matt and I were meeting our daughter at a halfway point which happened to be in Mt. Pleasant; a town neither of us heard of but what the heck we were going to check it out. The Mt. Pleasant Grille looked like a good place online so we stopped there for a bite to eat and drove around. We fell in love with the historic downtown area and the historic homes surrounding it. Over the next few months – we met again a few times at the halfway point. I started looking online at homes for sale; just for the heck of it!  Well, one thing led to another and before we knew it our home was for sale and we were moving from Cheatham County to Mt. Pleasant in an historical home.  We were very excited to be in our new-old home and be a part of this small, quaint community.

A dream of mine for many years was to someday open a local retail business in a small, quaint downtown. Maybe that dream came from my many years of watching the Hallmark Channel where downtown shops were owned by the locals and where locals shopped and visited with each other. I know it’s a TV show (one I still watch by the way) but nonetheless why couldn’t it exist in real life? After all, many small towns already have that so why not Mt. Pleasant?

Mt. Pleasant’s downtown area is going through a revitalization in hopes to bring it back to the old days of when the streets were filled with people mingling, shopping, laughing, and hanging out.  From what long time residents tell me, shops filled each building and locals and visitors shopped for their goods and services in their hometown.  It was a bustling place. Many locals that have lived here a long time, remember those days and hope that one day Mt. Pleasant will be that way again or something similar.

So, why not be a small part of the downtown revitalization effort by opening a general store I suggested to my husband. Well, again, one thing led to another and before I knew it we were having our grand opening of 1824 General Store on November 4, 2017.  (By the way, the 1824 in the name is the year Mt. Pleasant was incorporated as a city.) We just finished our 6 months of being open and I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people that come in from Mt. Pleasant and visitors from other cities; many who have become repeat, returning customers.

For all of you who have visited our store, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, continue to shop here and tell others about us and bring friends and family here to shop and visit; a huge THANK YOU! I so much appreciate it.  For those of you who have not yet visited us, I look forward to meeting you in the near future.

The more people that become aware of our historic downtown and all the cute shops and restaurants to frequent – then we’ll have a chance to be that thriving town once again for all to enjoy.

Please follow us on Facebook or Instagram @1824generalstore.

Until next time 🙂 Angela