I am SO proud to say that I have lived in Maryville all of my life…I am a true “Murvillian”. I have deep roots planted here which make this town very much a part of who I am. At the expense of confessing my age, I have some fond memories of shopping in downtown Maryville as a child. I vividly remember the heavy metal door leading to the children’s department of the downtown Park-Belk store. Behind that door were the best back-to-school clothes that a first grader could ever ask for! I remember sitting in the window of the Duggan’s men’s store downtown waiting on my dad to pick out his new Hagar slacks. I recall how excited I was when I was flipping through (what seemed like millions) of records before finding the Shawn Cassidy album that I was looking for at Roys Record Shop. I remember a lovely clothing store that my mom used to frequent. It was called Minton’s and my mom and aunt were friends with the sweet lady that owned it, Janie Minton.

Those same memories were on my mind as I put my face up to the dirty glass of the empty, dilapidated downtown storefront where I ultimately decided to locate ROOST. The location spoke to me loudly because our downtown contains so much history. I always say that I am proud to work in the heart of the “town that raised me”. I used to believe that just because I have lived here all of my life I had a pretty strong grasp on what Maryville is about, but it has only been since I have worked in the center of it daily that I have been able to gain even more of an appreciation for our wonderful town. I am grateful for the opportunity to have my business here, and I am also thankful for the local support that my store continues to receive.

It has been hard for those of us who have lived here for years to watch vacancy being posted in the windows of many of our historic downtown buildings. When business owners make the commitment to invest in our downtown, and new storefronts are developed, WE ARE ALL SO EXCITED!!!! I remember peering out my showroom window as Schrivers Boutique was taking shape! I was so thrilled! Thrilled that Kate was not only improving the look of our main street, but also I was thrilled to have another quality business join the block! When ROOST opened almost four years ago, I was bombarded with thanks from the community for improving our downtown. People would say, “Maryville needs unique businesses like this so badly”…..that is still so very true!

Yes! Maryville does need businesses!! And yes, businesses need support from Maryville! It is definitely a two-way street.

Here are some comments on the subject from some downtown business owners regarding the importance of local support.

To me, shopping local means that you are excited about the continued growth of unique and creative businesses in your community. Choosing to spend your dollar locally is a way of say, “I support you”, to Maryville business owners.
– Kate Kilgore, Schriver’s Boutique

“Paula and I both used to work in Knoxville, but when it came time to open our own respective shops, we wanted to bring our talents and heart for Blount County back to our hometown. Personally, I am so proud of my roots in Maryville and know that Dandy Lions Gifts couldn’t sustain here without the constant support and patronage of each of you. It has been a HUGE undertaking on the part of so many through the Downtown Association and City of Maryville to gain the Mainstreet USA designation. It’s exciting to see that others across the country are seeing and taking notice of the good things happening in our Downtown as well. Thanks for being a great neighbor and supporting your hometown businesses!”
-Joy Carver, Dandy Lions Gifts

“All small businesses depend on local support to survive in the age of internet shopping.”
-Bill Womack, Boyd Thomas Clothing

Maryville has really come so far in such a short amount of time, and exciting plans for our historic downtown are developing each time we meet to discuss our ideas for “Main Street”. With the diligence of Kim Mitchell of Blount Partnership, who led the effort to tirelessly compile a fat binder full of documents needed for the application, Maryville was considered for and earned the Tennessee Main Street accreditation. This national program enables downtown improvements and revitalization by providing grants to improve our downtown as well as incentives to bring new business. It is so exciting!!

We all know that the catchphrase from the iconic movie, “Field of Dreams” doesn’t mean guaranteed success . “If you build it, they will come” will only work if we have community support for the effort. I urge people not to just USE the phrase “SHOP LOCAL”, but take the time to really UNDERSTAND that if you want more unique businesses to commit to Maryville then shopping local when possible is an absolute MUST. Unfortunately, the math behind keeping or attracting business to our area is very simple: BUY local or BYE local.

The success of our downtown is centered a collaborative effort. If you are like many of us who are so very thankful to call Maryville home you can show it one word …..PRIDE. Let’s all chose Maryville FIRST to live, eat, play, and shop. After all, it is this town that has played a part in raising us ALL.