Nolensville’s business owners are decidedly bullish about Nolensville.
The businesses for this story ranged from retail and services, to insurance, to food and drink establishments. By far, the majority of them would like to see more variety in the types of business that open.
They also expressed confidence that Nolensville is moving in the right direction; seeking a firm balance between growth and retaining the small town feel the town is currently known for.
The town’s population has been growing steadily. And, in the summer of 2020, residents voted to replace the type of government from a mayor and aldermen arrangement, to a commissioner structure. How are these changes affecting their business? What would they like to see in the future? The new government structure has been mostly well received.
Lorna Soble, co-owner of The Painted Dragonfly said, “It looks promising. Certainly, our new commissioners have good intentions.”
Jonathan Jeans, who owns the local Farm Bureau Insurance agency, said, “The town is business friendly. Bringing in more business is always helpful.”
One thing is certain. They uniformly appreciate the support residents are giving them, even during the pandemic. When I asked about their interest in “shop local” campaigns, the response was very enthusiastic.
“People are already trying to do that informally, now,” Heather Bell, owner of the Nolensville Toy Shop, said. Not only are residents shopping local, some businesses are also making it a point to do that.
Mark Patel, co-owner of Mill Creek Brewery, told me, “We buy candy, pretzels and donuts now from local sources. In turn, local restaurants offer our beer.”
What’s exciting in Nolensville? The town’s rapid growth has everyone buzzing.
Amanda Brothen, who owns Threadzz, said, “Nolensville is a great place to open a business now. The town is booming.”
Anthony Amico, proprietor of Amico’s Restaurant, added, “This is a great place to raise kids.”
Brian Snyder, who owns Wash 37135, had a long list of exciting things going on, including, Nolensville’s trail system’s connectivity, growing diversity, the high school coming into its own, and ongoing historic preservation. “Home values are increasing. People want to come here,” he added.
When asked why they chose to locate their business in Nolensville, the small town vibe, being a Nolensville resident and opportunity for growth were frequently mentioned. Snyder offered very specific reasons for his decision to locate in Nolensville.
“We live work and play here,” he said “I wanted to do something we could be proud of and make a meaningful contribution to the town.”
What new businesses would current owners like to see? Suggestions included new restaurants, a book store, a hobby store, a specialty deli, an old-fashioned bakery and even a bowling alley.
“More businesses would be great,” Matt Guthrie, owner of Ace Hardware, said, but he also pointed out something that several others echoed. “We’d like to keep our special small-town feel.”
Farm Bureau’s Jonathan Jeans has his eye on raising more revenue for the town. “Whatever we do, we need to bring in more tax revenue to sustain our infrastructure needs; for example, a grocery store.”
When asked what the town of Nolensville can do for them, not surprisingly, nearly everyone mentioned traffic congestion on Nolensville Road, now and in the future, as growth continues. Amy Harrison, proprietor of Indigo Cottage, offered an example. “It’s hard to make a left turn downtown,” she says. Others offered similar concerns.
Mayor Derek Adams is well aware of the issue. “There is no doubt that Nolensville is lagging behind private sector growth in terms of meeting our infrastructure needs. Our Board of Commissioners is prioritizing infrastructure challenges to our Major Thoroughfare Plan to support the long-term vision of Nolensville.”
Ace Hardware’s Guthrie also suggested that the town can help by working with our schools. “Schools should be teaching mechanics. We need to teach people how to repair things. It’s nearly impossible to find people who can do that these days.”
Sponsoring more events like the Veteran’s Day parade and the Fourth of July celebration, are also of great interest to business owners. Several owners suggested a fall festival.
Angela Goff, co-owner of Copper and June Parlour, suggested a “Taste of Nolensville” event, where restaurants work together to give residents and visitors an opportunity to sample their foods. “We could even go beyond food. With a bit of creativity, other, non-food businesses could get in on the event as well,” she said.
Every business owner is excited about the town’s plan to create a walkable downtown area. Heather Bell also believes the town should actively promote tourism. “Bringing people in from surrounding towns would be very helpful,” she said.
Beth Lothers, board member of the Williamson County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Board, agrees wholeheartedly. “I introduced the idea of a “31A Trail” which promotes Nolensville, with its unique shopping, food and attraction experiences for tourists and regional visitors to discover,” Lothers said.
Nolensville continues to grow. Business owners couldn’t be happier about it.