Despite pandemic hits, locally owned shops keep on thriving: here are a few
We take a look at four local shops — one that opened right before the COVID-19 shutdown, two that opened in the middle of the pandemic and are about to hit their one-year mark, and one that opened just two weeks ago.
Revive Cycleworks opened last January, with owners Stewart and Kelli Duncan hoping to bring a suitable bike shop to Rome, and it has proven to be a success so far. The couple was able to stay busy during the pandemic, remaining open for all but one week. Reviving bikes isn’t the only thing that the shop does; they also carry bike accessories and apparel.
It turns into a little kid’s dream when you first walk in, feeling excited about all of the accessories that they have to offer.
The goal when the shop opened, according to Stewart, was to, “bring another bike shop to Rome. The need was there, and we kept seeing so many old bikes out that just needed to be repaired.” This sparked the idea for the shop’s name.
Revive Cycleworks first opened on Broad Street but they have since moved the shop to 300 N. Fifth Ave., across the street from The Foundry. The move was, “exciting because it was somewhere with more parking and more access. It helped a lot that we knew why we were moving and that just got us excited” Stewart said.
The new move will hopefully put the couple in a good position to expand their shop to a wider range of customers.
Bluem, an indoor and outdoor plant shop at 217 N. Fifth Ave., is nearing its one-year mark. The shop is owned by Carrol Rutledge, whose idea when she opened the shop was to help serve the community through nature and plants. You are instantly put in a better mood when you walk in and look around at all the fresh, green plants that the shop has to offer.the local community is something that Rutledge seems to have a passion for, and rightfully so as she is a third generation Roman. “I don’t have hopes of franchising or getting large. I love the size that I am because we can offer very personal service to our customers and can help them with whatever they need to,” she said.
The plants are cycled through weekly, so there is no telling how many different types of plants there are at one time. While the shop does sell a wide variety of plants, Rutledge said that she specializes in orchids.
“They are our feature plant so we deal a lot with them, and we also do outdoor plants when they are in season,” she said.
One of the biggest keys in attracting new customers to the shop, according to Rutledge, is social media. Mainly the Facebook page set up for the shop.
Rutledge tries to make every customer leave the store happy and wanting to come back. “If you have a great product, great service, and a great social media, I think it will go a long way for us.”
Bake and Bloom
Bake and Bloom will hit its one year mark next month.
Corey and Rebecca Lance started making bakery goods in their house but the treats got so popular that, according to Corey, there were too many requests to fill. “One thing led to another, and we were kinda just like ‘what the heck.’ So, we gave it a shot and looked at a few places and just happened to find this place,” he said.
The bakery is located at 868 Spider Webb Drive.
You walk in the shop and are immediately hit with a barrage of color and desserts in the glass casing at the front desk. The menu includes brownies, cookies, ooey gooey bars and edible cookie dough. Other desserts are rotated in and out through the week.
The shop’s cookie dough recipe is one that Corey seems to be especially proud of, saying, “Cookie dough and cookie dough brownies are usually what people come in here for. They are something that are very popular and they’re basically brownies with our chocolate chip cookie dough on top of it.”
What sets Bake and Bloom apart from other bakeries in the area, according to Corey, is that, “we do different stuff than other bakeries such as ooey gooey bars. And we try to do an array of fun stuff and not stick to the main plain products like cupcakes.”
On July 10, Mike and Christie Meyer opened Honeycream, a gelato shop at 4 E. Third Ave.
The shop features a variety of gelato flavors to choose from. From familiar flavors, such as vanilla, cookies and cream and salted caramel, to more advanced flavors such as nectarines and cream, amerina cherry and lavender chevre.
The shop also sells sorbet and there are new flavors featured every day.
The shop is something that the couple has thought about opening for a long time. “The first time we actually talked about it was when we were stationed in the Washington, D.C. area about 10 years ago,” Mike said. “We found a gelato shop we really liked there, and we couldn’t find anything near it in Georgia. We thought what better place than Rome, Georgia, to bring this Italian style dessert.”
He said his product is what separates their shop from others in the area. “The key thing is that we make it fresh every day with all natural ingredients, and we use organic whenever we can,” he said. “When you come in here, you’re going to get something made by an artisan in Rome, either my wife or I.”