Downtown stores set Open House

Published 10:23 am Friday, November 19, 2010

FRANKLIN—Mary Huffman hopes Western Tidewater residents will shop at home this holiday season.

“I just think we have so much to offer here in Franklin,” said Huffman, president of Brady’s Jewel Box in Franklin. “We have nice quality merchandise and customer service — you can’t beat it.”

On Saturday, Nov. 20, Brady’s and other downtown businesses and restaurants will participate in the Christmas Open House from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Dan Howe, executive director of the Downtown Franklin Association, said most stores will be offering special sales and deals.

“I’m just excited that we have a lot of the stores participating, and we’re trying to spruce up and decorate the downtown so it has a nice appeal to it,” Howe said. “It’s all about people coming down and enjoying our community.”

Gerry Patnesky at Alphabet Soup said the store’s 20-percent-off-everything sale should draw people in.

“I expect that people will be interested in that,” Patnesky said.

A new addition to downtown this year is Simply Divine at Parker’s. Owner Liz Britt said the response since her business moved to the old Parker Drug building on Main Street has been “overwhelming.”

“When out-of-towners come in, I have everything in here that represents Franklin,” she said. “The building has so much history, and it’ll always be Parker’s.”

She’s looking forward to a busy Saturday and said all of the businesses downtown support each other by encouraging customers to visit other businesses.

“We’re all working together,” Britt said.

Downtown carriage rides will be available from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Free tickets are available at participating downtown businesses, and hot cider and cookies will be served at the Downtown Franklin Association office.

Shopping at home, Huffman said, saves time and money on gas.

“I think it’s just a smart idea to just stay and shop at home and support their own hometown,” she said. “We need all the support down here to keep us alive.”