Ringgold Feed & Seed Antiques welcomed friends, family, and collectors into their newly-refurbished facility for a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony last Friday.
A gathering of city officials, customers and antique vendors alike have come from across Tennessee and Northwest Georgia to see the finished 7,500 square feet of collectables, antiques, and custom crafts.
Owners Joseph Oliver and Mike and Gay Crane partnered with Jim Callaway to bring new life to the the former Callaway Feed & Seed Company which operated a cotton mill and agricultural products supplier. With an eye for picking classic furniture, art, and other used goods, the facility attracted the attention of the Cranes from the start.
"The City of Ringgold is already rich in history and part of that history is the Callaway Brothers Feed and Seed," explained Mike Crane, "the rustic look of both buildings offer a wonderful backdrop for the items we offer," said Mr. Crane.
The Cranes and Mr. Oliver have been in and around antiques all their lives. Their love of antiques turned into a business in the 90's when they began working together collecting and selling antiques from across the South.
"We first saw [this] property in its raw state in September 2013 and started the transformation into an antique market in November," said Mr. Crane, "We were able to complete the construction and opened in early January." The original cotton gin operated on the property between 1929 and 2002, but the new Feed and Seed Antiques has finally completed the work of restoring the warehouse and filling it with an enormous selection.
"I'm very happy with everything they've done," said former owner, Jim Callaway, "I've always wanted to see this building and the old cotton gin restored."
With a growing number of antique stores, Ringgold is hoping to capitalize on promoting more downtown shopping.
Joseph Brellenthin of the Ringgold Downtown Development Authority said, "In 2013 Georgia Department of Transportation measured an average of 80,000 vehicles a day on I-75 between our three Ringgold exits, so if the City can create a destination for those travelers to shop and visit multiple stores that's a huge benefit to our local economy."
There are currently 10 gift and collectible stores within the historic Downtown Ringgold area. "Antiquing is it's own unique community and we've had terrific support from all the other local stores and we work with them and other collectors all the time," said Ms. Crane. "We've had such great help from the City and their support for new businesses coming into Ringgold."
The facility currently houses 24 individuals who occupy booths throughout the interior. "They offer treasures ranging from antiques, primitives, hand painted signs, records and radios, mid century modern furniture, industrial items and home accessories," said Ms. Crane. With the activity returning to the historic location and with the name "Feed & Seed Antiques," some visitors have come in shopping for the wrong items,
"I've had several people come in asking about chicken feed, hay, or other produce," said Ms. Crane, "we were thinking of a logo along the lines of 'at Ringgold Feed & Seed Antiques, we feed your junkin' soul, not your cows.'"
Ringgold Feed & Seed Antiques is at 403 High Street in downtown Ringgold. For more information, call 706 935-7333.