New openings for first-time store owners

As summer cools down, a number of local small businesses are heating and opening their first storefronts. 

In August, Mary Claire White found her home at 2613 Broad Avenue with lifestyle store Falling Into Place. White sells handmade jewelry, cosmetics, lamps, art and accessories by national artisans. The back portion of the 1,050-square foot space is used for White’s candle-making business which she’s operated for several years out of her home. White said that since she was young she always wanted to have her own store, and the camaraderie and support of Broad Avenue helped all of the necessary pieces fall in the place.

Vegan diva Cassi Conyers is ready to taking her cupcakes to the big time with a full-fledged restaurant, Pink Diva Cuisine. Since early February, Conyers has been selling her cruelty-free treats out of the Midtown Crossing Grill in Crosstown as Pink Diva Cupcakery. This month she moved to her own building at 936 Florida Street, the previous home of DeJavu restaurant. In addition to her cupcakes, the vegan menu includes nachos, mac and cheese, ramen soup and daily vegetables. 

“My customer reach has changed because I'm now accessing business from downtown. I'm able to actually cook. I'm able to provide food as well as cupcakes, so it’s a full vegan experience,” she said. 

If you’ve had ice-cream or sorbet at Rizzo’s Diner or Stone Soup, then you’re familiar with the creative concoctions of The Creamery. In late September, owner Will Johnson will open his own store under the roof of Sweet Noshings in Overton Square. People will be able to order from a rotating case of 14 flavors like vanilla chai, honey pistachio and coconut cilantro for in-house scoops or to take home. Johnson has only sold to area restaurants and at the Cooper-Young Farmers Market, and he believes that the new storefront will allow him to increase production and try out new flavors. He also hopes to add a weekly brunch. 

“I’m really looking to redefine people’s concepts about food,” he added. 

Read more articles by Madeline Faber.

Madeline Faber is an editor and award-winning reporter. Her experience as a development reporter complements High Ground's mission to write about what's next for Memphis.
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