Love The Local List: Murfreesboro, TN

This article originally appeared as a guest post on Sunshine Guerrilla

On the square in Murfreesboro - See my review on Garmentory for outfit details

On the square in Murfreesboro - See my review on Garmentory for outfit details

This article originally appeared as a guest post on Sunshine Guerrilla

Murfreesboro, TN has been my home for pretty much as long as I can remember (we moved here when I was 4) and in that time has gone from a somewhat sparse community to one of the nation's top 10 fastest growing cities

A college town located in the geographic center of Tennessee, it has a vibrant history and a widely diverse population. But it's only recently that I've begun to see the opportunities for supporting local businesses and the reason's why it's important to do so.

So when my friend Barbara from Sunshine Guerrilla asked me to submit a Murfreesboro edition for her Love the Local List series, I jumped at the chance.

Barbara not only encourages her readers (of which I am a proud member) to shop intentionally and with compassion, but she gives us the tools to do so, putting what I know must be hours of work into providing specific tools and solutions for those who want to shop ethically. Especially helpful is her List of All The Shopping Lists, which is a great way to quickly find her posts by topic.

Plus, she's super hilarious.

So, here we go! I'm thrilled to share my favorite locally-owned businesses in The Boro:

 

THE GREEN DRAGON PUBLIC HOUSE

An homage to the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Green Dragon is a hidden gem in the center of town. It's a small, family-friendly hole in the wall (no, really - there's a wall with a door and a sign forbidding rings of power) right next to the train tracks, but once you step inside, the atmosphere is a perfect combo of fantastical and truly local vibes, and the friendliness flows as openly as the craft beers. Frequent visitors of the farmer's markets, much of their food is sourced from local growers and makers, resulting in some truly original, seasonal, and delicious menu items fit for lunch or dinner, especially when paired with a cold ale. And since it's conveniently located right next to a Greenway entrance, you CAN simply walk into Mord... er, the pub.

THE WREN'S NEST

Image courtesy of Jenny Lindsey Photography

If you're looking for an event venue, consider The Wren’s Nest. A quiet, secluded property nestled in the trees, The Wren's Nest is an exceptional outdoor or indoor venue, used mostly for weddings (like ours!). It's hallmark structure, The Maples Barn, is a vintage barn that is over 100 years old. It was relocated to its current site during the fall of 2012, and carefully restored and improved to accommodate elegant functions. Our experience there was unforgettable, as the owner Sam did everything in his power (including loaning us a table from his HOME for our cake to sit on) to make our day perfect. There's so much beauty, history, and hard work in this place, and it shows year-round.

JUST LOVE COFFEE

Before my husband introduced me to Just Love, I rarely drank coffee. If I did, it was so dirty and bitter I had to load it down with sugar, cream, and anything else I could get my hands on. Then I tried Just Love's fairly traded coffee, and it was a new awakening. So clean, smooth, and rich was this dark, hot liquid, and so carefully crafted was my experience of it, that I was genuinely hooked from the very start. They maintain personal, fair relationships with their growers from all over the world, and they were founded when the owner, Rob Webb, and his family adopted two sweet girls from Ethiopia. Their mission is to use hand-roasted coffees to help others whose passion is to “just love," and within its first year, the company was able to give back nearly $100,000. An amazing, local company that produces amazing coffee and makes measurable, positive change in the world.

LEMONGRASS

Ask any of our friends and they'll probably be able to tell you our favorite sushi restaurant is Lemongrass. We've tried all the sushi there is in Murfreesboro and this place takes the lead by a long shot. We recommend ordering the "Come With Me Roll" where you let the chef get creative and design you your own unique roll. Have a seat at the bar and watch the owner work his magic!

BATEY FARMS

Batey Farms is an 8th generation family owned and operated hog, row crop, and hay farm right in the middle of Murfreesboro. They provide the community with tons of seasonal fun, like strawberry picking in the spring and a corn maze in fall. They also have an On-Farm Retail Store where you can browse products from many different family farms in the area.

OUTREACH THRIFT STORE

The best thrift store in town if you ask me. Not only are their prices absolutely incredible, but they are devoted to helping provide those in need with basic clothing and household items. I always walk out of here with an unexpected treasure!

DEMOS'

If you live in Murfreesboro, you've been to Demos'. The very first Demos' Restaurant was born out of Jim and Doris Demos' desire to offer exceptional food and service at affordable prices, and they succeeded. The franchise has now spread to four locations in Middle Tennessee, but their roots will always be in Murfreesboro. They offer a variety of meals for lunch and dinner and are a staple in the community.

And there you have it! Check out Sunshine Guerrilla and be amazed.

 

P.S. - Still wanting more local Boro gold? Try O'Possum's Irish Pub, Mayday Brewery, and Marina's on the Square (I like food). Plus, check out my review of Ten Thousand Villages in Nashville.