Country Kinfolk Marketplace & Cafe Now Open

April 30, 2014 in Editorials

Spring could not have had a better arrival for Country Kinfolk Marketplace & Cafe in Lenoir City, Tenn. Co-owners, Vince and Mary Ann Clayton, daughter and son-in-law Cindy and Steve Riggs, and Cindy’s Aunt Linda Howell, have been busy as little beavers for several months, designing, building, and custom making items just for spring’s perfect timing! I can’t wait till you see all the great garden and yard art and treasures for everyone’s porch, garden, and hillside. It’s waiting for you to pick your favorites, so when you arrive at this new location, you’ll want to first take a stroll in the yard and on the porch.

Mary Ann, Aunt Linda, Cindy, and her sister, CeCe have designed, cut, sewed, glued, designed, cut, painted, and sewed some more, till I don’t know how their hands are still attached. This new store is filled with the sweetest little and big things that I just wanted to take them all home! There are bunnies, bears, dolls, angels, just the sweetest little bees, and handmade doll clothes that will probably fit American Girl and Barbie dolls. Folk art, primitives, country primitives, and antiques are in quaint spaces and nooks, so you need to walk through twice or three times to make sure you don’t miss a thing. There are stars, country rugs, throws, curtains, and some of the coolest accessories made from items that I’d never thought about repurposing, but they have achieved it.

They carry the candle time tapers, extra bulbs, lamp shades, and Americana furniture and accessories. You may have noticed magazines are featuring many Colonial items which seem to be coming back in style and Country Kinfolk has many of those items such as tobacco sticks and metal stars, and country lights. You want to check out the quaint antique room with precious hand-stitched quilts, antique beds, primitive cupboards and kitchen ware.

The new store has a downstairs level filled with booths of excellent crafts from jewelry, pottery, woodworking items, wreaths and florals, clothes, handmade soaps and other unique handmade items.

Country Kinfolk has also added a café to its new marketplace. The Cafe will open from 10-2 and will serve fresh soups, salads, sandwiches as well as fresh-baked goods such as cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and cinnamon rolls.

The Clayton’s daughter, Ce Ce will be in charge of the Cafe while Mary Ann and Linda will continue to help in the store. You might catch Cindy in Country Kinfolk a little more often since they have their workshop on location. This family creates ideas one after another and then the teamwork begins. We can’t leave the men out because that’s who gets much of the work going, especially if new creations are to be made from wood and metal. Vince and Steve get busy right away drawing, cutting, and putting together the lady’s new visions.

Along with many of their own designs of furniture, yard art, potting sheds, wood containers and cupboards, Vince and Steve stay busy “playing with wood” as they like to call it. The last several months, they have been busy working with contractors, getting the new building ready for their April opening. They are still adding a few finishing touches, and they have certainly given Country Kinfolk Market and Cafe their best in craftsmanship and hard work. Mary Ann told me they are very proud of the family teamwork, and it just adds to the fun and joy of having a business.

The ladies all agreed that meeting the customers makes all the hard work worth while. When someone selects a special treasure to take home, they often share their story of how it may have come about, before you know it, they have made a new friend. Mary Ann said, “That’s how many have become like family”. Many times a customer may come in and ask for something to be custom made, and they put their ideas to work and before you know it, something new is created. Often they make two, as you never know when the next customer may fall in love with it, too.

All the folks at County Kinfolk Marketplace and Cafe are very talented and they enjoy creating special pieces that you will take home, hopefully to love and treasures, and one day, pass on as a keepsake. The new Country Kinfolk Marketplace & Cafe is located behind Hardees on Hwy 321 in Lenoir City, Tenn. The address is 270 Hickman Street and phone is 865-250-8733. Check their web page at country-kinfolk.org or email them at kin.country@yahoo.com. Tell this Country Kinfolk family staff that you read it in The Busy Bee Trader.

By Maxine B. Jones, Ocoee, Tennessee

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