In 2018, the store and café celebrated five years serving our community and the public and is anticipating brand new programming for 2019—read about it here. Having shared a review of the past year for The School of Making and Bldg. 14, today we look back at The Factory Store + Café.
The Factory Store rotated its offerings throughout the year and has been a busy gathering place all the way through the holiday season. In the springtime, we expanded The School of Making department of the store with a bigger workshop and making studio space to accommodate our guests. We hosted handfuls of schools and private groups for special tours, lunches, and workshops.
Designers Alasaw, the Shelter Collection, Hawks & Doves, and Flori floral design studio set up pop-shops in-store to share their work with our community. Our Leisure collection traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, in October and November, and we held a pop-up collection at Nashville’s Imogene + Willie in November.
As part of our Factory Store’s customer service program, we launched a personal stylist program, offering extensive guidance for our customers on a range of subjects. We have a specialist that can offer assistance with fit, design details, and styling. Our stylist can also help coordinate any previously purchased garments with new items, taking into account your personal preferences and lifestyle needs.
The Factory Café continued to grow and host a number of events, welcoming those near and far into our home. We shared recipes on the Journal and offered pick-up and delivery services for Mardi Gras King Cakes, BBQ Ribs for July 4th, Thanksgiving dishes, and holiday desserts for the Shoals community. Our catering and events program grew with two popular offerings: boxed lunches and bridesmaids’ luncheons.
The Gathering, our annual community picnic, was held in April and we offered a cocktail workshop with Jack Rudy and Cathead Distillery, sewing workshops, a Biscuit Love brunch, and community tours. (Look for The Gathering 2019 this April with more workshops and events as part of the weekend celebration.)
This year we began a Supper Club, a new type of dinner series that complements our Friends of the Café dinner series. Our in-house team and members of the local culinary community come together to prepare a multi-course meal in a more low-key setting. The dinners featured John Cartwright of Rivertown Coffee, Josh Quick and Fatim Russell of Florence’s Odette, and Kyle Ogden of Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club.
In January, we hosted Pableaux Johnson and his Red Beans Road Show for a Louisiana-style dinner centered around his legendary Red Beans and Rice. Photographs of the Mardi Gras Indians were also on view. Our Friends of the Café Series was in its fifth year, and, as always, we were honored to host a number of talented chefs, including James Beard Award winner Stephen Satterfield, James Beard Award winner Rebecca Wilcomb, James Beard Award winning John Currence, renowned wine importer Eric Solomon, and James Beard Semi-finalist Kelly English with Cameron Razavi. Our final dinner featured music from 2018 Grammy Award nominee Cedric Burnside.