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Story Archives: Downtown sees business growth
|Downtown sees business growth|
Tuesday morning, Scott and Andrea Smith were enjoying a cup of coffee in one of Winnsboro's newest businesses.
The couple were just one of several patrons of M&M Coffee House and Antiques, a new shop on Prairie Street.
The Smiths live nearby and said they have enjoyed walking to the shop and visiting with people since Mike and Maggie Griffin opened for business last week.
M&M Coffee House is just one of a spate of new businesses in Winnsboro's thriving downtown -- and that's good news to Winnsboro Main Street manager Kay LaFrance-Knight.
"Isn't it wonderful!" said LaFrance-Knight, who added she was "tickled pink" with recent growth in the historic downtown.
LaFrance-Knight said the new shops represent many new opportunities for area shoppers to keep retail dollars in the community.
"We can find more and more things right here, downtown, rather than go to the mall in Monroe," LaFrance-Knight said.
The Griffins say the reception their new shop has received has been "just excellent."
"We couldn't have wished for a better beginning," said Maggie Griffin.
Maggie has been in Winnsboro just 18 months. She moved to the region from Perth, Australia after marrying her husband, Mike.
Across the street from the coffee house, local realtor Kathy Morris has opened The Painted Pony.
Morris said her new store is a gift shop and home décor boutique specializing in "unique" décor items.
Morris said The Painted Pony specializes in Western home décor and gifts for western enthusiasts.
"We're trying to build a really different stock from what some of the other shops in the area have," said Morris.
Morris converted the front half of the old Franklin State Bank building into a retail store.
She continues to operate her real estate business from offices on the site as well.
So far, business has been good, according to Morris.
"People like the uniqueness of the store," Morris said. "They're finding its just really different from what other people are offering."
Morris has new neighbors just up the sidewalk, where Darrell and April Hendry have opened up two businesses.
April's Closet is a clothing boutique and gift shop.
"We have denim skirts, gift items, purses and wallets," said April Hendry.
Next door, the Hendrys operate D-N-A Signs and Shirts, a sign and screen-printing shop.
A fifth new business on Prairie Street opened recently as well. Val's Boutique is another clothing and gifts store.
LaFrance-Knight said with Christmas just around the corner, holiday shoppers will be amazed at the new selections available "right here at home."
This year, Winnsboro Main Street plans several major downtown shopping events, beginning with the 4th Annual Found of 15 sale.
Found on 15 is an annual sale held the first weekend of November.
Stretching along Hwy. 15 in Franklin Parish, LaFrance-Knight called the event "a 25 and a half mile garage sale," highlighting communities along the busy road.
Following Found on 15, Winnsboro Main Street will host a Holiday Open House the weekend before Thanksgiving.
"Both of those events will be part of Louisiana's Main to Main promotion, which features state Main Street communities," LaFrance-Knight said.