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‘To another level’

Franklin Farmers Co-op’s newly renovated, expanded Decherd store enthusiastically received during grand opening celebration
Story and photos by Chris Villines 3/23/2017


More than 2,000 farmers, Co-op personnel, and local residents helped Franklin Farmers Cooperative officially celebrate the grand opening of its rebuilt store at 2229 Decherd Blvd. in Decherd on March 3 and 4. The Co-op’s former building, which had been in place since 1964, was torn down to create more parking for the new 14,500-square-foot showroom.
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How eager were folks to attend the grand opening of the renovated Franklin Farmers Cooperative in Decherd on March 3? Let

Co-op sales associate Jessica Burch set the scene:

“I pulled into the parking lot at 6:45 this morning, and it was full,” she said with a laugh. “I couldn’t believe it. The grand opening was supposed to start at 11 [a.m.], but so many people were already here that we decided to just go ahead and begin everything earlier.”

The excitement was palpable as more than 2,000 people from Franklin County and the surrounding area attended the two-day celebration March 3 and 4 to get a firsthand look at the Co-op’s $3.7 million redesign and expansion of its showroom and warehouse — the first such construction by the 70-year-old Co-op since 1964. Customers at the event registered for door prizes, shopped an extensive selection of farm and home items, talked with the Co-op’s helpful staff and representatives of Tennessee Farmers Cooperative as well as other vendor companies, and enjoyed a complimentary barbecue lunch.

Orchestrated by Oliver Little Gipson Engineering, Inc., of Tullahoma, the building project more than tripled the size of the showroom from 4,500 square feet to 14,500 and added 20,000 square feet to the warehouse. All told, the Co-op’s Decherd campus now encompasses 62,000 square feet.

“Our board had the vision to provide a facility that would service the community for another 70 years, and I knew that what we were about to do was going to raise the business to another level,” said Franklin Farmers General Manager Doug Swann. “We were running out of room to put new products and had to outsource parts of our warehousing. Something needed to be done. I’m very proud of the finished product and the employees of this store who helped pull off this transition. Without them, we couldn’t have done it.”

The accompanying photo essay from the grand opening showcases more details about the new store from the perspective of those who attended.

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