Let’s take advantage of our captive audience

Published 9:18 am Thursday, November 29, 2012


Dear Columbiana,

I love you.

It was not love at first sight. Rather, my love for you has grown with time, as I have developed a healthy respect and appreciation for the many things you offer those, like me, who enjoy life in a small town.

I love so much about you — my short commute to work, your fantastic climate. I so enjoy watching golfers play on the Magnolia Meadows course in January, basking in the warmth of our winter sunshine. We are so blessed.

I love Brown Lumber on Saturday mornings in the springtime. I love the Piggly Wiggly — except on Wednesdays, when cashiers insist on asking me every single time if I get the senior discount. Again, I do not.

I would have never thought I would find in Columbiana the best physician I’ve ever had — Scott Davidson at the Columbiana Clinic — and the very best veterinary care for my pets found anywhere — Shelbiana Animal Clinic.

Because I love you, Columbiana, I offer my opinion in what I hope is a very constructive way: Entrepreneurs among us need to take advantage of all that is wonderful about life in Columbiana — including the healthy incomes of the people who populate our town from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday.

We need to think about what those folks need and, for lack of a better term, exploit those needs.

Here are some suggestions:

-We need a sandwich shop — someplace that will put together a relatively healthy sandwich and maybe a salad or soup or fruit, and deliver that to businesses here, meaning the courthouse specifically. By the way, doing exactly this is how Paula Deen got her start. Just saying.

-We need someplace that sells specialty cheeses or chocolates and coffee and, dare I say it, wine. Someplace with some good WiFi and a coffeehouse atmosphere. Perhaps that same business could put together gift baskets of Shelby County products, making interesting, local gift-giving easy.

-Downtown Columbiana needs a shop that sells specialty wild bird feed and unique birdhouses, bird feeders, wind chimes and the like. I really think that would thrive here.

Columbiana has so much to offer, and a captive audience to whom to offer it. I’m hopeful the new leadership in the city and a re-energized Merchants and Professionals Association will lead quickly to new business offerings for all of us to enjoy.

Jan Griffey is the editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 36 or by email at jan.griffey@shelbycountyreporter.com.