Ringgold Feed & Seed Antiques welcomed friends, family and collectors into their newly refurbished facility for a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony, March 14. City officials, customers and antique vendors came from across Tennessee and Northwest Georgia to see the finished 7,500 square feet of collectables, antiques and custom crafts.
Owners Joseph Oliver and Mike and Gay Crane partnered with Jim Callaway of Ringgold to bring new life to the former Callaway Feed & Seed Company, which operated a cotton mill and agricultural products supplier.
With an eye for picking classic furniture, art and other used goods, the facility attracted the attention of the Cranes from the start.
“The City of Ringgold is already rich in history and part of that history is the Callaway Brothers Feed and Seed,” Crane said. “The rustic look of both buildings offers a wonderful backdrop for the items we offer. The Cranes and Oliver turned their love of antiques into a business in the 90's when they began working together collecting and selling antiques from across the South.
“We first saw [this] property in its raw state in September 2013 and started the transformation into an antique market in November,” Crane said. “We were able to complete the construction and opened in early January.”
The original cotton gin operated on the property between 1929 and 2002, but the new Feed and Seed Antiques has finally completed the work of restoring the warehouse and filling it with an enormous selection.
“I'm very happy with everything they've done," said former owner Jim Callaway. “I've always wanted to see this building and the old cotton gin restored.”
With a growing number of antique stores, Ringgold is hoping to capitalize on promoting more downtown shopping. Joseph Brellenthin of the Ringgold Downtown Development Authority said in 2013 the Georgia Department of Transportation measured an average of 80,000 vehicles a day on I-75 between the three Ringgold exits.
“If the City can create a destination for those travelers to shop and visit multiple stores, that's a huge benefit to our local economy,” he said.
There are 10 gift and collectible stores within the historic Downtown Ringgold area.
“Antiquing is it's own unique community,” Crane said, “and we've had terrific support from all the other local stores and we work with them and other collectors all the time. We’ve had such great help from the city and their support for new businesses coming into Ringgold.”
The facility houses 24 individuals who occupy booths throughout the interior, offering items ranging from antiques, primitives, hand painted signs, records and radios, mid century modern furniture, industrial items and home accessories, according to Gay Crane.
With the activity returning to the historic location and with the name Feed & Seed Antiques, some visitors have come in shopping for the wrong items, she said.
“I've had several people come in asking about chicken feed, hay or other produce,” she said. “We were thinking of a logo along the lines of ‘at Ringgold Feed & Seed Antiques, we feed your junkin' soul, not your cows.’”
Ringgold Feed & Seed Antiques is at 403 High Street in downtown Ringgold, Ga. For more information, visit their website at ringgoldfeedandseed.com or find them on facebook at facebook.com/ringgoldfeedandseed or call 706-935-7333.