It’s been nine years since three businesses, Bussey’s Flowers, Gifts & Decor, The Season Events and Riverside Gourmet partnered in the ground floor of the old McBrayer Furniture store at the corner of Third Avenue and Broad Street.
After Labor Day, it will be down to one as Bussey moves to larger space in Central Plaza.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years,” Todd Bussey said. “We’ve kind of outgrown that space and moving to Central Plaza will give us a chance to have more space with easier access for our customers with parking.”
The longtime florist, who started in Cedartown and still has a shop there, said 70% of his business is delivery service. Having a rear-loading zone at the Central Plaza location will be of particular benefit to the flower business.
“I hate to leave Broad Street because it’s such a great place. It’s changed so much since we opened nine years ago,” Bussey said. He pointed out that a recent facelift at Central Plaza had really improved the look of the shopping center off Second Avenue at the Etowah River.
“With Duffy’s (Deli), Room Service, The Stitchery and all the other shops there, I think foot traffic will be good there as well,” Todd said.
Renovations are underway at the new site, formerly occupied by Alterations Express, 6 Central Plaza. Bussey said it has about 30% more space than his current location at the corner of Broad Street and Third Avenue.
“If everything goes well we plan to open right after Labor Day in about three weeks,” Bussey said.
Nancy Brass, general manager at Riverside Gourmet, said that Brian Moore and Wes Walraven have big plans to expand back into the space that has been occupied by Bussey.
She said conversations are going on with contractors about taking down a wall or two to open up the space a little more.
“We hope to enlarge everything we have, more kitchen products, more gourmet food products, more specialty serve-ware and tabletop items,” Brass said. “We’re going to improve our wine selection as well. We’re really excited about it.”
Walraven said he’s particularly excited about being able to offer fresh milk, eggs and produce in the expanded Riverside Gourmet to cater to the growing number of downtown residents who don’t have easy access to some traditional grocery items.
“We’ll have about 4,000 square feet of retail space,” Walraven said.
Once Bussey completes the move, Brass said she hopes renovations in that space can be completed before the end of September. Hopefully that work will not impact the rest of the business in the front of the shop facing Broad Street, she said.
Riverside Gourmet has already expanded its hours, staying open until 9 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Walraven said he hopes some of the other non-restaurant downtown businesses will follow with expanded hours. The shop is also open Sunday afternoon to make it a seven-day-a-week business.