In 2012, Marianne DeMeyers (a member of our DFA executive committee!) opened Honey’s Vintage Sweets in downtown Franklin, providing guests with fresh-squeezed lemonade, hand spun milkshakes, vintage candy brands, artisan baked goods, quirky gifts — and for many, nostalgic memories. Since then the candy emporium has helped anchor the Second South District, a go-to spot for shoppers, social gatherings, date nights, family outings and more.
After two years of selling Grape NeHi, Abba-Zabba and Sky Bars to the community, Marianne has announced that she will be shutting the sweet shop at the beginning of August. But that doesn’t mean she’s leaving 123 South Margin Street! Oh no honey, don’t worry: the closing of those doors is the opening of another: due to popular demand, the small business owner is bringing back the Tin Cottage, the Franklin retail brand she created nearly two decades ago.
Many of you who have been around since then will remember that she owned the Tin Cottage in the same location from 1998-2006, a store that sold home, table and gift items. It was a destination loved by locals, and Marianne says she is constantly caught in conversations that turn to fond memories of her first business, Tin Cottage.
“Since we have opened Honey’s, we’ve had literally hundreds of conversations with former Tin Cottage customers that recognize us as being in the same location,” she says. “And it almost always ends with ‘I wish you would re-open the Tin Cottage!’
“That conversation happened so many times that we decided to do just that.”
After two years, she says she began considering expansion plans for Honey’s Vintage Sweets due to business success.
“We found ourselves at the point where our concept was ready to grow. The brainstorming led to soul searching. I began to reassess where I wanted to be in 5, 10, even 15 years.”
In the end, she realized that her heart was still with her original business — the Tin Cottage.”
“In the past eight years, in every business I have had, there’s always a return to what the Tin Cottage was,” she says. “Within Honey’s, our gift section has thrived. I realize now that it’s still something I — and Franklin — miss.”
The new Tin Cottage is slated to reopen the second week of August. Though Marianne says customers can expect the new shop to hold to the values of the former Tin Cottage — a strong focus on customer service, a range of unique gift items and a solid sense of community — she says there will be an emphasis on current trends and local products. Look for Middle Tennessee and Southern artisanal products and gifts, she says, geared toward entertaining.
Located in downtown Franklin’s thriving arts and antiques district, Marianne wants the new Tin Cottage to be both a hotspot for local products and a gathering place: the store will have a lounge area, and she has hopes to feature freshly made, local goods.
She also plans on hosting regular social events at the new Tin Cottage that will be both fun and highly engaging, with themes such as creating a signature holiday party, and cocktail classes featuring seasonal flavors. The happenings will be held regularly and will center on the art of hospitality and handcrafted entertaining.
Marianne says they hope to offer the first gathering in late September or early October. Interested individuals can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the invitation list.
“We’ll have a renewed focus on bringing the community together. The Tin Cottage has always been about relationships, and that part was so energizing to me,” she says. “I believe we’re offering a concept that will feel fresh, and will thrive in Franklin.”
Though she’s closing her Honey’s chapter, Marianne says she has appreciated the support for the business, and that it has strengthened her desire to remain a part of downtown Franklin and in the Second and South District.
“It’s been a fantastic two years and we have been so blessed by this community,” she says. “We have so enjoyed the kids and the ‘kid in all of us’ as we have watched everyone light up to their favorite candy and sweet treats.”
Honey’s Vintage Sweets will tentatively reopen as Tin Cottage on August 9. Tin Cottage will host a grand opening at the store in early fall. Stay tunes for more information y’all!