Story by Brittany Anas — Livability Magazine
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Maury County’s population is growing rapidly, as people of all ages and professions are flocking to this thriving community about 30 minutes from Nashville. The county is a draw for those looking to advance their careers, find affordable housing, enjoy its high quality of life — or all of the above. Whether it’s artists, startups or retirees, newcomers are embracing all that Maury County has to offer.
Kathryn York found the perfect spot to open her home goods and gift store, Smith & York Co., in an 1800s-era building located on the town square in Columbia, which exudes a palpable Main Street America feel. Step foot in the wellcurated shop that she and her husband opened in May 2019, and you might just find their 4-year-old son, Liam, “helping out” at the register. Shortly after opening the store, York and her family moved to Maury County.
“We wanted to be part of the community and be closer to the shop,” she says. “We get locals who thank us for choosing to be in downtown Columbia. It truly is humbling to have people who have lived here all their lives come in and say they are proud to have our store in their town.”
For others planning to launch a new business, Maury County offers a variety of resources, such as Columbia’s Culinary Arts Center, a new industrial kitchen facility that helps small-to midsize food businesses meet their prep work and large-quantity cooking needs. Coworking spaces are available at sites such as Cowork Columbia or Muletown Collective in the Columbia Arts Building.
For York, who previously worked in the tourism industry, entrepreneurship comes in the form of curating a shop that’s filled with textiles, pillows, rugs, throws and cutting boards — the kind of items that make a home feel inviting. The store artfully blends a variety of styles, from midcentury to industrial to bohemian.
Plus, new to the Columbia Arts Building is Little Juice Co., founded by husband and wife T.J. and Rachelle Hutt. The business takes healthy to the max, offering an allvegan menu of raw juices, smoothies and shots.
Mike Peters moved back home to Maury County a few years ago after spending years abroad in Southeast Asia and Germany. He’s now the taproom manager at Asgard Brewing Co. and is in charge of booking the live music acts for Friday and Saturday nights at the brewery.
A singer-songwriter himself, Peters has also performed around town, staging acoustic performances at Square Market on First Fridays and performing at the Pickin’ Party.
“Musicians are plentiful around here,” Peters says. “There’s a lot of talent here.”
To match, there are numerous outlets for local artists — musicians, painters and other creative types.
Musicians have opportunities to perform at events, such as First Fridays in Columbia, eateries like Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant, Mt. Pleasant Grille or Vanh Dy’s, and businesses like Bleu 32 Vintage Marketplace. As for artists, Maury County offers spaces like the Columbia Arts Building and Spring Hill Arts Center.