By Stan Schwartz
Store and luncheonette to cater to downtown
BOWLING GREEN – Craig Burnett knew he didn’t want to be working for someone else the rest of his life, so he and his wife, Mandy, made plans to one day own their business.
And that day is about to happen. This Friday, the couple will open Forever Primitives: Home Décor and Luncheonette on West Church Street, just off the town square. At 10 a.m. the store will open and at 11 a.m. the lunch counter will be ready to take food orders. The store will stay open until 6 p.m., but the lunch area will close at 2 p.m. The business will operate five days a week, from Tuesday through Saturday.
The couple had been on their way to Branson for a much-needed break before getting down to the business of running their own business, when they were reached by phone for this interview.
They started this adventure in 2017, slowly working toward a business with a physical footprint here in town.
When they first met, Craig said his wife was into home décor. Him, not so much, but they both had a love of antiques; things from the past that have a story to them.
“It went on from there,” he said. “We thought how cool it would be to have our own store.”
At the time, Craig told Mandy that if he ever did decide to open a store, it would be for the working man—filled with things that everyone could afford.
“That’s our goal,” he added.
In addition to the store, which will sell home décor items, Forever Primitives will also be serving lunch. Why two types of business in the same building? Besides just having enough space for it, Craig said he was always told the importance of diversifying.
“For a small business, you need to have multiple sources of income,” he said. Even though there are places to eat in Bowling Green, Craig explained that the luncheonette would have all home made items.
“It’s simple food,” he said. “You’ll never see a Sysco truck in front of our place.”
He’s hoping to get a lot of the folks who work downtown to stop in for lunch.
Craig said they gutted the inside of the building and were able to build what they wanted inside the remaining four walls.
Before this endeavor, Craig’s full time job was working at the Super 8 motel. Mandy ran an in-home day care center. In fact, his cook is the husband of the motel’s general manager.
“They’re from Texas,” Craig said. “Everything he’s made for me just to try, I’ve been very pleased with.”
In addition to the home décor and the fresh food, Craig said the store would sell Bankhead’s Homemade Candy. He said that Laura Portwood, who runs the candy store on Business 61, would keep the store open through Christmas this year, then starting Jan. 1, 2020, she would close up the store and Forever Primitives would sell her entire line out of their downtown store. Bankhead’s Homemade Candy is currently closed for the summer and will open again Labor Day.
Craig said that by opening a new business in an old building downtown, he is helping to preserve some of the town’s history.
“I wish more people would do this,” he added.
He asked people to stop by once the store is open and give him and Mandy ideas about how they would like to see Bowling Green grow and prosper.