Locally owned, grown, and loved
How local businesses survived the pandemic
March 2, 2022
Throughout the past two and a half years, locally owned businesses have had to go through a number of obstacles just to stay afloat. These challenges include having to change hours, putting new safety precautions in place, and limiting people inside these businesses. As the two-year anniversary of COVID-19’s original shutdown approaches, it is important to remember that supporting these businesses has been a key component of helping keep life as normal as possible throughout the pandemic.
Smith and Davis
Through the pandemic, the community as a whole lost many local businesses, but it is important to support the ones that survived. For many of us in Fayette county when we think of a true locally owned and operated business we think of Smith and Davis.
Located off of Highway 54, Smith and Davis has been in business in Fayette County since 1965.
Smith and Davis is known to locals as a friendly, inviting place to get shoes, clothes, and accessories. They specialize in great customer service, making sure everyone leaves feeling confident in what they purchased.
Since the passing of the owner Ronald Davis earlier this year, the business has been primarily owned and operated by his two sons, George and Tony Davis.
Smith and Davis also employ multiple students from Fayette County schools, such as from here at Starr’s Mill and from Whitewater High School. The family business also sponsors multiple clubs, sports, and organizations within Fayette County schools.
Since the beginning of the shutdown in March 2020, Smith and Davis have made it a priority to make sure customers still get everything they need.
“We changed our business [back in March 2020], and went online and did same-day delivery, and our employees were so great they would take things and deliver them on their way home,” Tony Davis said. “We [also] had to reduce our hours which we have maintained.”
Despite the challenges, the Davis family attributes their success to the support of their customers. They believe if it was not for community support their business, along with many others would have collapsed.
“I think the local community really wants to support local businesses, some people were in here as soon as we opened back up May 1,” Tony said. “Our business has grown and with everything and all the tragedy that has been going on, I think that people really want to support locally after seeing so many businesses shut down.”
Smith and Davis is a true family business that adapted and relied on its previous reputation to survive through the pandemic.
Mike & C’s
Mike and C’s, along with their new location in Senoia, Yesterdays, is known by many in Fayette County as a place to get dinner after a game or breakfast on the weekends. Throughout the pandemic, they faced many challenges of their own.
Located in Wilshire Pavilion, Mike and C’s has been a local favorite since it first came to the area. Mike and C’s specializes in “Game Day food,” like wings and burgers. They also always have different sporting events on their multitude of TVs to help create a better environment for their customers.
“Working during Covid was kind of weird, but it was my first job and I started right before it all happened,” junior Olivia Ferris said. “Some of the regulars started leaving better tips for the servers. The people there are really nice, and everyone just treats you like their brother or sister.”
During the height of COVID-19, employees wore masks and increased the amount of times they wiped down tables. Although these changes were necessary, they posed many challenges due to the size of the restaurant.
Mike and C’s adapted to the new “normal,” by going to a full take-out and curbside business, until April 28, 2020, when they introduced limited seating.
Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, they still managed to open a second restaurant this fall, Yesterdays, in downtown Senoia.
Mike and C’s stayed open during the pandemic, mainly due to local love, including a reverse spirit night by Oak Grove Elementary. Instead of the restaurant raising profits for the school, the school raised money for the restaurant.
“We seriously have the most amazing community and customers, ” Mike and C’s said on their Facebook in response to the spirit night.
Mike and C’s is a truly local business that survived through the pandemic because of the love and support of the community.
In Fayette County when someone asks where to get a personalized gift for any occasion, a common mention is Serendipity.
“Love my vinyl monogram cup! I love that I had a choice of a print when picking out what I wanted on my cup. Thumbs up!” said one customer, via google reviews. “I have had two of my sons diaper bags monogrammed here, and a decal for my Jeep made. Every single time everything has come out perfect! The prices aren’t bad either, compared to other places. They are quick and efficient. I took two bags in the morning and by 3:00 they were ready for pick up! Amazing job ladies!”
Serendipity, located off of Highway 54 near Mellow Mushroom in Peachtree City, is an embroidery and custom gift shop that specializes in personalization and unique gifts.
Unlike many other stores during the pandemic, Serendipity stayed open just with reduced hours and completely shut down their Newnan location. Eventually, in April they had to move to fully online, doing curbside and call-in orders.
“I have been here a few times now and have enjoyed my experiences! Very professional and quick turnaround on embroidery! Thanks, Tracie,” another Google review said.
Serendipity, while having to change and adapt to pandemic life, did so without jeopardizing the integrity of their business.
“Shop LOCAL! Eat Local! Spend Local! Enjoy LOCAL!” Serendipity said on their Instagram.
Blume Organics is a café and lunch spot located off of Highway 54, near The Bridge. It is known by students as a go-to after-school spot for hanging out and studying.
Throughout the pandemic, they adapted by taking away dine-in dishes, and mugs, and required employees to wear masks.
“The mask mandate definitely affected how we interacted with our customers at the beginning of the pandemic,” Blume employee Maggie Phillips said. Now that the restrictions have become more relaxed, it is so nice to greet our customers with a sweet “Hey, y’all!” followed by a sweet smile, and to see them smile back!”
They have also been a long-time supporter of Fayette County Schools. During last year’s teacher appreciation week, they donated coffee, tea, and treats to Rising Starr Middle School.
The environment at Blume is what makes it so special. From the music they play to the friendliness of the employees, it always feels cozy and welcoming.
“I absolutely love the environment at my work! It is a huge blessing to be surrounded by such uplifting and incredible coworkers and customers,” Phillips said. “I also love that we have music playing, whether it’s soft 50’s, worship, or jack johnson!”
Despite the struggles of the pandemic, business is thriving thanks to the support of loyal customers.