First ‘Night on West Ridgeley’ is Thursday

Published 5:00am Saturday, October 6, 2012

Many of the store owners aren’t even sure what to expect as they prepare for “A Night on West Ridgeley Street” to be held next Thursday, but Gene Reynolds, who works for B&G Treasures owned by his wife Bobbie Reynolds, said he expects a good time either way.

“It sounds like fun — that’s all I know,” Reynolds said.

Either the owners of the stores are hiding a well-guarded secret or the finite details are still being ironed out. Part of the mystery stems from the freedom Sheryl Vickery, the organizer of the event, has given to the store owners.

“What I’m doing is just kind of initiating it. I want each store to do what they want to do,” Vickery said. “Each business is going to have something different. I brought it to the table and they ran with it. It’s up to them what they want to do.”

Joel Lambert, owner of Roasters Gallery, said A Night on West Ridgeley Street is only the latest in a series of things Vickery has done to look out for Atmore businesses.

“Sheryl Vickery — she’s the best. Since she became director of the Chamber of Commerce, some of the things I’ve wanted to see happen have happened,” Lambert said. “I appreciate the hard work she has done for small business.”

Some owners are planning to have specials for the event.

Joe Brown, co-owner of Country Charms, said he will have a slew of new items for customers to sort through.

“For next week, it sounds exciting. We’ll open, of course,” Brown said. “We’ll have specials throughout the store. We just came back from the market, so we’ll have a lot of new stuff.”

Among the new items, customers can expect to see quality rocking horses, Christmas items, Alabama and Auburn memorabilia, and other souvenir-type items.

Bobbie and Gene Reynolds will not only unveil a few new items, but they’ll also feature 25 percent off on all appliances, such as the washers seen on the sidewalk just outside the store.

Gene Reynolds said more seasonal items will become available.

“We had a storage unit and we’ve sold well over half of it already,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of Christmas stuff coming up. We’ve even got some stuff for Easter.”

Bobbie Reynolds said one of the key elements to their business is selling affordable products.

“We’ve got a child’s bike for $10,” she said. “Any kind of household items we try to put a good price on.
According to Brown, there is a precedent to the event.

“We used to have after hours,” Brown said. “An individual merchant would sponsor after hours with the chamber. Those always worked.”

Vickery said the event is intended to showcase West Ridgeley Street and celebrate the growth in business there, saying West Ridgeley is critical to downtown Atmore.

“Your downtown is what holds your community together,” Vickery said. “There is shopping going on in this community.”
Brown has witnessed a growth in business on West Ridgeley.

“I think it’s picked up. I think people have learned there’s more to do over here,” he said. “People are funny; they don’t want to shop at a one-stop. They want variety.”

Brown said the growth has been heartening to see.

“The street’s beginning to fill back up and that’s what’s really exciting,” he said. “There are very few streets where every store front is filled, but this is one of them.”

Lambert said the recent success seen on West Ridgeley has just as much to do with the customers who frequent businesses as the businesses themselves.

“I don’t have a single customer that I don’t like,” Lambert said. “I’m really lucky to have customers that I get along with.”

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