Monthly Archives: May 2016

Entrepreneur Success: Cabin Coffee

Meet Cabin Coffee owners, Wayne and Judy Jolley, one of Blairsville’s business success stories. Having long enjoyed visits to Blairsville, they knew it would be the perfect place to start a new chapter of their lives. Cabin Coffee of Blairsville opened in 2015. The coffee shop and cafe is located in a restored building in the city’s downtown square. What was once the “Old Chevron” station, is now a cozy spot where the community can enjoy hot drinks and food. Read more for the Jolley’s story and their success tips for starting a new business.

Why did you want to start your own business?
I (Judy) worked in breakfast restaurants in high school and college, and always enjoyed the relationships you build with your regular customers. Throughout my years in the business world, I always had the idea in the back of my mind to open a coffee shop. The timing was just right for me to step away from my career and for my husband and I to make this change.

Why did you decide to open Cabin Coffee in Blairsville?
Opening a coffee shop has been a dream of ours for quite some time and we love Blairsville, so making our part time residence a full time home combined very well with the decision to open the coffee shop. Part of our goal was to create a place for community, and for people to gather and feel the hospitality of Blairsville. Blairsville has so much to offer, and we were excited about the revitalization of the downtown area. It all just seemed to come together very well.

We have owned a cabin in Blairsville for a few years. We enjoyed coming to the area to hike, boat and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. We also have enjoyed the people in the area and found it very easy to transition into making this our full time home. In opening a business here, we were pleased with the pro-business environment. The Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority, City & County government have all been very supportive. In addition, the infrastructure including the high speed fiber optic network are very helpful for our business.

What are some success tips you can give about starting a new business?
Preparation and planning are very important.  We spent a good deal of time researching the economics of the coffee shop business, the demographics and economics of Union County, the procedures necessary to start a new business, etc. It’s important to budget and stick to that budget. There is a good deal of information that can be found online regarding requirements for businesses. It’s important for new business owners to be prepared financially, including having a cash reserve.

In what ways has the community of Blairsville contributed to your success story?
Blairsville has a robust network of small business owners. Everyone has been willing to speak with us and offer their experience to us. There are also organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, which have resources to assist business owners. We have found so many people willing to lend their experiences and expertise to us to help us in decision-making. We also were thrilled with the candidates who applied for jobs when it was time to start hiring for our coffee shop. We found great people and they have become an excellent, dependable team. Between the business environment, the people, and the mountains surrounding Blairsville, we could not have found a better place to open a business.

Summer Festival Guide 2016

Summer is an exciting time for Blairsville. The warm sunny weather is ideal for taking advantage of the natural beauty of this North Georgia city. It’s also festival season, a perfect time for a weekend getaway with your family to Union County. We compiled a list of all the upcoming festivals and events in and around town. Fill your summer with local artwork, good food, and fun memories.

Blairsville Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival
May 28-29
Blairsville Courthouse Square

This annual festival takes place in the historic downtown Blairsville Square. There will be over 60 vendors and live music, perfect for your family and kids of all ages.

13th Annual Blairsville Scottish Festival & Highland Games
June 11-12, 9am-5pm
Meeks Park, 11 Pool Lane, Blairsville, GA

Discover your family clan and hang out with locals and visitors enjoying traditional games, Highland music, dancing and food with a Scottish flair. Children can compete in their own Highland games. For the “wee ones” there’s a face painting and train rides.

10th Annual Mountain Fling
June 25-26
North Georgia Technical College
121 Meeks Ave.

The Mountain Fling is a two-day juried show that features original fine art and crafts, ceramics, fiber art, jewelry, soaps, gourds, leather goods, pet items, and outdoor art.

18th Annual Butternut Creek Festival
July 16-17
Meeks Park

An annual juried arts and crafts show. This two-day festival features the work of 65 artists and craftsmen as well as live music. Held at Meeks Park.

For more information about festivals and family fun this summer in Blairsville – Union County, visit the Festivals page at!

Top 5 Spring Hikes in North Georgia

Courtesy of Renee Deibert

Courtesy of Renee Deibert

Looking for a fun getaway that doesn’t break the bank? Check out our list of the best North Georgia Hikes. These trails will take you to the most iconic parts of North Georgia – including the Appalachian Trail, Blood Mountain, and the highest point in the state, Brasstown Bald. Mountain top views, beds of wildflowers, and refreshing waterfalls make these Georgia hikes perfect for a spring weekend.

1. Three Trail Loop at Lake Winfield Scott, Slaughter Creek, Appalachian Trail
Lake Winfield Scott is a part of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. Surrounding the lake are many facilities and areas for a picnic lunch. The trail loop is 5.6 miles round trip and takes you across three separate trails providing for a variety of scenery, including creeks and wildflowers.

2. Byron Reece Trail at Neels Gap
This 1.35 mile trail goes through the lower elevation of Blood Mountain. The forest is beautiful in spring when blankets of vibrant ferns and flowers have bloomed. Small waterfalls and streams can be seen at the trailhead, while rhododendron and mountain laurels provide plenty of shade along the trail.

3. Helton Creek Falls
If you’re looking for a more relaxing day in the outdoors, consider Helton Creek Falls. With two picturesque waterfalls, it’s the perfect location to play in the water and cool off on a sunny spring day. The trail is a short 0.6 miles, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy the views at your leisure.

4. Arkaquah Trail
This trail will take you from Brasstown Bald near Union County to Track Rock Gap. At 11 miles, this trail is more difficult than the rest, but it does offer stunning views of the North Georgia mountains. At Track Rock Gap, you can spend some time exploring the archaeological site with more than 100 petroglyph symbols.

5. Jacks Knob Trail
This moderate trail is 4.5 miles point-to-point and begins at the Brasstown Bald Visitors Center. You can take the trail all the way to the top of Brasstown or head south towards Jacks Gap and the Appalachian Trail at Chattahoochee Gap. While steep at times, this trail offers great views.