Category Archives: Buy Local

Cabin Coffee owners, Wayne and Judy Jolley

Cabin Coffee Co. Loves Calling Blairsville Home

Blairsville has been the perfect location for Cabin Coffee Co. and its owners, Wayne & Judy Jolley. Check out their story below.

Learn more about starting or moving a business to Blairsville-Union County at www.visitblairsvillega.com/business.

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4 Tips for the Perfect Spring Break

Still figuring out what to do with your kids over Spring Break? Look no further than Blairsville-Union County! Explore the Greater Outdoors and experience all of the food, culture, and shopping that Blairsville has to offer. Here are a few tips for having a perfect Spring Break Adventure in Blairsville-Union County…

1. Have an Outdoor Adventure

Blairsville-Union County is the perfect place to unplug and reconnect with your family, and there’s no better way to do that than Exploring the Greater Outdoors!

Brasstown Bald
Get an unforgettable view of four states from Georgia’s highest peak. Learn more about Brasstown Bald here.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Union County boasts the only covered portion of the famous Appalachian Trail. You can also hike to the peak of Blood Mountain or brave one of the many other connecting trails. Learn more about hiking and other outdoor activities in Blairsville-Union County here.

Waterfalls
We have many waterfalls here in Blairsville-Union County, like Helton Creek Falls and Wolf Creek Falls, to name a few. Learn more about our waterfalls and where to find them here.

Horseback Riding
Riders of all ages and levels can experience the countryside on horseback. Find out more about riding and a listing of stables here.

2. Get Your Park On

We’ve got some of the finest parks in the state, complete with activities for every member of the family to enjoy.

Vogel State Park
Enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, paddle boats, and more at Vogel. Learn more about Vogel State Park, and other parks in our area here.

Meeks Park
Play 18 holes of Frisbee Golf at Meeks Park’s excellent 18-hole course, let the kids play hard on the playground, batter up at one of four batting cages, let your pups have a ball at the dog park, and much, much more! Learn more about Meeks Park here.

3. Eat Well

Dine at one of Blairsville’s many amazing restaurants. There’s something to please every palette, from traditional southern food to fine dining! You will be absolutely amazed at the quality and variety of different cuisines available in our area. Browse listings and see a map of restaurants in the area here.

4. Shop ‘til You Drop

Blairsville offers a unique shopping experience, from local artisans to designer duds! Plan your shopping trip here.

Ready for your Spring Break Mountain Adventure? Call us today at 877-745-5789 or visit us online to learn more about all the fun your family can get into in Blairsville-Union County!

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In Business with Your Kids

Lots of aspiring entrepreneurs come in pint size packages. Children have ideas about building a better mousetrap, and as adults, we have a tendency to pat them on the head and remark about the cleverness of their idea. What would happen if you explored that idea with your child?

Here’s what one family of four did as a summer project. Their 9 year old daughter had made a portable herb garden out of recycled materials for her end-of-year 4th grade Science project. Her Mom saw a good deal of potential in the project. She knew that kids are great at cut and paste, so with a little extra training, they could be taught to assemble. They began by recycling 16 ounce green tinted plastic soda bottles. They then purchased a $25 bottle cutting tool from a large online retailer.

Next, they invested in old barn boards that they purchased for a song from a local online yard sale. They purchased herb seeds and potting soil and took a box of Dixie cups and began their herb plantings. Dad did the cutting of the plastic bottles as well as cutting the barn wood in appropriate size pieces. The two youngsters were in charge of the planting, marking, and care of the herbs in the Dixie cups. Mom then sanded the backs of the boards, added a hanger, and attached the cut bottles in a decorative fashion onto the boards. When the plants were at a healthy size, Mom and the kids replanted them into the bottles on the boards. They went to their local Farmer’s Market on Saturday and sold out that day. They were now in the portable herb garden business. Customers went crazy for the idea of hanging this rustic barn wood on their back porch, and having an herb garden all ready to go.

Mom kept track of the time invested, as well as the material costs. The four of them had 68 hours into the project, including their day at the Farmers Market. Their material costs were $89, including the cutting tool. That day they sold the 50 portable herb planters that they brought to Market, at an average price of $18 each or a gross profit of $900. With a net profit of $811, it was as if each of them made $12 an hour for their efforts. Now imagine how the ideas started flowing as they headed home that evening. How could they expand this concept? They say the children had the best ideas, and were so invested in the project it was hard to get them to focus on their schoolwork again, come fall.

When considering what business you want to develop, don’t just consider how much time it will take away from your family, but more importantly consider how you can engage the family in the process. The learning experience will only be exceeded by the strengthening of family ties as you take on the new challenges together. Your children will also begin to develop the skills to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Our Chamber is proud to annually host the “Youth Leadership Union”, whose mission is to develop the knowledge and leadership skills of young people in our County so they may confidently become our leaders of tomorrow.  For more information about this program, visit our website.

Back to Dream

 

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Top 10 things to do in Blairsville-Union County for 2018

1. Eat collard greens & black eyed peas
After all, it’s a southern tradition. Eat these as your first meal for the New Year and you will increase your luck and prosperity for the year ahead. Let the Chamber connect you with local farmers so all your meals are sure to be fresh.

2. Hike Brasstown Bald
Experience the wonders of nature at 4,784 feet above sea level. Get your blood pumping and oxygen flowing through your lungs with this moderate difficulty 0.6 mile Summit hike.

3. Wear a kilt at the Scottish Festival
You don’t have to be Scottish to wear a kilt. Find out your tartan colors, enjoy the Highland Games and nosh on some Scottish delicacies the second weekend in June.

4. Fly fish on the Nottely River
Brown trout, rainbow trout, and native trout are abundant in our freshwater mountain streams. Grab some flies and a pole and head out to the headwaters of the Nottely River, Coopers Creek, or Rock Creek for premier trout fishing.

5. Sip Moonshine
You can’t visit the south without tasting our famous moonshine. Grandaddy Mimms’ moonshine recipe has been passed down through the generations since the days of prohibition. Swing by the moonshine museum and learn about the history of this beverage.

6. Take a garden tour at Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center
Meander through a .25 mile loop of The Woodland Medicine Trail and discover numerous woodland wildflowers, herbs, fern and shrubs that were used extensively by Native Americans and early settlers. Then enjoy the Ethnobotanic Gardens containing plants that were harvested and often cultivated by early inhabitants of the region for medicinal, food, and craft uses.

7. Get wet at Helton Creek Falls
A rock slide for the kids and a veil of water to stand behind make Helton Creek Falls a must do activity for the young and young at heart. A short hike allows you to explore the beauty of both the upper and lower falls of Helton Creek.

8. Share a bag of boiled peanuts
Sunrise Grocery on Hwy 129 features world famous boiled peanuts. Grab a bag of this southern delicacy and enjoy with your family and friends.

9. Discover past & present ghosts
History is alive in Union County. With abundant heritage tracking resources at the Union County Public Library, the Historic Courthouse on the Square, and a plethora of cemeteries, exploring your heritage back to the pre-Civil War era is a great way to connect with the past.

10. Sop up some sorghum biscuits
Nothing says Union County like the sweet smell of sorghum syrup cooking. Join the festivities of the Blairsville Sorghum Festival the second and third weekends in October for biscuit sopping, pole climbing, rock throwing, horseshoe throwing, and log sawing fun!

For more information about any of the above or various other activities available in Blairsville-Union County, please contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789, online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com, or by visiting the Welcome Center inside the Union County Community Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road.

 

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Holiday Preview 2017

There’s just nothing like celebrating the holidays in the mountains, and there’s no better place to celebrate the season than Blairsville-Union County! We go all out for the holiday season, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy – from festive events like the Tour of Trees and Caroling on The Square to holly jolly shopping sprees like the Mistletoe Market and the Holiday Stop and Shop. Here are just a few of the holiday happenings coming up:

Mistletoe Market
November 18, 2017 9 am – 4 pm
November 19, 2017 11 am – 4 pm

Blairsville Holiday Stop & Shop                                                                                                                 December 1, 2017 11 am – 7pm                                                                                                                    December 2, 2017 11am – 7pm

Tour of Trees
Daily, December 1 – 31, 2017 9 am – 5 pm

Kris Kringle Mountain Market                                                                                                                  December 2, 2017 10 am – 3pm

Holiday on The Square and Christmas Parade
December 2, 2017

Holly Jolly Christmas
December 9, 2017 3 pm – 6 pm

Tree Lighting at Vogel State Park                                                                                                              December 9, 2017 4 pm – 7pm

There’s so much happening in our area this year that there’s a whole page of our website dedicated to all things Holiday-themed! Learn more about the winter wonderland that is Blairsville-Union County and plan your holiday journey with us at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com!

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Blairsville-Union County Wine Country

One of the things that makes us one of the best-kept secrets in the Southeast is our fabulous wineries. As an American Viticultural Area (AVA), our area has the same designation and soil quality as prestigious wine communities like Sonoma and Napa Valley. But it’s not just the soil that make Blairsville-Union County’s Wine Country so special, it’s also the hard work and attention to detail of the wineries in providing their guests with unique experiences as well as exceptional wine. Come and see for yourself…

Learn more about the wineries and distilleries in Blairsville-Union County here.

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Holiday Pilgrimage

Southern Tree Plantation Inc., a family run business located 5 miles south of Blairsville, is a 60 acre Christmas tree farm located in Union County. Southern Tree Plantation has been growing Christmas trees for over 30 years. During that time many attractions and additional activities have been added to the plantation. Wagon rides, farm animals, a children’s train ride, marshmallow roasting, maze, playground, crafts, and concessions are some of the attractions and activities available for the public to enjoy while cutting or choosing their Christmas trees.

Many families make their annual holiday pilgrimage to choose and cut their own trees at the farm. In addition to finding a Christmas tree, customers enjoy browsing through the “holiday barn,” listening to their favorite music enjoying the sights and sounds of the season while sipping some hot chocolate. The “holiday barn” was created out of an 80 year old chicken house. Families can be found roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, taking the wagon and train rides, playing in the playground and maze or enjoying a variety of other activities available. Even Santa Claus has been known to drop by the “holiday barn.”  

From its early roots as a business, the Christmas season is still the highlight and most popular time of year at the farm.  Families travel from many miles away to make or continue their holiday traditions at Southern Tree Plantation. Over the years, the Plantation has expanded its services beyond trees and holiday attraction. There are also facilities available for large events to be held on the farm – perfect for company picnics, birthday parties, reunions, weddings, and other events.

Let us help you plan your holiday pilgrimage and other activities while you are in town by contacting the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789 or stop by our Welcome Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road located within the Union County Community Center.

 

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The Business of Making Memories

We were nine adults, sitting around the backyard fire pit, drinking real hot cocoa topped with fluffy marshmallows. As the late autumn breeze became chillier, the hostess left us to rustle up blankets for each of her guests. We threw them around ourselves and instinctively wrapped up in them like they were our cocoons.

Someone sighed and said “Oh, this reminds me of summer camp in Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie over 50 years ago.” For the next two hours we exchanged memories of our childhood camp experiences. Though we had raised a dozen children between us, not one of us mentioned the recollections we had of their experiences. Our own camp memoirs were so rich and tangible, even a half century later, we couldn’t stop sharing. Eventually the fire burned to just ambers and we regretfully ended our journey down memory lane.

When deciding to open a business here in Union County, you will ask yourself a myriad of questions. Can I make a living out of what I’m most passionate about? Is this something I think I can be absorbed about for the next several years?  Why would people choose to do business with me instead of who they’ve been doing business with in the past? Where can I open my business that is affordable and will draw the most traffic?

All of these are important considerations, yet one of the most important questions seldom gets asked. Will my business make memories for my customers? Because if their experience with you is memorable, they will continue to do business with you and they’ll share that experience with everyone. If your yarn shop is completely off the beaten path, but the alpaca, whose fleece are used to make your yarn, are available to your customers to pet and feed, they will drive miles for that experience. They’ll take pictures, post it on social media, most likely with a link to your FB page, and now they are using these memorable experiences as free marketing for your business.

I know, you are thinking, “I want to open a window washing business. How do I create a memorable experience for my customers?” All recollections don’t have to be pleasant. Taking before and after pictures of some of the worst windows, then sharing them in a “thank you for your business” card will be all they need. After the windows are clean, they might not remember what they looked like before. You can remind them how awful they were and now they can experience sunlight streaming freely through them, once again. They’ll also remember your effort to let them know how much you appreciate their business and will now have two extra business cards you taped on the back of the photos to use when referring you to their neighbors. If you are washing windows on the second or third floor, ask them to use your cell phone take a picture of you up on the ladder. Post this pic to their social media page and yours, thanking them for helping your business “reach new heights.”

The Blairsville-Union Chamber of Commerce offers great think tank sessions throughout the year, where local entrepreneurs, just like you, gather to discuss their ideas. Make us part of your journey to opening your business. Oh, and if your takeaway from this article has you dreaming about opening a camp just for adults here in the mountains, we bet you’d have great success.

Back to Dream

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Eclipse Recap

Remember the eclipse? It’s hard to believe that Blairsville-Union County got national news coverage and had thousands of people flock to our area for a once-in-a-lifetime lunar event, but here we are! For many of us, August 21 probably felt a little chaotic with all of the visitors and events going on. Now that the moon dust has settled and no one can find the eclipse glasses that they scrambled to buy at the last minute, we can take a step back and see just how big this experience was for our community. Here’s a quick look at the Blairsville Eclipse Experience by the numbers:

  • Over 15,000 visitors
  • 18,655 Glasses Sold
  • 2,820 Shirts Sold
  • 4 events Hosted by the Chamber: Astronomy Night, Totality Tailgate, Moon Over Meeks & Viewing at the IP
  • Nearly $4,000 raised for Civic Clubs and the Recreation Department
  • Estimated economic Impact: $200,000+

Who knew that a couple of minutes in total darkness would have such a bright impact on our community?

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Union County Farmers Market

We may be nearing the end of the season, but there are still a few weeks left to experience the Union County Farmers Market! Check out this awesome video about our fabulous Farmers Market:

Upcoming events at the Union County Farmers Market:
September 19th – Beans, Greens & Cornbread
September 23rd – Butternut Creek Vegetable contest
September 30th – Celebrate Youth & Agriculture
October 7th – Blue Ridge Sweetness
October 17th – Simply Soup Night
October 21st – Biscuits & Jam
October 28th – Pumpkin Carving Contest