An upcoming Main Street Market business is bringing a touch of the mountains to Gainesville.
Co-owned by Joshua Daugherty and Charlie Williams, Wanderlust Trading Co. incorporates local art and tourism into a general store format.
The shop will hold a soft opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 29. It’s located in the former home goods store, The Gainesville Collective.
“We’re bringing a lot of products down from the mountains,” Williams said. “People won’t have to go all the way across North Georgia to get the products that they know and love.”
At Wanderlust Trading Co. people can expect to find jelly from Jaemor Farms, wooden pieces made by local artisans, coffee beans from JumpinGoat, grits from Nora Mill Granary Inc. and other locally made goodies.
Daugherty said the store’s stock will always change depending on the season and the small businesses that contribute their wares. Customers can additionally purchase drinks and snacks at the shop.
Daugherty and Williams launched a brand through their business called, “Good People,” which they printed on the store’s T-shirts and hats. Williams said the phrase “goes along with Gainesville’s good people motif.”
The co-owners, who have been friends since middle school, said they never imagined starting their own business together, until Claude Tatro approached them three months ago.
Tatro co-owns Pharmacon Nuclear Inc., which possesses all of Main Street Market.
He brought the idea of starting a convenience-type store to Daugherty and Williams, and volunteered to help them get the business off the ground. Tatro invested in the store, offering free rent to the co-owners while they gain a customer base.
He said Wanderlust Trading Co. fits into the mold of Main Street Market.
“It’s a symbiotic relationship here,” Tatro said. “No one is competing against each other, they’re helping one another. The presence of customers for one business enhances the potential for customers at other businesses.”
Wanderlust Trading Co. is the co-owners’ first business venture.
Williams said their lack of experience has proved the biggest challenge with the shop.
“We almost had no idea what we were doing,” he said. “We’re figuring out things as we go.”
Luckily, Tatro has supported them every step of the way.
“Giving us this opportunity is a blessing because it’s giving us a lot of experience that we may have not gotten otherwise,” Daugherty said.
As Daugherty and Williams begin to establish a presence in the Main Street Market, the two said they intend to provide information on local hiking trails, fishing spots, wineries and other destinations around Gainesville. The two will also eventually sell camping equipment.
Williams said he hopes the store will bolster Gainesville’s reputation for being a tourism city and inspire people to seek adventures.
“Our store, the market and other vendors on the square are trying to push the mindset back into the area,” he said. “So, they don’t just go through Gainesville to Dahlonega, this is a destination, or at least a stop on the road.”
Wanderlust Trading Co.’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about the shop email email@example.com.