CHERRY’S ART EMPORIUM – PART THREE
Underwriting artCentral exhibitions and giving artCentral valuable real estate in her storefront window are only two of the many, many ways Cherry Babcock supports art, artists and this community she loves. While currently all of her focus is required for running and growing her multi-faceted business enterprise, over the years Cherry’s given much of her time and energy to
Cherry’s business skill set is enviable. She’s organized, thoughtful, and decisive fearlessly working at her forward edge. Undaunted by challenges, Cherry’s a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of business owner whether taking on the interior renovation of the Emporium’s 135 year old Ramsey building or finding the right people to share the daily operations.
When I ask Cherry what she loves best about her art gallery/framing enterprise/restaurant, she responds, “I love being here, surrounded by art that I love and by people who matter to me. I don’t have employees. I have a staff, our staff. Our staff is our family.” Indeed, in part, this is literally true. Cherry’s sister and her two adult sons (one at the gallery and one offering sound business advice from out-of-town) play key roles in getting the work done, keeping the doors open and opening new doors, too, like the brick-arched passageway leading from the Emporium’s gallery into the realm of two extraordinarily talented women—recent additions to Cherry’s business family.
Betty Goodman and Stormy Gunlock are the angels hovering over Cherry’s newest enterprise—Annie’s, the specialty gift and gourmet shop, that Cherry’s recently purchased and moved from 3rd Street to the Main Street storefront next to the Art Emporium. Bringing their creative professionalism to the stocking and display of Annie’s wide variety of unique merchandise, Betty and Stormy make Annie’s your one-stop shop for entertaining essentials and for gifts for every occasion. David and I introduced his two out-of-town sisters to Annie’s, and we were delighted to learn at our family’s holiday gift celebration, the sisters had gone back to Annie’s to do their shopping!
At Annie’s delightful choices abound—from tastefully charming greeting cards to exotic chutneys to best-ever chocolate truffles; from distinctive wines to sparkling stemware; from uniquely scented candles to arty kitchen towels; and lots, lots more. Open on Christmas Eve, Annie’s offered rescue and respite for the customer who happily declared, “You have saved me from a last minute trip to the MALL! I’m so thankful you’re here!”
Art and framing and specialty gourmet and gift selections—what more can Cherry’s Art Emporium offer? Well, good food and music, of course! You’ll find both when you walk through the art gallery and step into the Woodshed—Cherry’s spacious back room replete with art and vintage décor and tantalizing aromas. David and I are still reminiscing over the pleasure of the sprout-embellished, perfectly dressed portobello mushroom burger and heaping portion of mixed fries we recently shared.
The Woodshed menu specializes in amazing burgers, but you’ll find plenty of other possibilities for your small party dining. Large special events can be scheduled at the Woodshed by calling Cherry’s at (417) 358-2707. There’s also a space available for more intimate events just around the corner in Annie’s original location at 116 West Third Street.
In the past the Woodshed was a twice a month bluegrass venue where you could purchase coffee and pie to go along with some authentic, downhome pickin’ and singin’ in an eclectic space cluttered and crowded with theater seating and an accumulation of junk including broken down washing machines. Carrying on the seventeen year tradition, the Woodshed’s Friday night music of today is a special treat with local and traveling musicians performing their original tunes, with options to enjoy good food and the additional pleasures brought by a liquor license.
“What next?” I ask Cherry. “Oh, I have plans to bring excellence to Carthage every chance I get!” Cherry replies, speaking with the confidence and self-assurance of a person living on purpose. “Working with visionary folks like Ed and Kara Hardesty of Mother Road Coffee, together we’re inspiring each other to lead the way in turning Carthage into more than just another stop on Route 66. We want to see Carthage become a Destination where one can have the kind of exceptional and meaningful experience you can take home and relish forever—until the next time you just have to come back again!”
All residents and travelers, too, are invited to come back to artCentral on Friday, February 2nd, 6:00-8:00 p.m. for the Opening Reception for “Art Speaks”, the stunning, not-to-be-missed mixed media collection presented by the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition. Admission is free.