Just a couple of doors down from THE locAL market's previous spot, owner Lauren Duncan has a new home for everything Alabamian made including artwork, jams and pickled vegetables, jewelry, skin care products and more.
On Saturday, THE locAL market celebrated their "soft re-opening" after moving locations inside J&M Bookstore from the Whatley building next door.
Appropriately nestled inside J&M next to the art department, tables were lined with local maker's work while multicolored balloons covered the corners of the room. Customers were welcomed to the special opening between 1-4 p.m.
While renovations are still underway, Duncan couldn't contain her excitement about the new development and the future of the store.
"Even though it's slow going, it's going to be amazing," she said. "Over the next few weeks, we're going to be putting more and more items out on the floor, so it'll be great for people to come in and see everything in our new location."
Duncan said she is overjoyed to continue the process of decorating the market for its permanent home.
The new location for the market not only holds generations of history as an integral part of the Auburn community but also carries a family connection for Duncan.
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Duncan's grandparents opened J&M Bookstore in 1953, and now she works alongside her father and owner of the bookstore, Trey Johnston.
"He's been so incredibly supportive of the whole process," she said of her father.
Last year, Steve Fleming, owner of the Whatley building, told The Plainsman of his plans to build a luxury five-story mixed-use building where Whatley stands. Construction could begin by the end of spring, Fleming said.
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The market is incorporating a new barcode system, and customers will now be able to check out any locAL market purchases through the J&M counter.
The market will still host their art classes, and over time through renovations will be held in the back section of the store. Expected in as few as two months,
Many of the Auburn licensed work from THE l
Another new development for the market will be "Waffle Cone Wednesdays" with O-Town Ice Cream and "Cookie Thursdays" with fresh-baked goods in the store.
"Fresh Flower Fridays" will also be a new feature for the shop. Opelika florist Fou Fou will be in the shop for special arrangements.
Laura Murray, author of "Amazing Alabama: A Coloring Book Journey Through 67 Counties," will feature her book for purchase in the market.
"This community is just wonderful," Murray said. "I've been in Auburn for three and a half years, and until I found Lauren and the locAL market, I really didn't have a community of artists. I love to come in here and work because every single day a different artist comes through here, and it's great to meet other creative, like-minded people whether we're teachers, accountants or engineers. We all have that same passion – creating art."
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