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Business Pulse - Ceramics on Sparta Street
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Ceramics Stop and More employee Haley Millraney displays some of the options available to select and paint.

Stop it, you're kiln me

First off, please forgive me for the horrible pun above. I couldn't help myself when it came to talking about a business called Ceramics Stop and More. Now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's get down to business.

The Doodle Fish opened on Main Street in 2019 and hooked many customers on the fun of painting and ceramics and having their works of art fired in a kiln. One of those folks is Anne Stewart. Anne is a McMinnville resident who works in Nashville as a middle school librarian. She's always had a love of ceramics which has led her to this latest venture. "I started doing ceramics when I was a child. For me, it's fun. It's not just a hobby, it's a way to relax. So when I heard Stephanie Fish was planning to close The Doodle Fish, I thought it was really sad to think that McMinnville would no longer have a place like that," Anne said.

Anne's dismay over the loss of a place to paint ceramics in Warren County was not lost upon her husband, Charles "Chip" Stewart, who might could also be called Santa Claus. "My husband basically bought the business for me as a Christmas present. It was either that or I guess he was going to put my hobby in one of the sheds in the back yard," Anne joked. 

That's how Ceramics Stop and More was born. Anne would have liked to have kept The Doodle Fish's location on Main Street but the building was already rented after The Doodle Fish's departure so she opened her business at 710 Sparta St. 

Anne is joined in the venture with business partner, Kiri Frankhauser who also lives in McMinnville and is an educator. "For me it's not as much about making money as it is making memories. When the children come in and paint, I enjoy seeing the memories they are making. My mom still has one of the first ceramics pieces I ever made in her bathroom. So every time I visit her I see this piece she keeps her jewelry in and it always brings back those memories. I just want to present an inexpensive option for a fun activity to do without leaving town," Anne said.

Ceramics Stop and More opened in February but Anne is planning an official grand opening next Saturday, April 22. The event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. "We are having eight local vendors come and use our lawn so people in the community can come see the shop and also see what other local artists have to offer. Each vendor will have something different, from crocheted animals, to embroidery to woodwork. All the vendor fees go to Friends of White County Animal Food Bank," Anne said.

Anne welcomes group gatherings such as birthday parties, baby showers or whatever the customer would like. Her regular hours are currently Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday from noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. "We hope to be open seven days a week by the time school lets out," Anne added. 

Ceramics Stop and More can be found and contacted on Facebook, at (931) 304-8294 and

Walgreens chooses McMinnville

It can be easy for lifelong Warren countians to take for granted how great our little slice of the world can be. Sometimes, an outside perspective can shed new light on just how good we have it here. For proof of how enviable our back yard is to outsiders, one needs to look no further than the Walgreens regional conference held last Wednesday at the Park Theater.

It's not the first time Walgreens has held its Area 19 store managers conference at the Park and it won't be the last. Walgreens district manager Mirsada Muratcehajec spoke to me about what attracted the group to McMinnville.

"We are mainly located in Nashville but we looked at every convenient area that could provide us the space and service we needed, and then we found the Park Theater. I'm the district manager of 12 Walgreens stores, including Smithville, Woodbury and both the McMinnville locations. The Park Theater staff let us know what local businesses could be used for catering, etc. and it's been a great experience. This is our third meeting here and we have two more scheduled. As long as we're having these meetings, we do not plan on going anywhere else. McMinnville is a central area for most of our districts," Mirsada said.

The allure of the Park Theater as a conference site is beneficial to other businesses in the area as well by attracting an influx of nearly 100 Walgreens employees to the county.

"We have people from Chattanooga, Athens, Lawrenceburg, Franklin, Lebanon and some from Georgia. We gather to talk about our future plans for Walgreens. One of the biggest things happening right now is our Red Nose Day promotion. We do it once a year for about two months and we sell red noses across the country. We use those proceeds for donations for children in need. We donate to causes worldwide and locally," Mirsada said. 

Red noses can be purchased for one dollar at Walgreens through May 31.  Last year the chain-wide campaign had a record year, raising over $38 million for the cause.

Until next time,

same biz time,

same biz page

I may sound like a broken record each week, but I'm truly grateful for the overwhelmingly positive feedback I've gotten from this column. I'm also thankful for the businesses who I've featured who have contacted me to let me know what a tremendous response they have received after their stories have been published. It's nice to know people are reading and responding. Thanks again to Ben Lomand Connect for sponsoring this page. If you have a business you'd like featured or business tips for me, please contact me at or (931) 473-2191.