Shopping Local in Nashville

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Nashville’s growing, and the town is full of “New People” who are amazed at all our area has to offer. They’re usually pretty quick to find our great restaurants, but it’s often easier for them to shop at stores they know from the towns they just ran away from. Well, our local shops are full of charm, and I’d much rather see our new arrivals spend there dollars there than at some chain. Here are a few of my favorites.

Corzine & Co. in Green Hills has been around since 1971. They’re famous around here as the place for couples to register for china, crystal, and silver, but they also load up on great Christmas items and I never let a season go by without shopping there. They have some extraordinary Christmas ornaments and decorations, great linens napkins and placemats, and several cases of small antique items like silver picture frames, cocktail shakers, and wine coasters. They have a great assortment of food items and will put a beautiful basket together for you, and box and wrap anything you buy with a beautiful bow. For Nashville people, getting a box from Corzine & Co. is like getting a blue box from Tiffany — You know it is going to be something good.

Epergne is a dreamy store full of wonderful gifts that range from whimsical to downright chic. I love their tasteful tabletop selections, especially their coasters and glassware, but they also have wonderful décor and gifts. The store is in an old house, so you wander from room to room rather than just browsing shelves inside a big room, so there’s a real thrill of discovery here (and if you get lost, the staff is friendly and knows the complete inventory). If I’m ever at a loss for what to get someone, I know I can find something amazing at Epergne, though be warned: I often come out with something extra just for me.

Sperry’s Mercantile is a tiny little building behind Sperry’s Restaurant, but it’s one of those places that’s a lot bigger on the inside than the outside. This is the place to go for the best meat and seafood around, and they’ve got the connections to get you any obscure cut you might need for a holiday feast. They’ve also got an assortment charcuterie and cheeses, prepared meals, and a curated selection of oils, vinegars, and sauces. I love that I can shop there for a tenderloin, stock up my pantry, and bring home a dinner to-go in one quick stop.

Parnassus Books is a beautiful example of what used to be. It’s a locally owned bookstore (co-owned by novelist Ann Patchett, in fact), with a great selection and tons of literary events on the calendar. Go in and buy a book for a friend, another for yourself, and the just browse, browse, browse their amazing collection. The staff is so friendly and knowledgeable. I know Amazon is easier, but don’t you miss the experience of happening upon a treasure in a wonderful bookstore?

Whites Mercantile. Well, you just don’t get any more Nashville than this. The shop is owned by Holly Williams (her father is Hank Williams Jr.) and the shop has one location on 12th Avenue South and another two more Franklin. It’s full of interesting and unusual stuff, the sort of things that fit right into the Music City lifestyle without being hokey or countrified. The stores are just full of the sort of tasteful items I love to surround myself with and give away to friends, and I always find great gifts there.

What’s your favorite local shop in Nashville? And if you’re not from here, what’s the local retail scene like in your town? What do you love, and what are you missing? Let us know in the comments!


Mary Spalding is a Nashville based interior designer with over 30 years of experience. She has overseen countless home revitalizations, renovations, and restorations. She can be reached with your projects and ideas at mary@spaldingway.com.

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