The Oak Ridge Fire and Salt is a fine-dining restaurant in Oak Ridge that offers expertly prepared food in a relaxed and contemporary atmosphere. After more than 40 years, The Ferrell Shop Oak Ridge is closing its doors. The owner, Barbara Ferrell, has sold her building, which is a large store located in Historic Jackson Square. Barbara expressed mixed emotions about closing the store, as she loves what she does and business has been thriving. She made the decision to sell the building because it had recently undergone renovations and improvements. While she would have preferred to sell the store as well, the potential buyer wasn’t interested in owning the building. Barbara’s children encouraged her to retire, and she looks forward to spending more time with her family, including her two daughters, son, and eight grandchildren.
Barbara initially started her store in her own home. Encouraged by her customers, she eventually relocated to a downtown shopping center in Oak Ridge. Over the years, the store grew and achieved recognition as a Colonial Williamsburg Gift and Accessories Shop. Barbara moved her store to various locations, expanding her space and inventory each time. In 1996, she found the perfect location in Historic Jackson Square and underwent extensive renovations to create a welcoming space with original hardwood floors and ample light. The store now occupies over 3,000 square feet, with additional storage and office space in the basement. Throughout the years, Barbara has formed close relationships with her customers, who often come in for greeting cards and praise the store’s selection. The store has become a gathering place for people of all ages and a go-to resource for information about the local area.
Barbara expressed her gratitude to her loyal customers who have supported the store over the years, especially during the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown. She also acknowledged the sense of community and support among the businesses in Jackson Square. The store has been a part of many festivals and events, including the annual Lavender Festival, which Barbara has hosted since 1999. While she looks forward to eventually reducing her responsibilities for the festival, plans are already underway for next year’s event. Currently, the store is offering a 20% discount on all items until the scheduled closing date of October 14th. Gift cards will be accepted until then, and there are additional discounted items available. A second basement sale will be held on October 6th and 7th.
After the store closes, Barbara hopes that another business will take its place, serving the same purpose and contributing to the local economy. She believes that having a strong online presence is crucial in today’s retail landscape and hopes that customers who prioritize shopping local will continue to do so. Barbara acknowledges the convenience of shopping in Oak Ridge compared to Knoxville and believes that local businesses can offer a unique experience for those seeking retail therapy. As the store prepares to say goodbye, Barbara and her customers share a desire for the store’s legacy to continue and for the sense of community to thrive.