The largest opportunities for growth detailed by residents and business owners involved the expansion of restaurants and eateries within the neighborhood. This was largely based on precedent - in the past year, Maria’s Kitchen, North Lime Coffee & Donuts and Minton’s at 760 have all expanded, albeit in different ways.
In early 2016, Maria’s Kitchen relocated to a significantly larger indoor space (formerly occupied by Willie’s Locally Known) just a couple doors down from its previous outdoor-only location on North Broadway. In mid-2015, North Lime Coffee and Donuts expanded by opening an additional location on the south side of Lexington. Also in mid-2015, Minton’s at 760 expanded with the “Little Brother,” a food truck operation. Originally debuted at the North Limestone CDC-run Night Market, the “Little Brother” has allowed Minton’s to increase their catering operation and event service.
The main strategies brought up by community leaders for achieving this growth were centered around creating better connection points between existing resources and business owners. The needed resources included business planning support, affordable “turnkey” space and affordable suppliers, as well as broader marketing of neighborhood businesses. Many indicated that these needs could be met by extended and new services of the North Limestone CDC.
Some businesses in the North End have issues maintaining the current size of their business, and are not worried about growth or expansion at the moment. For many businesses that fall into this category, it is important to build better connections with the community. However, some of these businesses are already are well-connected with the community, but offer community services that do not necessarily add to their bottom line. For these, a potential leg-up could exist in subscription-based services that are already being used to support non-profits and artists nation-wide by “crowdfunding” an additional regular income or subscription service.