Catering and bakery service to open first physical storefront in Elizabethton

Simply Elegant Catering is expanding the bakery portion of their business, preparing to open their first-ever storefront in downtown Elizabethton.

Co-owner Betty Barnes said the move has been in the works for roughly six months.

“We have always had a successful catering business,” Barnes said. “Just about everything we make is homemade.”

She said local businesses have been pushing her to make the move for a brick-and-mortar storefront for a while, and now she has the opportunity to expand her possibilities.

“My dream was always to have a storefront,” she said.

Planning to open where Blue River Studios used to stand on East Elk Avenue, Simply Elegant is branching out into a venture Barnes described as “scary.”

“It is a lot of money up front,” she said.

Despite this fear of the unknown, she said the community has thrown its support behind them every step of the way, and Barnes’ business model reflects this, as many aspects of the itinerary display cooperation with other stores.

“We are working with the Coffee Company to make a coffee for us,” Barnes said.

This coffee will have its roots in New Orleans and French recipes, but it will not compete with the Coffee Company’s wider array of espressos and other coffees. Simply Elegant also plans to serve ice cream, but will not compete with other establishments like Tweetsie Treats, instead opting for Gelatto products in conjunction with a company in Johnson City. Barnes even said they will not be serving specialty, gluten-free products, as she does not want to intrude on nearby Glow Herbal’s business.

“I am a huge supporter of local businesses,” she said. “We are trying to feed into other businesses.”

As for when the bakery will open, Barnes said that will depend on when the plumbing and electrical work is complete, which adds several layers of difficulty to the move, as the building in which they will reside in is roughly 100 years old.

“It has been one thing after another,” Barnes said.

Nevertheless, she said they are currently looking to open some time next week.

“We want people to feel ‘Wow, this is a good place to go,’” Barnes said. “We want this to be family-focused.”

For more information, go to their Facebook at Simply Elegant Catering or by calling 423-647-7083.

The store will be located at 527 East Elk Avenue.

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