Eagle Center under new management, set to expand

Former Coffee Company owners Lisa and John Bunn are not quite ready to retire from being business owners outright. They are continuing their mission to make Elizabethton the place to live and shop, this time with their new ownership of the Eagle Center Co-op.

Lisa Bunn said they started as owners at the beginning of this month.

“I have been a vendor here for about 14 months,” Bunn said.

She said she loves the various businesses in downtown Elizabethton, and she did not want to see the store’s legacy fade away with a future closure, so she decided she wanted to take over the business.

“It happened pretty quickly,” she said. “We know the original owners.”

Elizabethton City Council member Bill Carter and his wife Anne originally owned the building, and the Bunns are in the process of purchasing the property itself. Until then, Bunn said they are already working on plans to renovate the store.

“We are moving the checkout station, and we are removing the center wall,” she said.

Beyond the physical property, however, she said they are also planning on expanding the store as a concept. Instead of being just an antique shop, Bunn said she wants to be more of a co-op, offering a multitude of local vendors who sell not just antiques, but also art pieces, furniture and much more.

“You cannot limit yourself,” Bunn said. “If you limit yourself, you hurt yourself. You always have to look ahead.”

The store represents the continuation of the couple’s dreams for the city of Elizabethton as a community.

“We think Elizabethton is the greatest community to live in,” she said. “We moved here in 1986, and [the community] has supported us.”

Currently, the Eagle Center Co-op has a little over 20 vendors, but Bunn is not satisfied with that number, as six more vendors are slated to join the co-op in July, including Karen Hitchcock of Blue River Studios.

“You are always learning in business,” Bunn said. “It is about freeing yourself to trying things, to experiment.”

Bunn said they are planning to hold a grand opening event Friday, July 12, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Those interested in joining the co-op can do so by contacting 423-542-6674. The store is located at 507 East Elk Avenue in Elizabethton.

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