One of the main reasons people come to Franklin is for the shopping. What I love the most are the one-of-a-kind shopping experiences you can find here. You can browse one-of-a-kind mom and pop shops as you stroll down historic Main Street, you can shop in the largest mall in Middle Tennessee (Cool Springs Galleria), or you can peruse the many shops that exist inside the walls of a historical Stoveworks factory. That last option may sound a bit strange, but it’s true!
The Factory at Franklin is, personally, one of my favorite places to visit because it offers so much more than shopping. You can indeed spend your entire day there. Don’t believe me? See for yourself how I spent my day at the Factory at Franklin.
I started my day off the right way…with a 100 layer donut from Five Daughters Bakery. Five Daughters has been baking up some of the sweetest (and largest) gourmet donuts you’ll ever see. They’ve got vegan donuts, paleo donuts, and their famous 100 layer donuts like the King Kong (there’s bacon on it!) and, my personal favorite, Maple Glaze. Get there early before they’re all gone!
Take in some history and a stroll. After an intense sugar rush, I wanted to take a look around this old historic Factory. The hallways went on for miles, and you could see what this Factory may have looked like when it was built back in 1929 churning out Dortch Stoves. I even got a glimpse of Rusty, the 20 Ft. tall permanent resident that's made up of old machinery parts from the early days of the Factory.
I started my hunt for some vintage finds at one of the best-kept secrets in Franklin: Antiques at the Factory. This shop is one of my favorite places to get lost in for hours. Something is interesting around every corner (and they have fresh popcorn at the ready).
Honest Coffee Roasters. There’s nothing better than a cup of good “no nonsense” coffee and honest conversation. You can find both of these tucked away in a cozy space inside the Factory at Honest Coffee Roasters. I grabbed a friend, a cup of my favorite brew and recharged.
Second Impressions. Second Impressions is the best consignment shop in Franklin in my opinion. Here you won't only find the latest and greatest in women's clothing, but they've got designer bags at insanely low prices! Clothes and Jewelry and Bags, Oh My!
Funk Seoul Brother. One of the most exciting additions to the Factory in the last year has been Funk Seoul Brother, a food truck serving up yummy Korean and Japanese Street Food. They moved this popular food truck into the Factory for a more permanent location (which is perfect for me because I'm a huge fan!). Get the Godzilla, and you won't be disappointed.
I can never go to the Factory without spending some time flexing my artistic skills at Third Coast Clay, the ultimate paint-your-own-pottery mecca. They have hundreds of pre-made items that are just begging to be painted from coffee mugs and jewelry boxes to cookie jars and statues of Darth Vader. Fun for all ages!
Jeni’s Ice Cream. I needed to satisfy my sweet tooth, so I headed straight to Jeni’s Ice Cream truck that now has a permanent spot inside the Factory. If you’re from the area you know, there is no better ice cream than Jeni’s. If you’re not, then you’ll learn after just one mouthwatering bite that this is simply the best ice cream ever. My go-to flavors: Green Mint Chip and Gooey Butter Cake.
Luna Record Shop. As I meandered down the hall slurping the last bit of my heavenly ice cream concoction, I decided to stop in Luna Record Shop and check out their collection of vinyl records. I lost track of time as I flipped through bins of and bins of records discovering music from all decades.
I headed over to an interesting vintage decor shop called CR-71. What caught my eye was a beautiful stained glass piece that was reflecting light from a gorgeous chandelier. As I walked through this shop, I found beautiful home décor pieces along with vintage toys that looked just like the ones my grandmother kept from my dad’s childhood. I loved the memories that came flooding back as I walked through this store (cue all emotions).
It was time for a drink! So I headed down the hall to Saffire to experience their happy hour ($6 bar bites = me chowing down on Truffle Fries). My husband and I went ahead and grabbed dinner too. I feasted on the Leiper's Burger, which put all other burgers to shame. Insider tip: Saffire makes these incredible pepper biscuits that are not on the menu. Ask for them! Between the two of us, we ate all five (with a mixture of pride, gluttony, and shame).
If you don’t know by now that the Factory churns out amazing live entertainment throughout the week, well my friend, you’re about to find out. I clear my schedule on Wednesday nights so I can experience Music City Roots, a live radio show featuring musicians of all kinds. You can also check out Music City Pickers Live inside the Little Brick Theatre, featuring singer-songwriters you never knew you were so familiar with. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Studio Tenn, a theater company that reproduces some of the best musicals, dramas, and comedies along with original productions. You'll surely end your day at the Factory saying "Bravo" and possibly "Encore!"