If your weekend shopping list includes a seemingly random assortment of items like vintage collectibles, antiques, hand-crafted baskets, all-natural soaps and lotions, Amish cheeses, heirloom vegetable seeds for the garden and fresh produce for dinner – first, stay calm! And then go to Troutt Old Time General Store and Market in downtown Paducah! You’ll be able to get your shopping done and grab a bite for lunch all in one great place!
When Martin and Crystal Troutt began selling their heirloom vegetables twelve years ago out of a booth at the Downtown Farmer’s Market, they never dreamed they would one day have their very own store. Today, you will find them sitting with their customers, sipping old-fashioned bottled sodas on the front porch of their own building at 433 N. 4th Street – just a few blocks away from their farmer’s market roots.
“We had a huge customer base from our years at the farmer’s market,” Crystal tells us. “On top of that, we also had a large personal collection of antiques and vintage items. So, the idea of owning an actual building and selling our favorite items slowly began to creep into the back of our minds. We prayed a lot, and finally, last February, we began the process of making our dream a reality!”
While they still sell their famous fresh produce, having a year-round, permanent location has allowed them to indulge in all of their varied interests.
“We’re really passionate about supporting local businesses, non-profits, fair-trade organizations, and all those talented folks who craft all-natural products,” Crystal says. “For example, we are proud to be the first retailer in Kentucky to sell ‘Blessing Baskets.’ These baskets are hand made by individuals in impoverished countries around the world. The Blessing Basket project is based on a ‘beyond fair trade’ model. That means that these artisans not only receive the wages needed to live, but also to start their own businesses and free their families from the cycle of poverty.”
You’ll also find the largest selection of the popular “Mrs. Meyers” all-natural cleaning products in the area. “I fell in love with them and couldn’t help myself,” Crystal explains. “I just kept buying more and more! It turns out that you would have to go all the way to Nashville to find as much variety as we have.”
The journey from farm stand to general store required the help of some key people along the way. Chris Woolridge, director of economic development at Murray State University, assisted the Troutts with a very important step – preparing their business plan to present to Paducah Bank.
“There was never any question in our minds about going through Paducah Bank for the loan,” Crystal says. “I have had an account there since I was fifteen and my grandfather actually retired from the bank.”
The couple began working closely with Bob Bloomingburg at Paducah Bank and Marta Elliott at the Purchase Area Development District on acquiring an SBA loan for the project. SBA stands for Small Business Administration – which is a loan guarantee program of the federal government designed to help small business owners obtain bank financing. Most start-up businesses will obtain their first loan through a bank that uses the SBA programs.
“Paducah Bank is an express lender, which means that we can approve many SBA loans ourselves and close them in a short time,” according to Bob. “Our dedicated SBA lenders and support staff handle all the paperwork and have many years of experience in getting them approved and closed. We have done SBA loans ranging in size from very small “micro” type loans, to multi-million dollar complex commercial loans. The Troutts were great to work with through this process, from our first meeting where they shared their enthusiasm and vision, up until the time we are able to close the loan. We are so thrilled to have played a part in helping this couple fulfill their financial goals and achieve their dreams.”
So, come on down to the Troutt Old Time General Store, browse through their eclectic assortment of products, grab one of their fresh deli sandwiches, and sit-a-spell on the porch. You’ll be glad you did!
If you would like more information about acquiring an SBA loan (or any loan!) from Paducah Bank, please contact us at 270.575.5700. We would love to be a part of “the next big thing” in Paducah!
If you are a customer of Paducah Bank and would like us to feature your business, let us know by emailing Susan Guess at [email protected].