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Creative New Merchants Arrive in Tucker

Part two of our series on new businesses making an impact.

Kevin and Laurie Morrison are typical of the new merchants in Tucker who have been attracted by reasonably priced real estate. Having been successful in the fields of music and design, some years ago they started buying real estate in East Atlanta when prices were low and the neighborhood was just starting to be discovered. They were landlords there for five years and then sold all their holdings at a profit. 

Quite a few of their friends who had moved to the Tucker area and because of the modest prices and close proximity to Atlanta, the Morrisons intuitively felt it was going to be Atlanta’s next real estate frontier. They bought a building on Main Street and now lease spaces to seven different businesses and feel their investment has been a sound one. 

Laurie Morrison had left the corporate world sometime ago to spend time with her daughter, but she was restless. “I wanted to be able to do something where I could both design my own schedule and make a creative contribution.”

In January of this year, Morrison decided to lease a space in her own building to create the Main Street School of Art. She started out by teaching children, but now she is also teaching “Mommy and Me” classes in additional to classes for adults.

“One of the things that I love about Tucker is that it is family oriented," said Morrison. "We are also very excited to see all of the renovations in the downtown area. With all of the new merchants coming in, the new sidewalks and ability to have outdoor cafés, we feel we’ve made a good decision and are looking forward to all of the downtown improvements. We feel like Tucker is just a suburb of Decatur and with it’s close proximity to Emory and midtown, it’s an excellent investment.”

Linda Karr opened The Garden Enthusiast just a few weeks ago and already has repeat customers. The first thing that catches your attention is the metal butterfly furniture that would make anyone’s garden look playful and inviting. “I am a passionate gardener who did business out of my home for three years and decided it was time for me to have a store," she said. "I knew I would be carrying items that weren’t being carried elsewhere. My grandparents lived in the Smoke Rise area so I was familiar with Tucker. It has the small town atmosphere I wanted, it afforded me a large space and I knew there were a lot of committed gardeners in the area.”           

Karr’s colorful store, located right in the center of Main Street, has a well thought out selection of items for those who are designing specific kinds of gardens and trying to attract specific kinds of birds. She features statuary for fairy gardens and a large array of seeds and feeders to attract the various species of hummingbirds and other native birds. She caters to organic gardeners with products like earthworm castings and Happy Frog tomato and vegetable fertilizer.

Karr is dedicated to providing highly personalized service and she even allows her customers to try out tools before purchasing. Like her neighbors, she’s also looking forward to the changes that are happening in Tucker and is anticipating a successful future along with other new merchants who are being attracted to the area.

Dawn Hines June 22, 2011 at 11:38 AM
The Garden Enthusiast is the best thing to happen to Tucker. There are great garden tools, cool nature games for children, and bird feed for all. Linda is even offering classes for adults and children. I will be speaking on butterfly gardening at 1:00pm this Saturday. Come see our great new Tucker store.
Anita July 12, 2011 at 04:05 AM
We LOVE our new, squirrel-proof bird feeder we just purchased at "The Garden Enthusiast & Backyard Nature Center" on Main Street Tucker this past Saturday! The finch-sock and thistle-seed are great too! Thanks, Linda, for your help! We've seen various new types of birds feeding at our house this weekend!!
Lori Laliberte-Carey September 18, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Linda Karr is willing to place special orders. If you don't see what you want, let her know. The same is true for the Tucker Pet Supply. I'm so looking forward to walking from business to business on Main Street. We're on our way to the downtown we've always wanted!

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