I love a store with a memorable name – and Bloomin’ Deals is just that.
Obviously, the name is a play on the name of the famous luxury retail brand Bloomingdale’s. This Tennessee treasure trove in Portland is part thrift, part antique and part local vendor outlet.
And it is great fun to shop.
The 4,000-square foot store, which features 45 vendors, is owned by Kim Ladd, who has a large booth herself featuring assorted chalk painted furniture and unique put-arounds for shoppers to consider.
Ladd, a Portland native, had been a Bloomin’ Deals shopper before she became the owner two years ago.
“I actually came in to buy a T-shirt and bought the store,” she said, laughing at the notion of buying a store on a whim, and the outcome which is a career she loves but never planned.
“We consider ourselves a thrift shop but there is a lot more,” said Ladd, who bought the business from its founders Brian and Kim Woodall.
Some of the local vendors are Big Poppa’s popcorn, Frosty Fried freeze-dried candy, Amish relishes and jellies and Kellie’s homemade candles, and Angela’s homemade soaps. She also has hand crafted cornhole boards made by an employee’s husband and cornhole bags of all colors that Kim’s stepmother makes for $22 a set.
“People like to come in and look,” said Ladd, who said some of the customers come in just for entertainment. “They don’t always buy anything, but that’s OK. We have a lot of people from out of state. People in Portland bring people when they come visit.”
Ladd’s dad, David Lyle, recalled one day that an eager shopper came in and “turned her phone on airplane mode so she couldn’t be tracked.”
One of the more interesting booths – really two booths is called “Vintage Veterans” and is filled with all kinds of 80s stuff – including a Members Only jacket, some great old school denim and a colorful see through phone that some of us remember from back in the day.
“They have a lot of stuff you don’t see anywhere else,” said Ladd about the couple who stock their Vintage Veterans booths with 1960s, 1970s and 1980s stuff, primarily from estate sales.
There is also a 10-year-old vendor, Kim’s daughter, Brylee Lemmons, who has a booth reselling toys.
“She does really well,” her mom said proudly.
Some of the other highlights are the Paparazzi jewelry which a vendor has priced at $5 per piece, and there is a good bit of furniture – some antiques as well as Ladd’s chalk paint pieces.
“I like the home décor stuff,” said regular shopper Diane Harrison, who said she stops in one or two times a month. “I can almost always find something. It’s the thrill of the hunt,” she said.
Bloomin’ Deals is at 252 Highway 52 in Portland. It received the Main Street Media’s “Best Antique Store in Sumner County” award the last two years. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
There is also a “Popup Market” in the parking lot with additional vendors setting up on the first Saturday of the month in April through November.
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Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column. She also appears on Thursdays on Talk of the Town on NewsChannel5. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Facebook as Facebook.com/mscheap