THOMASVILLE — The rock stars took center stage Friday evening in downtown Thomasville.

Downtown Thomasville paid homage to the state Department of Economic Development’s latest Small Business Rock Star, SouthLife Supply Company, and also to the local award nominees. SouthLife joins Sweet Grass Dairy as Small Business Rock Stars, making Thomasville the first city to have Rock Stars in consecutive years, Payroll Development Authority Executive Director Shelley Zorn pointed out.

But as the representatives from nominees Fuzzy Goat, Taste of Thomasville Food Tour, Liam’s and Farmer’s Daughter Vineyard, and 2017 award recipient Sweet Grass, said, it’s a community effort among the local businesses.

“It’s kind of overwhelming to be in Thomasville and experience this community,” said Heather Abbott of SouthLife. “It’s really the community that makes SouthLife what it is and makes our company and team what it is. We are thankful for the community support.”

Abbott said she and her husband draw upon the success the other businesses have encountered.

“To see those folks flourish and thrive and embrace each other and encourage each other, that gave us the courage to open a retail store in Thomasville,” she said. “Everybody is here to help. That is one thing I have found in downtown Thomasville with other business owners. It’s not a competition. It’s about helping each other.

“We would not be here without Thomasville,” she said.

The event also cut the ribbon on SouthLife’s new design studio and Maker space on the floor above its store.

Abbott said the cooperative spirit among the businesses is an anomaly not found elsewhere.

“These businesses are innovative,” said Main Street Director April Norton. “They are creative. They have a unique product they are bringing to Thomasville. They work together as a community. They work with each other.”

Editor Pat Donahue can be reached at (229) 226-2400 ext. 1806.

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