In a town with 7,700 residents that is largely known as home to a state university, Farmington’s thriving downtown is an anomaly in the landscape of economically challenged rural downtown communities.
Farmington is an anchor town in Franklin county, featuring a vibrant arts scene, a sense of vitality from the students and staff at the university, and a downtown that is filled with businesses, manufacturing, restaurants, municipalities, and residences. People live, work and shop here, and with every storefront filled and operational, this small town, less than an hour from Augusta, has much to offer.
“If you take the people out of the businesses, you’ve lost your downtown. Our downtown is viable because we care about it. It’s a very personal thing,” said Cheri Tompkins, owner of Pins and Needles.
Women’s Business Center program director Betty Gensel organized a walking tour of Farmington, highlighting its downtown for Small Business Saturday, held on November 27. “Downtown Farmington offers a delightful shopping experience with one of a kind stores and food venues in an historical atmosphere,” said Gensel. “Shopping small for the holidays is a great way to find quality items, many made by local artisans and which have a story, showing the individuality of the artisan.” Attendees visited restaurants, manufacturing operations, general stores, and small businesses, many of which have been in operation for over ten years.