Union City, Tenn. — Today, Discovery Park of America opened a new shopping experience with the addition of local merchandise inside the Hugh Wade Feed Store on Mill Ridge located on the north side of the heritage park grounds. “It’s a little mini-store on the ridge,” said Discovery Park’s gift shop manager, Lauren Sims. “We’re enhancing the Hugh Wade Feed Store by offering our guests the opportunity to purchase regionally-produced items in this unique space.”
For several months Sims has contacted artisans and other entrepreneurs in the area who might consider offering their creations in the new store. “I found delicious homemade mustards in Dyersburg and the most beautiful pottery I’ve ever seen in Martin,” Sims said. “Additionally, the graphic designer at Discovery Park, Caitlin Dowden, created a really cool ‘Hugh Wade Feed Store’ logo and we have branded T-shirts and coffee mugs that are truly one-of-a-kind.”
Sims included a snack selection by adding old-fashioned and unusual candy items to the inventory. Local honey, home-made soaps and farmhouse dish towels are a few of the other distinctive items now available
Both visitors to the park and employees gathered on Wednesday to officially open the store with a ribbon cutting ceremony. On hand for the opening was the store’s namesake, Hugh Wade. The timing was perfect to honor Wade for his hard work and dedication to artifact acquisition during the building of DPA as he is retiring from the DPA board this month. Robert Kirkland, the museum and park’s founder, originally directed that the store on Mill Ridge be named after Wade in appreciation of his hard work. Wade literally combed the world in search of many of the unusual artifacts that Kirkland wanted displayed at DPA. Additionally, Wade was chairman of the committee that helped create the Military Gallery, the largest gallery inside the museum. It has been acclaimed as one of the best and most comprehensive collections of military items in the nation.
“I’m excited to have been a part of the creation of this museum and park,” Wade said. “It has truly been one of the highlights of my life, and I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent here.”
During the summer, the Hugh Wade Feed Store will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.