GREENFIELD — Tammy McKnight said she hopes her new shop in downtown Greenfield will make a difference in the community.
“Be different. Buy different. Make a difference,” is the theme for the Red Banana, a gift shop that opened recently at 14 N. State St. in the Creative Arts and Event Center.
The store features goods made mostly in the USA and art and jewelry from local residents.
It was a long-time dream of McKnight’s. For 25 years she’s hoped to own her own business but didn’t know until six months ago what that business would look like.
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She and her husband, Roger, both of Knightstown, have always enjoyed visiting quaint cities and towns across the country and world, she said.
They think Greenfield has a lot to offer, but what it’s missing is a small gift shop with unique products made locally, McKnight said.
“We were saying how wonderfully quaint Greenfield is,” she said. “We want to bring others to the community to enjoy what we enjoy.”
Instead of complaining about what the city lacks, the couple decided to do something about it.
Red Banana combines their love for little towns and shopping. McKnight quit her full-time corporate job to fully dedicate her time to the shop.
It’s named after a rare and unique fruit, McKnight said — the same qualities she’d like the store to have.
They chose the Creative Arts and Event Center as its home because of the other businesses and artists already in the building. They liked the synergy, McKnight said.
“We just felt like it was the best place to be,” she said. “It’s downtown. It has the local ambiance. It has history.”
McKnight finds products online and through word of mouth.
She also works with charitable organizations to sell their products.
From jewelry to home décor and candles, the shop offers a broad array of products.
Shelley Swift, program manager for Greenfield Main Street Inc., a nonprofit with a mission to foster enthusiasm and prosperity for downtown, said the shop is just what she wants to see in Greenfield.
“We’re thrilled to see all the new businesses popping up around town,” Swift said. “It’s such a fun and unique shop. I’m sure anyone who goes there will love it.”
And so far, residents have reacted well to the store, McKnight said.
“They have an appreciation for one-of-a-kind and unique products,” she said. “People want to shop locally.”
She also plans for the store to play host to different art events. Wine and Design is scheduled for Saturday. It will serve to introduce the community to the shop and share different art.
Shopping at the Red Banana will make a difference in the community, McKnight said.
“It’s more than just a gift,” she said. “If they’re looking for a unique item that represents themselves as well as the person they’re buying for, this is the place to be. The purchase goes beyond the gift you’re buying.”