The pharmacy building would later house several businesses before becoming the fellowship hall for an adjacent church. But it has been vacant since the church, now North Point Baptist, moved from Maple Street to a new location on Cedar Street near the bypass.
The old 905 Maple St. building was suddenly alive again on New Year’s Day 2013 as Touchable Memories and Old Tyme Cafe, a combination antiques mall and restaurant, opened for business.
“I was operating a restaurant in Ocala, Florida, and had a woman from Carrollton as a customer,” said Angela Aldrich, owner/manager of the new Carrollton business. “She came in one day and showed me pictures of this building and asked me if I’d be interested in operating a restaurant there.”
Angela’s husband, Trapper Aldrich, is from Columbus, Ga., and Aldrich said she was “leaning toward moving to Georgia” after her mother passed away.
“The Lord led us here,” she said. “We wanted a mom-and-pop type restaurant.”
They also have a business partner, Joseph Stowers, who still lives in Florida.
Aldrich said she was born into the restaurant business. She was born and raised in Booneville, in upstate New York, where her grandmother had a restaurant. As a child, she won first place in the New York State Fair baking competition with her carrot cake.
“I grew up in the business,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion for food. I love to feed people and I love to see the looks on their faces when I put food in front of them.”
The Old Tyme Cafe part of the business serves a full-time menu of homemade country cooking, from breakfast through dinner. The lunch features daily specials for $7.99. Operating hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Trapper is the biscuit baker and soup maker. The cafe also offers specialty desserts and catering service. The phone number is 678-664-0830.
“Everything here is home-style,” Aldrich said. “We make everything from scratch.”
The 6,000-square-foot building came equipped with a drive through window, from its days as a pharmacy, and Aldrich plans to open it back up to serve takeout food orders. The owners are also considering a soda fountain, where people can enjoy root beer floats and made-by-hand milkshakes.
But the restaurant only occupies the back part of the building. Most of the floor space is dedicated to the Touchable Memories antique mall business.
“We lease spaces to antique dealers,” she explained. “It’s not a consignment shop. We have 30 available spaces, up to 10-by-14-foot size, plus end-cap bookshelves.”
Aldrich said they collect money from the sales for the dealers and provide security, air conditioning, heat and lighting for the spaces.
“They’re responsible for general upkeep of their areas,” she said. “We have a few restrictions on items that can be sold. There’s no appliances, no clothes except vintage, no firearms, no alcoholic
beverages. We’re looking mainly for dealers selling antiques, home decor and collectibles.”
Aldrich said they used some wood and paint to give the old storefront a homelike and rustic look. The iron columns on the outside were wrapped in cedar and a porch was constructed where rocking chairs will soon be places. They chose an old style letter font so the signs would give a feeling of older times.
“When we first came in and turned on the lights, it was so bright, it was like an operating room,” Aldrich said. “The pastor, who owns the building, was kind enough to let us paint the ceiling black. That really helped tone it down a lot.”
So far, some of the dealers include Lois McHan, who makes paper beads and sends her profits to a Nicarauguan medical mission and Carrollton artists, Herb Strobino and Sally Storey Jones.
The business already has a Facebook page and will soon have a website. In the meantime, Aldrich invites people to come in, stroll around, view the antiques, have some coffee and homemade pie and remember the 1970s, when the building was in the center of Maple Street shopping.