NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley opened a grocery store for those in need in the 12 South neighborhood right as both the tornadoes and pandemic took their toll last year.
When they opened the doors to their non-profit a year ago, they didn't expect they'd deliver groceries to their customers' doors.
"We're still waiting on the grand opening," Brad Paisley said.
"Unfortunately, we had to pivot right away almost," Kimberly Williams-Paisley explained.
Their store, called The Store, sits off 12th Avenue South. It's a year-round free grocery shop for those in need. It opened for four days last year after the March tornadoes. But with the pandemic, they needed a new plan, which came from a friend.
"And he was like, 'well, I know all these people in these towers are needing food, so do you dugs want to set up a delivery service with all these young people that are bored?'" Brad Paisley said. "And I'm like "Yes!" and here we are."
There were 350 volunteers and 450 home deliveries a week later (plus curbside pickup). The Store is reaching six times more families than the Paisleys projected, and they said they aren't stopping.
"When they can shop for themselves safely, and they've all been vaccinated, and they've all gotten through it – then we'll reassess," Brad Paisley said.
At The Store, a fresh start is coming. Eventually, people will be able to freely walk through the doors and pick what they want.
"This is Brad's dream: to have a mechanical horse out front," Kimberly says. "We know that they are having a normal experience when there are free samples in The Store for recipe ideas and things like that. And the kids are riding the mechanical horse out front."
"The other thing I want is the plastic football helmets, you put the quarter in – and we got to get that move," says Brad. "That's normalcy!"
Brad said he wants Belmont University students, his Alma Mater, to volunteer at The Store once they reopen and students are all back on campus.