Fragrant Mushroom: Sparta’s best-kept secret

Posted By | March 27, 2007 12:00 am

Missy Jones
The Fragrant Mushroom has been operating in White County since 1999, but many locals have no idea what treasures can be found inside the quaint 100-year-old building that is home to the small business.
The Fragrant Mushroom, owned and operated by Thor and Cherri McNeil, not only sells the most aromatic candles in town, but the business also carries a full line of all-natural soaps, lotions and body sprays. Fragrant Mushroom has a full line of room and car fresheners and incense, but their specialty is a beautiful unique line of hand made pottery and tile.
Both Thor and Cherri have a background in retail sales, and their philosophy is to sell quality at an affordable price.
“We have to be at a price level locals can afford or we don’t need to be here,” said Thor.
“From our retail experience, we learned that is easier to sell 100 items for $1 each than it is to sell one item for $100.”
Thor is an artist and makes all the pottery sold at Fragrant Mushroom.
“The items I make are first and foremost functional, and then I focus on decorating,” said Thor.
Along with coffee cups, bowls, plates and dishes, Thor also creates beautiful one-of-a-kind handmade tiles for kitchens and bathrooms.
“Most people look at tile as being a surface coating,” said Thor.
“It is not often looked at as a decorating element, and that is what I offer.”
The Fragrant Mushroom will have a booth at The Expositor’s Upper Cumberland Showcase for Women and display the homemade tile. Thor and Cherri will also showcase stove and sink backsplashes at the show.
“We plan to focus on grease splashes, because it is a hard area to keep clean and always looks dirty,” said Thor.
On Mother’s Day weekend, the Fragrant Mushroom will host its fourth annual “Never Before and Never Again Day” sale.
The event will take place the Saturday before Mother’s Day, and all items will be discounted
“It will be a festive, outside atmosphere, and we will sell first quality pottery at discounted prices,” said Thor. “It is a great way of getting people to understand what we do.”
The Fragrant Mushroom is at 308 Gaines Street and can be reached at 836-8190.

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