Welcome to the second installment of our ENOW: Business Edition! In addition to spotlighting runners, East Nasty also wants to spotlight the businesses that make East Nashville unique and a great place to live (and shop). With that, I introduce you to my new favorite store, Hey Rooster General Store, and it’s owner, Courtney Webb!
Courtney was born outside of Atlanta, but thankfully made it to Nashville in time for preschool and a pretty amazing public school experience. She’s a proud MLK alumna. She ran cross country in 8th grade (maybe to get a little closer to the very successful and popular men’s basketball team – cross country was required for them), but never ran a mile again until after college. Although, she did run around the bases on the softball team for the rest of high school.
Courtney attended the Tulane University School of Architecture in New Orleans. Describing that experience, she says, “Living in New Orleans was a wonderful and completely sensory experience. It also meant I was always up all night. When I wasn’t up til sunrise drafting or building models, it’s true, I was trying to catch up on partying with everyone else. I don’t know if we ever learned balance, but we were young enough to do it all.”
Running really earned a spot in Courtney’s heart when she was home for a year in 2002-2003. She started running to heal after a break-up and to try to lose a few pounds that she picked up in New Orleans. She fell in love with the 2 mile loop at Long Hunter State Park. She alternated walking and running until she worked up to 2 continuous miles.
Courtney didn’t run regularly again until the end of 2007 when, living in NYC, she decided to join the New York Road Runners (NYRR) and train to run the 2008 NYC Marathon. Her incentive? Turning 30 at the end of 2008! Unfortunately, she had to drop out of that marathon at mile 10 with food poisoning, which she describes as, “So not pretty!” She rallied and returned to finish the NYC Marathon in 2009.
Courtney loves NYRR and Central Park immensely. Running is still her place of peace and her time to think like it first was in 2003. She ran over 60 races in New York, including the 1.5 marathons and 11 half marathons. She also completed the 2010 NYC Triathlon and got to pass Mark Sanchez going the opposite direction as she was finishing the run in Central Park! She says, “It was definitely a better pick me up than Gu.”
Courtney officially moved back to Nashville from NYC on January 9 of this year, her mom’s birthday. Courtney says, “She finally got her wish!”
Hey Rooster opened on April 20, 2013, which happened to be Record Store Day. Courtney says, “There was such a great energy in the city that day. It was 65, sunny, and everyone was excited about the day and the new record store, Fond Object. Thankfully, some of those people had to drive by to get to Fond Object and noticed the shop and stopped! No one was more surprised than me!”
Courtney’s biggest accomplishment at Hey Rooster is contributing to demonstrating to the community that Gallatin Ave/Road/Pike can be better than it was. She says, “I am interested and I do care, but it wasn’t part of my business plan (not that I have one of those) to improve Gallatin Road. From my training and experience living in walkable cities, I fell in love with the scale of the building and its placement on the site close to the street. I had no idea so many other people felt the same way. This building makes people happy, can’t wait til we get more of them!”
When it comes to East Nashville, Courtney enjoys how supportive and accepting the East Nashville community is and says, “And let’s be clear, I love food and drinks! We have some of the best of both within a mile of the shop. I love that!”
Courtney found East Nasty a few years ago when she was curious about what kind of running community existed in Nashville. She would love to run with us, but says that 6:00 is too early in the AM and PM. The shop is open 11:00 til 7:00. She asks, “Would you get up to be at a run at 6:00 if you didn’t have to be at work until 11:00?” But, she says she will join in some local races soon. The booth load-in at Tomato Fest conflicts with running the Tomato 5K and the NFL 5K, but she’s penciling in the women’s half.
Speaking of Tomato Fest, Courtney has stocked her store with tomato-themed products for the occasion. I know I’ll be stopping by this week to get my hands on that tomato tea towel!
Courtney will have a Hey Rooster booth at Tomato Fest on Holly near 11th (how fitting!). She’ll be selling small batch foods and handmade goods from the shop with an emphasis on new tomato-centric products: Lemonbird Tomato Vanilla Bean Jam and Cocktail Tomatoes, Balakian Farms Heirloom Tomato Suaces, McClure’s Bloody Mary Mix, Sir Kensington Ketchup, and Nashville and Tomato Tea Towels, Totes, and Prints.
Courtney, your store is my spirit animal. Thank you for being a great community partner. Welcome to the ENOW club!