New business in Franklinton plans to highlight local arts.
By Jonathan McNamara
FRANKLINTON — The town is two weeks from shining brighter and this time the glow will not be illuminating from new street lamps.
The illumination will be coming from 2 North Main Street, the site of the newest business to open downtown.
The Freedom to Shine Cafe, owned by resident Kimarie Machinga, is in the final stages before the doors open to the public.
“I have always wanted to help people through the arts,” Machinga said Monday.
The cafe offers seating for 99 people and will highlight local arts and artists, as well as serve home-cooked soups, stews, salads, appetizers and desserts, along with beer and wine.
“The atmosphere I have recieved already is family oriented,” Machinga said about the town’s reception to the new cafe.
“There is a mentality that nothing happens here, but this town is ready for something, they get so excited when something new comes to town,” she added.
The cafe will add four to five jobs hours of operation have not been set yet.
Machinga moved to town eight years ago from New Jersey and has since fallen in love with Franklinton.
“The town just spoke to me. I love this town and it’s so diverse and open. I think it is ready to come alive,” she said.
Those wishing to express themselves will be able to enjoy a wide array of outlets for personal growth: Improv, painting, acting, visual art, spoken word performances and music are some of the activities planned for the business.
“Thats why it’s called Freedom to Shine, because its anything that makes you shine,” said Machinga.
Along with small catered events, Machinga hopes to expand to hosting small informal weddings at the cafe as well.
“I just want to help build community and allow a platform for people to express themselves,” she said.
“A place where you can find people just chilling, laughing and singing together — to have a meal and be treated like family or just to be loved up while you express that part of you.”
The cafe is a welcome sight as Franklinton is trying to revitalize the downtown area. Johnny’s on Main will be another dining establishment set to open.
With a pottery studio and now Freedom to Shine Cafe the town is beginning to attract an artsy clientele to its business lineup.
“It has been an adventure and I am little scared, but who isn’t when they start something new,” said Machinga.
For more information see thefreedomtoshine.com or call 919-728-0178.