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Friends, family help open Frothy Monkey


Friends, family help open Frothy Monkey

By CHELSEA KALLMAN /For Franklin Home PageFrothy Monkey in downtown Franklin is officially open. The coffee shop, restaurant fusion celebrated its first weekend of business by having a friends and family brunch and dinner and by being a stop in the Franklin Art Scene.

Frothy Monkey in Downtown Franklin is officially open. The coffee shop, restaurant fusion celebrated its first weekend of business by having a friends and family brunch and dinner and by being a stop in the Franklin Art Scene.

Jeff Gibbs and Ryan Pruitt, two of four Frothy Monkey owners, take a break during Friday’s friends and family soft opening.

Frothy’s team of four owners — Jeff Gibbs, Heather Southerland, Ryan Pruitt and Chase Ingalls — has been working night after night for this day to come.

The new location, 125 5th Avenue South, is in a 1911 church parish that went through major renovation and reclamation. You turn any corner of the over 3,000 square foot home and you find small bits of the original house – including tables made from its doors.

On Friday, just before guests were to arrive for the friends and family event, Ryan still held a measuring tape, checking and re-checking to make sure everything was up to code. Heather, who hadn’t slept all night, attempted to take a nap in her car. Chase sat at a booth, staring at nothing. Jeff joked around with everyone, making the already happily tired situation just a bit more pleasant.

After months of envisioning the space, people were now coming in, asking questions, ordering mimosas and champagne, and beginning to make the idea a reality.

It was clear the customers were coming in to support the locally owned business. Among them were a retired couple, groups of 20-somethings, a barista’s brother and nephew.

Chase Ingalls and his 3-year old son, Foster, in the Frothy Monkey kitchen.

Though new for the business, Franklin is more like an old friend for some of Frothy’s owner team. Ingalls and Pruitt grew up in Franklin. Their families lived in the same neighborhood. They’ve known each other since they were 10 years old.

“It’s becoming more and more like a homecoming with every face that walks through the door,” Pruitt said.  Familiar faces, though, didn’t wait until Friday to visit. “We had a third grade teacher stop by,” Pruitt said, and some old Franklin church friends. One of their high school classmates was their UPS driver.

“Franklin is home to me. It’s where I grew up. It’s where I made a lot of mistakes that I learned from,” Ingalls said. “I feel like I’m coming home. That part of it is exciting to me.” 

Because of this, Frothy is only selling local foods. Its eggs are hatched down the road; its meat and milk come from within an hour of the store.

“I feel a responsibility to keep my money locally. I believe in neighbors and I want to help my neighbors out,” Ingalls said.

Hatcher Family Dairy provides all of the milk for Frothy Monkey. Allan Benton’s bacon is a part of the sausage burger. The trout comes from Bob White Springs from the small town of Only, Tenn. Their pasta is locally made from Al Fresco Pasta.

Some people may have seen opening up less than a block away from Starbucks as a risk. Not Frothy.

“I don’t think Frothy’s a brand that’s going to fit in a strip mall somewhere, not with what we’re doing,” Pruitt said.

Hours are 7 am-9 pm weekdays and 8 am – 9 pm weekends. The restaurant/coffee shop serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee. Beer and wine are available.

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