Rate of new Maury County businesses opening didn’t slow during COVID-19

Wolf and Scout Coffee owner Lawrence Reeves prepares a latte inside the shop located at the Columbia Arts Building in Columbia, Tenn., on Friday, June 4, 2021.

Co-owners Chas Bobier and Lawrence Reeves opened Wolf and Scout Coffee in February — a dream they had since their early teens. 

Offering a selection of blends roasted by Onyx Coffee Labs alongside a selection of pastries, the new café is located inside the Columbia Arts Building, a hip hangout inside the bones of a renovated industrial building in the city’s arts district.

The spot has become a hub for locally-owned small businesses, which have thrived during the pandemic, a surprising time to prosper.

“It was a lot of things coming together at the right time,” Bobier said. “We had the idea, we found the space, and we thought that we might as well go for it. This has been a dream for each of us since we were teenagers.”

Wolf and Scout Coffee owner Chas Bobier prepares a breakfast of iced coffee behind the bar of the cafe inside the Columbia Arts Building in Columbia, Tenn., on Friday, June 4, 2021.

Bobier and Reeves are not alone. They join a slew of new entrepreneurs in Columbia, about 80 to 90 a month, who have opened a business since the onslaught of COVID-19, according to Maury County Clerk Joey Allen.

Allen said the ongoing pandemic has done little to keep locals from starting their own businesses as the county continues to see a steady flow of residents seeking new business licenses, while the state reports record growth for 2021.

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