MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The return of the Cooper-Young Festival and high-profile sporting events, like Saturday’s matchup between the Tigers and Mississippi State, has been a welcome change for businesses and vendors across Memphis, but especially for those in Midtown.
For vendors at the Cooper Young Festival, a familiar feeling has returned.
“It’s a little bit smaller, but the butterific love is still the same,” said Tamika Heard, owner of Butterific Bakery & Café.
Heard opened her doors at Butterific Bakery at the beginning of the pandemic and admits it was a struggle, so events like this make up for it.
“It’s definitely beneficial to your business because we get more customers because of it,” Heard said. “They don’t just stop here, they return to our shops, our bakery, so it’s definitely a beneficial festival.”
For online businesses like Pure Memphis Honey, it’s tough for them compete companies with a brick and mortar, but the owner has been impressed with the turnout.
“Everybody is buying real well, people are spending money and seems like everyone is really, really happy to be out,” said owner Roger Hunter.
Typically, the Cooper Young festivals draws roughly 130,000 people. Some come for the environment.
“It’s fun, it’s accepting and everyone loves each other and that’s what Memphis is about,” said attendee Stephanie Sanderlin.
Many say they come support local artists and businesses when they need if most.
“If you’re spending all your money on Amazon, you’re not bringing in revenue to city to the people that pay taxes, to the people that live here locally,” attendee Greg Garniss said. “You have to support your community first of all because that’s what really makes us thrive and makes Memphis better.”