OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – The creators of Chicken Salad Chick, Blooming Colors, and Crepe Myrtle Cafe are marrying their love of landscape, good food, and family time into a one of a kind experience called Botanic.
This week, the original Chicken Salad Chick, Stacy Brown, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the newest adventure with her husband, King Braswell. Braswell created Blooming Colors, a horticulture and landscaping lover’s dream, and Crepe Myrtle Cafe in Auburn. The full tour video is below.
Together, The couple envisions a space where families can gather while shopping for beautiful plants and unique wares from artisans while relaxing with music floating outdoors, feasting on fine southern cuisine.
“That’s what drives King and I, is our desire to create experiences that create memories for people,” said Brown.
Near the end of 2020, the couple began searching for the future home of Botanic. Brown says the Botanic is built around a love of nature and love for people.
“As we drove by Cock of the Walk, we were like, wait a minute, let’s check this out, and it was kinda like the seas parted, and the angels were singing, and we were like this is it. This is what we are looking for,” said Brown.
Brown can’t share a grand opening date just yet but spent an entire morning sharing her vision with News 3 and taking us on an exclusive tour of the property, highlight all the features are future aspects of Botanic. She also gave us permission to use drone videos of the site. Click on the video below for a behind-the-scenes look.
The transformation to create a one-of-a-kind destination for families began in January and continues as construction crews work throughout the site to make a vision a reality.
“Our first phase is the garden center, where you can see we are building a beautiful greenhouse on the hill. Also, a part of phase two is the market, where you can shop local artisans and bakery items. Phase two is the restaurants. We have two places for people to dine that will be our grill overlooking the pond or in the garden. The garden dining is beneath a retractable roof, so when the weather is beautiful, we can open it up, and when we need to control the climate, or it’s raining, we can close it. But, you will always feel like you are outside. Phase three is cottages for overnight stays across the pond,” said Brown.
Outside the market, a gigantic oak creates the solid center for a live entertainment stage. The performance area will be graced by musicians, singers, entertainers. The site can be used for classes and other educational programs.
“I hope that people will see when they come here, it is a place for everybody, from the south or not, it’s for everybody, and whether your an adult or a child, there is something to do for everybody,” said Brown.
Meanwhile, Botanic is already hiring staff to help customers in their garden center and expects to employ 150 employees when the property becomes fully operational.