This year has been a strong year for new business in Ballinger. Several new businesses have opened and are quickly drawing in a loyal customer base. Among the new businesses this year are Bearcat Nutrition at 200 S. 7th street; Maverick Furniture; Good Time Charlie’s Land Company Boutique at 804 Hutchins Ave; Maestros sports bar at 111 S. 8th street; A Cut Above Boutique at 718 Hutchins Ave; Faithful Grounds coffee shop located at 1908 N. 8th street and Grumps Dave’s burgers at 1604 N. Broadway.
Belinda Castillo is president of the Ballinger Chamber of Commerce, “We’re really excited about these businesses. We have a really well rounded group of new merchants.” Many of the businesses are located in downtown, which puts them directly on the shopping path. Castillo says that it’s adding a lot to the town, “Downtown is looking phenomenal. We’re really excited about it.”
Faithful Grounds is Ballinger’s new coffee shop. The coffee world exploded when Starbucks hit the scene but the coffee shop idea didn’t really take off here until this year. Castillo says that the owners knew what Ballinger needed, “There was a need for a place like Faithful Grounds. You can get a cup of coffee anywhere, but not a specialty coffee.” The coffee shop has been the talk of the town and social media since it opened, with most people raving about the muffins and other pastries as well as the coffee.
In the last year or so Ballinger has had fantastic turnout at the annual events such as the Ethnic Festival, Party in the Park, Christmas in Olde Ballinger, etc. Great weather and an increase in the town’s social media footprint have brought in scores of people. In the case of the Ethnic Festival, it brought in more than 2,000 people. Castillo says that helps people who might see a business opportunity Ballinger, “People see the growth in Ballinger. The Chamber of Commerce did a lot of work for events such as the Ethnic Festival, Christmas in Olde Ballinger and Moonlight Madness. During Moonlight Madness the stores were packed with customers until they closed. Customers were coming out of one store and going into another one.”
In several cases, the merchants in downtown Ballinger stayed open up to 90 minutes after closing time due to shoppers. Not many would argue that it’s a good problem to have.
The Chamber of Commerce opened their new Visitor’s Center at 811 Hutchins, which is pretty much in the center of ground zero for shopping. Castillo says that the Visitor’s Center quickly benefitted from the new location, “We have so much traffic in this town. The Visitor’s Center has gotten more traffic since we moved to the new location than we ever had before.” Castillo says that also helping benefit the economic boom in Ballinger is the Merchant Committee, “The committee has monthly meetings to discuss what is going on and what we work on.”
One new project that the chamber is working on are map boards, “We have boards that have maps for visitors. They will be put on the courthouse lawn and around town, in high visibility areas.” Many of the new businesses will have ribbon cuttings in the near future, “We have 6 ribbon cuttings that will be schedule in the next 2 to 6 weeks. We want to spotlight new businesses and thank them.”
If you’d like more information about the Chamber of Commerce or have any questions, you can contact the Visitor’s Center at 325-365-2333.