Firefly Awards shine a light on independent businesses

Locally Owned Murfreesboro and Smyrna Independent Merchants Association honored a full slate of deserving businesses Tuesday, April 26 at the fifth annual Light Up Local Firefly Awards.

Held this year at Oaklands Mansion, the Firefly Awards is a people’s choice awards celebration of independent businesses. During the spring, LOM and SiMA took nominations in 13 categories for independent businesses in Smyrna and Murfreesboro. The businesses with the most nominations won their respective category.

The top honor of Business of the Year went to Float Alchemy for Murfreesboro and Front Street Signs for Smyrna.

“It was truly an honor to reward Float Alchemy and Front Street Signs for their impact on the community,” Lay said.

Float Alchemy opened in 2018, introducing Murfreesboro to an environment that most of Murfreesboro has never experienced before. Over the past four years, Float Alchemy has become an integral part of the city’s self-care regime.

Located in the historic district in downtown Smyrna, Front Street Signs specializes in all types of signs, banners, window graphics, vehicle magnets & lettering, poster printer, plaques, trophies, awards, personalized gift items, color sublimation and more.

Lay added it was amazing to honor two local restaurants, The Bangkok in Murfreesboro and Karin’s Kustard & Hamburgers in Smyrna.

The Bangkok opened on Murfreesboro’s Public Square nearly 30 years ago, far before the Thai food trend reached Rutherford County and Karin’s, the tiny roadside eatery, has been serving hamburgers, hotdogs and frozen treats for almost as long.

“As someone who grew up in Smyrna and now lives in Murfreesboro, I can tell you these restaurants are delicious and cornerstones of the community,” Lay said.

At last year’s event, Lay made a surprise announcement that membership in Locally Owned Murfreesboro is now free for any business with a Murfreesboro address that registers with its website,, Lay explained.

Since last year, Locally Owned Murfreesboro’s membership has grown to 120, Lay said.

Once businesses register with their basic information, they will be added to LOM’s business directory on Basic membership includes a listing on the LOM website and discounted admission fees to LOM networking and Local Learning events. For an additional fee of $50, businesses can join at the premium level. Premium membership includes benefits, like free admission to LOM networking and Local Learning events, as well as an added link to their websites and their logos in the website listing.

And the winners of the 2022 Firefly Awards are …

Cultivate Coworking’s Best New Business

Murfreesboro: Single Tree BBQ

Finalists: Blue Dot Bake Shop, Classy Cactus Farm,

Smyrna: Southern Flare Cigar Lounge

Finalists: Sellebrity Coworking, The Social Nutrition


Best Retail

Murfreesboro: Re-Invintage Home

Finalists: In Bloom Boutique, Quinn’s Mercantile

Smyrna: Red Wagon Nursery

Finalists: Platinum Mermaid, Shabby 2 Chic


Best Customer Service

Murfreesboro: Simply Pure Sweets

Finalists: Blue Dot Bake Shoppe, Re-Invintage Home, Single Tree BBQ

Smyrna: Janarty’s Homemade Ice Cream

Finalists: Carpe Café, Front Street Signs


Best Restaurant

Murfreesboro:Primrose Table

Finalists: Marina’s on the Square, The Alley on Main

Smyrna: Hickory Falls

Finalists: Front Street Pub, Karin’s Custard & Hamburgers.


Best Event

Murfreesboro: Downtown on the Farm

Finalists: Clue Party, Oktoberfest

Smyrna:  Depot Days

Finalists:  Halloween in the Park, Simply Smyrna


Best Night Out

Murfreesboro: Murfreesboro Axe

Finalists: Cedar Glade Brews, Mayday

Smyrna: It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere

Finalists: Smyrna Bowling Center, Southern Flare Cigar Lounge


Best Social Media

Murfreesboro: Boro Business Lab

Finalists: Catfeine Cat Café, Vibe Nutrition

Smyrna: Front Street Pub

Finalists: Southern Flare Cigar Lounge, The Flower Pot 2


Best Service

Murfreesboro:  Angel Pardue Photography

Finalists: Creativity in Balloons, Hometown Delivery

Smyrna: Tennessee Chiropractic Alliance

Finalists: Daisy’s Place Salon & Spa, Sellebrity Co-working


Best Locally Owned Franchise

Murfreesboro:  Card My Yard

Finalists:: Amazing Lash Studio, McGuire Management, Tommy’s Car Wash,

Smyrna: Chick-Fil-A


Best Nonprofit

Murfreesboro: Murfreesboro Muslim Youth

Finalists: Isaiah House 117, Special Kids

Smyrna: Sam Davis Home

Finalists: Carpe Artista, A Soldier’s Child


Local Legacy

Murfreesboro: The Bangkok Thai Cuisine

Finalists: Demos’ Restaurant, Premier 6 Theater

Smyrna: Karin’s Kustard & Hamburgers

Finalists: Gil’s Ace Hardware, Steve John’s Appliances


WGNS Good Neighbor of the Year

Murfreesboro: Spread the Positive

Finalists: Wild Goose Chase Events, Woodsviking Barbershop,

Smyrna: Smyrna Ready Mix

Finalists: Aaron Lovett Realtor, Gil’s Ace Hardware,


Business of the Year

Murfreesboro: Float Alchemy

Finalists: The Alley on Main, Veda’s Flowers & Gifts

Smyrna: Front Street Signs

Finalists: Bella Vista Coffee Shop, Carpe Café


About Locally Owned Murfresboro

An affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance, Locally Owned Murfreesboro was formed in 2016.

The nonprofit is an organization of independent local business owners dedicated to promoting the benefits supporting independent businesses to the community and building a stronger local economy by joining together in marketing, government advocacy and networking.

Learn more at Because Murfreesboro Matters.

About Smyrna Independent Merchants Association

Smyrna Independent Merchants’ Association helps independent local businesses compete successfully and reverse the trend of losing our community-based businesses that make our home special.

SiMA drives an ongoing public education campaign to inform customers fully about the benefits of doing business locally. We help shift business to our members by raising awareness of the overall value they offer, and their importance to the character and economic strength of our community.

Learn more at

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