In the owners’ words:
Carol Grace said the creation of a home décor, coffee, tea and sweet shop was formed after years of friendship with two of her grade-school friends.
“We were all retired from something but not ready to retire from living,” Grace said. “This whole concept was Lora’s vision, so we made it our passion.”
Grace, the owner of A Touch of Grace, 2641 E. Madison County Road 450 North, a custom draperies, evening and bridal-wear business, partnered with Lora Rich and Cindy Darlington to create two new businesses housed in one location, 2135 N. Scatterfield Road.
The businesses are Grace Place, which offers gourmet coffees, teas and desserts, and L. Rich Design, which features home décor and furnishings.
The inspiration for the name Grace Place began with Grace’s students when she was a home economics teacher at Shenandoah. She said the students called her classroom Grace Place, and the name just stuck.
She said the two businesses make a perfect combination because customers can enjoy refreshments, including Concannon’s doughnuts and pastries, in the surroundings of the store’s unique furnishings.
The business venture also gave the three women a place where they could be themselves while making others feel welcome.
“Cindy, Lora and I are not only business partners, but best of friends since elementary school days,” Grace said. “In fact, we’ve added a “Scot’s Corner” for any Highland graduate who wants to share any memorabilia.”
The warm atmosphere, sights, fragrances and ambiance keep customers coming back, according to Grace.
“We already have several repeat customers,” Grace said. “They like just hanging out here. ... I enjoy watching people walk in with surprised looks and leave later with smiles and laughter.”
The “unbelievable” prices on their home décor items also keep customers coming back, she said.