For weeks now, the sign for The Green Wagon has been slowing traffic in Sylvan Park and getting calls from neighbors. As of 10 a.m. today, Jennifer Casale's one-stop-shopping emporium for eco-friendly goods is now open, fulfilling its owner's mission to "take the work out of shopping green and make it affordable."
Casale, a Vanderbilt graduate with a Masters in poetry and a background in teaching schoolchildren water conservation and recycling, means to keep her costs low and her carbon footprint light by stocking her general store mostly with goods by local artisans and producers. Those items include organic cotton clothes from Ask Apparel, found-media pieces by artist Cassandra Lawson, and supplies ranging from toothpaste, toilet paper and soap to baby clothes and diapers.
From California to North Carolina, eco-friendly general stores have sprouted in recent years. But The Green Wagon may be the first of its kind in Nashville. Casale says when she was attending Vanderbilt, she had to chase organic goods from store to store, which kinda defeated the purpose. She wanted to create a place where she could find the items she wanted under one roof.
A true grand opening is planned for spring, when the weather's better and the store can host live music. Asked whether she's worried about opening a small business in the midst of economic devastation, Casale sounds mostly optimistic.
"People look at me like I've got 14 heads for opening a business now," Casale says. "But we've been procrastinating so long on changes we need to make. I believe in it so much I don't think it can be held off."
The Green Wagon, 4429 Murphy Road, is open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 942-7883 for more information.