Local businesses 'unWine' in downtown Starkville

Allison Arnold and Rachel Nobles attended the unWine event in Starkville last Friday.

Last Friday, the Greater Starkville Development Partnership and Main Street Association held their first seasonal unWine Downtown event of the year.

The event, which occurs three times a year, provides a sales spotlight on local Starkville businesses.

When the Partnership first began to create a vision for this event, they wanted to ensure small businesses would be the main focus. By serving wine in each store and up to a 20% discount for each participating business, the event encourages shoppers to browse new stores.

Paige Watson, the director of Main Street Association, shared how unWine helps new and old businesses.

“Events like unWine definitely connect the community with local businesses because someone may not willingly go to a store. But an event like unWine can bring them there and create that extra exposure,” Watson said.

For newer stores, it may be a struggle to get exposure. Events like unWine allow small businesses, like Milk + Honey, the opportunity to strive.

Milk + Honey is temporarily located on Main Street, before the storefront moves to its permanent location in the College View strip. 

Mallory England, founder of Milk + Honey, mentioned how beneficial events like unWine are for her store.

“It really gives us a chance to improve our customer base,” England said.

Customers flocked to the event Friday. Tickets, which cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door, sold out Thursday. All 17 participating businesses received heavy foot traffic until the event ended around 8:30 p.m.

UnWine, which takes place every spring, summer and fall, has been a community favorite since its origin in 2012. The casual atmosphere unWine provides attracts Starkville natives and tourists alike.

Shelly Dowell, a Lena, Mississippi, native and MSU alum, came to unWine for the first time Friday.

“I always enjoy coming back to Starkville to see what shops have opened recently. UnWine is the perfect social event for that, plus I always find great bargains,” Dowell said.

Director Watson celebrated the 13th anniversary of the event with a successful turn out. She said she enjoys telling the story of Starkville through these events.

“I first began in the Special Events & Projects Coordinator position and did every event for the Partnership, but in May 2021 I was promoted to Director of Main Street,” Watson said. “I feel super fortunate to be in the position I'm in, and I love telling the story of our community development efforts.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.