Business owners work to promote best of Van Zandt County town
“It’s not as good as we’d like,” Jeff Gottesman said from the couple’s offices at The Old Firehouse. “We’re having trouble getting people to walk all the way down the street. We depend on people coming through town right now.”
The Old Firehouse is an appropriate addition to Edom’s arts community, blending nicely with other stores on Farm-to-Market Road 279 in Edom. He operates an artistic-photography business, while his wife, Judy Gottesman, is a licensed massage therapist. The Old Firehouse also serves as a concert venue.
“The concerts have been fantastic,” Jeff Gottesman said. “We have 40 to 50 people at every event. Those have been great.”
But the couple aren’t as enthusiastic about their business ventures.
“I guess it’s just not a good time to start a business,” he said. “We’re experimenting with other services we can provide, and we’re looking forward to warmer weather. The festivals here get a lot of traffic.”
And the festivals appear to be Edom’s lifeline, the Gottesmans said.
“I’m now on the Edom Chamber of Commerce, and my role is to help promote Edom,” Jeff Gottesman said. “We’ve talked about whether there is a way to promote just FM 279. But it’s tough, because we’re talking about a group of volunteers. Our only source of income are the festivals, really. And they don’t create a huge profit (for Edom).”
But the small town may be able to generate extra revenue by coordinating events and joint marketing efforts with Ben Wheeler, an unincorporated community eight miles northwest of Edom.
“We’re trying to get as many things as we can,” Jeff Gottesman said. “Obviously, we don’t have the financial resources to do what Ben Wheeler’s doing, but (Brooks Gremmels) is all for doing things with Edom.”
Gremmels owns Ben Wheeler Development Company, which is leading a multimillion-dollar project to redevelop the town of the area of about 1,000 people.
“I’m thrilled with what Moore’s Store is doing,” Jeff Gottesman said. “I think it’s wonderful, and we are happy to promote them. Edom has its own unique history, and I don’t think that conflicts with what they’re doing in Ben Wheeler. There’s a lot of potential here.”
The Gottesmans were attracted to Edom after attending one of its art festivals. They purchased the old Edom firehouse last January and renovated the building, the rear of which is used to host folk-music concerts. They moved from Dallas almost two years ago.
To view concert times and purchase tickets and learn more about JeffreyLance Photography and Essential Massage, visit theoldfirehouse. net.