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 Murfreesboro

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