I would like to take a moment to recognize one of Athens hidden gems -someone who has contributed tirelessly as a small business owner to the growth of the Athens economy and the expansion of the Athens art scene. Bruce Barker has been an integral part of the Athens art scene for over 27 years.
I’m not going to pretend I know the exact date of every milestone in my dads life, but the actions are more important than the dates, anyway. He expanded his business from one retail location to five then consolidated to three. He revamped a failed coffee shop to the beloved Cups Coffee Cafe, which displayed local art.
He owned an art gallery, Clayton Street Gallery, that provided a space for local artists to share their work. He has won numerous awards, framed most (if not all) of the artwork in the hospital, and has even dappled in restaurant decorating. He ran a wholesale company and now operates a successful website and online store. He is a successful entrepreneur to say the least.
He, along with my mother, his beautiful wife and business partner, are avid patrons of the arts and contributors to numerous charities. They support all that is local, participating in the farmers market and co-op. But, the best part about Bruce Barker is his sincerity and joyous nature that can’t help but infect all those around him. He always goes out of his way to help his friends and family. He is, by far, one of the hardest working and genuinely nice people that I know.
So cheers to you, dad! You have provided a beautiful service to Athens and I hope that today, on your birthday, you relax a little and take a second to realize all that you have accomplished.