FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 28, 2021
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recognized Rustic Roots on Second of Pikeville, Kentucky, as the U.S. Senate Small Business of the Week.
Dr. Paul entered the following into the Congressional Record:
Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, each week I will recognize an outstanding Kentucky small business that exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit. This week, it is my privilege to recognize a woman-owned small business, Rustic Roots on Second of Pikeville, Kentucky, as the Senate Small Business of the Week.
Located in downtown Pikeville, Rustic Roots on Second opened its doors in 2015. After graduating from the University of Kentucky, founder and owner, Maura Minix, wanted to provide a place for Kentucky artisans to showcase and sell their work. Maura, who grew up in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, saw an opportunity to set up a shop in neighboring Pikeville. She established Rustic Roots on Second, providing a retail outlet for Kentuckian and Appalachian artisans.
Today, Rustic Roots on Second continues supporting and promoting small businesses and artisans in Eastern Kentucky. Over thirty local vendors sell their goods at the store, ranging from food and textile goods to artwork and furniture made from used bourbon barrels. Maura’s mother, Brenda Minix, is a key part of the operation, working as store manager and serving as the “face” of the business around town. Customers are regularly greeted by name, and treated according to the golden rule. Rustic Roots on Second also serves as an event venue, renting out its shop for celebrations, fundraisers, and business events. The store works with local artisans to host classes and workshops, rotating offerings to meet community interest. From painting to dulcimer playing, teaching and celebrating the arts is a priority.
Notably, Rustic Roots on Second is a leader in downtown Pikesville’s business community. They regularly participate in local and regional events, including the Appalachian Vintage Street Market, Wine-Tasting & Retailgating, and Pikesville’s famous Hillbilly Days festival. Rustic Roots on Second is a member of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and is involved with Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Kentucky, which fosters entrepreneurship and innovation in the region. They are committed to revitalizing and promoting downtown Pikeville through their support of the Pikeville Main Street Program, Inc.
Like many small businesses, Rustic Roots on Second actively supports charitable and civic organizations. For several years, Maura and Brenda have teamed up with local businesses to host picnics and decorate their storefronts to thank police officers, firefighters, and first responders for their service. They regularly support fundraisers for clubs, churches, and sports teams, and have sponsored silent auctions to benefit local schools. Rustic Roots on Second’s advocacy and community leadership has been recognized in local and regional publications.
When the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, Pikeville rallied together to support Rustic Roots on Second. As a non-essential business, Rustic Roots on Second was impacted by the lockdowns. Maura and Brenda adapted, overhauling and expanding their online store to continue serving customers nationwide. As Kentucky reopened, Maura and Brenda worked with local small businesses to ensure downtown Pikeville reopened safely, welcoming locals and visitors alike to their vibrant community.
Rustic Roots on Second is an outstanding example of the critical role small businesses play in uplifting and advocating for their communities. Congratulations to Maura, Brenda and the entire team at Rustic Roots on Second. I wish them the best of luck and look forward to watching their continued growth and success in Kentucky.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Paul continues the tradition of honoring America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to the Small Business Administration and investigates all problems relating to America’s small businesses.