Biz Beat

Building Community and Kindness Through Small Business

By: Leanne Cobb

In the second part of our Small Business Series, we’ll get to know four new businesses that are working hard to build community and kindness in Anderson. Let’s get to know these businesses and their owners.

The Bradbury Bistro
502 N Main St. Suite A, Anderson

Building community in a beautiful, European-inspired setting is the theme of the Bradbury Bistro, owned by Tracy and Bryan Manuel. The Manuels moved to Anderson in 2019 when Bryan took a position as a Dean at Tri-County Technical College. They immediately fell in love with downtown Anderson’s vibrant and diverse business community and knew the Bradbury Bistro would fit in perfectly.

Already a downtown favorite, the bistro offers delectable foods, savory coffees and teas, fine wines, and a welcoming, warm atmosphere. Customers experience a sense of community, partnership, and relationship, something easily observed by the lack of customers on their phones. One of many unique qualities of the Bradbury Bistro is that most of the lighting is antique from France, Belgium, and the UK. Set to the music of jazz greats like Billie Holiday and Louie Armstrong, the Bradbury Bistro is a place where you see your friends, make new ones, and build community. 

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Retro Gaming Lounge
3131 N Main St., Anderson
(in the Anderson Mall)

Retro Girl and Kid Retro are the aliases of owners Marilin Griffy and Frederick Cash. Originally opened in the Georgia Square Mall, Retro Gaming Lounge was moved to the Anderson mall food court in the location of the old “Pocket Change,” where anyone who was a kid in Anderson in the early 90s likely spent a lot of time.

With passions for gaming and education, Griffy and Cash have created Retro Gaming Lounge to be more than just a place for gaming—they offer unique opportunities for educational programming and community support. They host various youth groups, including the Boy Scouts troop 780, donate proceeds from a four-part Sunday Funday event to help finish building Kidventure Park and support the Anderson Period Project. Each Wednesday Retro Gaming Lounge is host to Wine Down Wednesday and Friday and Saturday nights are Late Night Gaming nights, where gamers can watch movies and play video games from 7 pm-10 pm.

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Level II Salon
502 N Main St. Unit E, Anderson 29621

A modern and welcoming west coast inspired salon, Level II Salon is located on the second level of the new plaza downtown. Owner Jessica Tinsley thoughtfully chose the name as it not only represents the physical location of the next step in her career, but also the steps she is taking to level up and continuously grow and achieve. Tinsley has been a Stylist for 14 years, with 13 of them being in the same salon. She began to feel stagnant in her career and decided it was time to take the next step and work toward salon ownership, a goal she was always interested in but never felt was within reach. The first time Tinsley walked the area where Level II is located, it was still under construction, but even then she knew this would be home.

“It was the same feeling you feel when you try on wedding dresses and say “this is the one.” I knew that was the spot. No hesitation.”

Tinsley has completed countless hours of continued education to grow in her career, she has been featured on some of the biggest platforms on social media, as well as being nominated top 25 in hair extensions in one of the largest hair shows to date. She and her team of skillful and professional stylists are committed to providing an immersive and personalized experience upon each visit to Level II. The culture of the salon indulges in kindness, grace, and empowerment. They are successful as a team, value others, and treat everyone equally.

Tinsley says the help and support of her amazing husband and family made Level II possible. She encourages everyone with a dream to go after it because success is within reach and to always remember to stay humble, no matter your level of success.

Contact by phone: (864) 328-9297

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Kid City
1520 E Greenville St, Anderson 29621

After living in Lexington, SC for 20 years, Anderson native Ashlea Allen decided it was time to come home. With her return to Anderson, she opened Kid City, a tumbling, gymnastics, and ninja gym that offers a fun, unique, and nurturing environment for families in Anderson. Allen’s love of gymnastics began at age 9. She was a competitive gymnast, winning a State Champion Title in 1994. After cheering at TL Hanna, she cheered at the University of South Carolina, where she got a cheerleading scholarship. Since college, she has coached a competitive gymnastics team and was the General Manager of Palmetto Athletic Center in Lexington.

Kid City not only offers classes, but also has an after-school program, hosts birthday parties, and has open gym on Friday nights. The most unique offering at Kid City is the “achieve sleeve,” badges students earn that serve as a visual representation to parents to where each child is progressing each week. Future plans for Kid City are to build a new facility on HWY 81 and add swimming and basketball programs.

For more information:

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