Cathy and Craig Green have created an oasis for makers, growers, friends, and families.
We have all encountered a resonating place, the one that lingers after leaving. The characters and setting speak to us with nostalgia or originality. Maybe both. This voice, this unique identity, is hard to define. Words do not suffice. Attempting to convey our experience to others we begin, “It is A, with a hint of B; it has a little bit of X, Y and Z-well sort of.” We end with, “You really should go and see for yourself. Then you will understand what I am trying to describe.” Jedbug Junction, owned by Craig and Cathy Green, is such a place. It cannot be pigeonholed into one category. It is an Artisans Village selling antiques and collectibles. It houses a nursery and farmer’s market. On Saturdays, Jedburg Junction has an open-air market, sells dry rub BBQ, grilled vegetables and sides.
Months before masks and social distancing became routine, Craig, a contractor specializing in hotel renovations, purchased 1.3 acres on Butternut Road, intent on converting the defunct buildings into an office, workshop, and construction yard for his company. Cathy had her own endeavor; she owned a fitness studio in Park Circle. The Governor’s orders to close public spaces grinded Craig’s business to a halt. Likewise, Cathy’s fitness center was forced to shutter its doors. The focus of the newly purchased property shifted from a workspace for Craig to a fitness studio for Cathy. It could be similar to many companies downsizing their workplace in order to create hybrid workplace cultures. To achieve this, they tend to move office furniture into employees’ homes to set up a home office. In such measures, we can see that the pandemic has changed the way people work; small businesses and large corporations appear to have adapted quickly to the new conditions.
As the world became increasingly insular and isolated, the Greens spent more time on Butternut Road. Cathy aptly states, “It was a time to look around at what we had and to make something of what we were blessed with and not lament what we had lost.” Neighbors, curiously eyeing their work, stopped by to check the progress. Craig, a former Navy chef, started selling BBQ to them. Hungry for socialization and good food, his neighbors found a haven. The Green’s property became a place they could congregate, outside, with minimal risk.
Growing up in Southern California, Craig remembers the atmosphere surrounding the local fruit stand. How people would gather, tell stories, and share experiences. The Greens recognized a similar environment was unfolding on Butternut Road. They just were not sure how it would materialize.
Buildings were renovated, displaced dirt became a garden, and word began to spread. Local farmers asked to sell their produce on days the Greens sold BBQ. Artisans were invited to sell their pieces. Craig recalls, “Everyone was looking for a way to earn additional income. We were able to provide a platform for people to sell their produce and wares. A lot of people were out of work.” Along with its atmosphere, the purpose of Butternut Road also began to emerge. Its calling was to serve as a junction, not the proverbial crossroad junction. A literal junction, a place where two or more things converge. Here, neighbors, craftsmen, artisans, and friends joined, forming an interdependent community thriving on everyone’s success. Jedburg Junction was conceived.
Through vision, hard work, and self-discipline, the Greens modified and adjusted to the challenges of the pandemic. Over time, a paradigm shift occurred on a little piece of property between several new communities in Jedburg. Instead of looking for opportunity to knock, Jedburg Junction became an opportunity for others.
The main structure was transformed into a house with a cottage style floor plan. The kitchen is an indoor farmer’s market. Cathy purposefully places, among vintage items and artisan wares, vegetables, canned and dry goods. Cheese, eggs, and other cold items are in an unobtrusive refrigerator. The seasonal produce is sourced within a 30-mile radius of Summerville. Soaps, hand-tooled knives, iron and custom wood pieces, art, pottery, and jewelry are sold throughout the store. Estate furniture can also be found in the adjacent Barn.
Across from the Barn is the Quonset Hut and nursery. The Quonset Hut is an open-ended building with long tables for vendors. The nursery sits under a portico attached to the Quonset Hut. It is stocked with plants cultivated in St. Matthews and Ridgeville. Cathy nurtures the seedlings and waters the plants. She creates a bountiful array of well cared for indoor and outdoor plants and trees.
The Barn and Quonset Hut can be rented for large and small events. The space is ample, showcasing an air of country chic. Behind the Quonset Hut, tents are raised creating a BBQ venue. Adjacent to the tents is a stage surrounded by large Adirondackschairs and tables providing seating for patrons. The furniture highlights another aspect of Jedburg Junction, custom woodworking, and design.
On Saturdays, an Open Market and Family BBQ is held in the Quonset Hut. To complement the store and nursery, additional vendors sell their products and produce. Community organizations are also welcome to set up outreach tables during this time. A tire swing invitingly hangs from the great oak. Swirls of laughter emanate from playful children; a sense of community is abundant.
Jedburg Junction is a little bit of everything, but not too much of one. Hard to define. Uniquely its own. A must-see destination, just minutes from Downtown Summerville. AM
by Eliza Chapman Bailey