Small Town Famous Expands to Downtown Grand Island | Grand Island Local News

Small Town Famous stretched from Hastings to downtown Grand Island.

The store, which features quirky apparel and Nebraska-made products, opened at 301 W. Third St. on April 15.

Owner Jacque Cranson calls Small Town Famous “a modern general store.”

Originally from Grand Island, Cranson first started the business in Omaha before launching a store at 733 Second St. in Hastings.

“I went to law school, graduated, and passed the bar, but I couldn’t find a job, 12 years ago now, so I started selling t-shirts and headbands at local tournaments,” she said. “It kind of evolved from there.”

What started with screen printing has turned into mass distribution.

“There was so much in Hastings that they didn’t have that we were starting to fill a need for,” Cranson said. “We have Christian books, because the Christian bookstore has closed across the street. We have Lincoln’s Mill Coffee. Juanita candles. I should walk around to see all the different people we have.

People also read…

It is also a family affair.

“My mom makes a lot of home decor products and my sister makes a lot of t-shirts,” Cranson said.

Along with Grand Island, Small Town Famous brings many of its showcase offerings to Railside, along with its Make Your Own T-Shirt Day events.

The Grand Island site is managed by Jennifer Hansen.

Small Town Famous, an extension of the Hastings store, opened in the Railside area of ​​downtown Grand Island in April, in the former Milestone Gallery space.

Independent/Brandon Summers

Hansen’s parents owned the building and his former business, Milestone Gallery Antiques.

“She just bought the building from her parents, so she lives there and she runs the store for us,” Cranson explained.

Renovating the space was especially fun, Cranson said.

“My dad and I refinished all the floors and painted, and just tried to make it look original,” she said. “We put brick wallpaper on to give it that old building feel.”

The space itself contributes to the uniqueness of the Grand Island location.

“When you walk in, you don’t necessarily feel like you’re in the same store,” Cranson said. “There are some of the same products. We have high ceilings here. But it’s a different layout. It’s more cozy, that’s for sure.

Small Town Famous joins other businesses new to downtown Grand Island, including this week’s opening of Big Red Treats, just across the street.

“I think Railside at Grand Island is definitely a happening place that seems to be where it is right now,” she said. “We’re really excited to be a part of this.”

The expansion has been exciting, but also “a lot to deal with”, she said.

“It’s exciting growing up, and we have really good staff here helping us out, so I don’t feel too much stress,” she said.

One of the store’s prides is the “above average” salary of its employees.

052222_FAMOUS LITTLE TOWN 03.jpg

Among the offerings at the recently opened Small Town Famous in Grand Island are custom-made and personalized screen-printed t-shirts. The town center site is an extension of the Hastings store.

Independent/Brandon Summers

“We pay our day workers between $17 and $21 an hour, which is unprecedented for retail, especially for a small business, so we get a lot of help and that has allowed us to come in and recruit staff very easily,” she said. mentioned.

Further expansion of the Hastings business is possible.

“We’ll see how Grand Island plays out first,” Cranson said. “I think in downtowns all over Nebraska there is a revitalization going on. People want to be downtown. They want to see them do well. Empty buildings begin to fill up.

She added, “If Grand Island is successful, we would definitely be interested in franchising and having access to more small town centers throughout Nebraska.”

For more information, visit

[email protected]

David H. Henry