Over the past few years, millions of Americans have quit their jobs in an ongoing phenomenon that’s become known as the “Great Resignation.” Many of them moved away from urban cities in search of a calmer, more balanced pace of life. With more time and flexibility, people are free to pursue hobbies, passion projects, and creative endeavors that often lead to full-fledged careers. What does this mean for small-town America? It means rural Texas is having a moment with a shift in focus to a slower pace of life, followed by exciting new businesses, and San Saba is no exception! In the past two years, we’ve welcomed several new business owners who’ve completely revitalized our downtown economy and attracted significantly more out-of-town visitors. With this fast pace of expansion continuing, we encourage more business-minded individuals to start pursuing their dreams here in San Saba!
Wise Meat Market
Kicking off our entrepreneurial emergence was Mark Wise, whose background in agriculture led to the opening of Wise Meat Market in October 2020. For almost two years, the Wise family has offered a variety of quality meats to Texas Hill Country residents. The market regularly stocks cuts of beef, pork, and chicken along with cheeses, fresh milk, beer, and seasonings. In addition, you can place a special order for more unique needs or shop weekly specials including marinated and stuffed meats. The tenderness and flavor of Wise’s meats surpass that of any grocery store, which is why customers from San Saba and surrounding counties flock to the market!
Pecan House Grill
In November of 2020, Owner Clay Nettleship transformed a downtown building with a storied history into an upscale destination restaurant. With an impressive menu of prime steaks, comfort food, decadent desserts, and rotating dinner specials, it is no surprise that Pecan House Grill attracts hundreds of visitors throughout the Texas Hill Country. Craft cocktails and Texas beers are available from The Papershell Bar located upstairs. As verified by dozens of reviews online and through social media, guests really enjoy a night out at Pecan House Grill.
Bard and Hallow
It’s been almost a year since Logan and Uriah J. Hart left their long careers in education and marketing to move to San Saba. Opening Bard & Hallow in September 2021, the fine antique and architectural salvage store has truly made an impression in the world of vintage goods. Locals and neighboring communities love the unique furniture, art, and home goods sold at Bard & Hallow. The Harts have a true eye for fine antiques and we are so happy they decided to pursue their passions here in San Saba!
Opening simultaneously with Bard & Hallow was Switch Boutique. Terra Gardner, the Founder of Switch, was no stranger to downtown restoration after turning an empty 100-year-old building into a local sensation with her first boutique’s opening in Goldthwaite in 2019. Expanding to San Saba in 2021 was a smart choice after recognizing the compatible market, supportive community, and necessary business foundations in town. Switch Boutique provides modern style for all ages, shapes, & sizes! The ladies in town have quickly fallen in love with the boutique’s trendy clothes, fashionable jewelry, and cute shoes.
The Open Door
Rounding out an exciting month of grand openings in September 2021 was The Open Door. Other than specializing in Mexican pottery, clothing, and decor, what makes The Open Door’s products unique is their authenticity. Owners Sam and Ginger Sampson enjoy importing items from countries including Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Spain, and more! Their store is an eclectic collection of goods that will add color, culture, and flair to your home. It is a wonderful addition to San Saba’s downtown businesses. Follow The Open Door’s Facebook account to keep up with what fun items are in store!
The Filling Station
The Gulf Gas Station on Wallace Street has housed many businesses throughout the past century but had been abandoned for the last several years. Today it stands tall, restored to its original porcelain exterior, as a classic American 50’s diner named The Filling Station. Owner and visionary Alan Trotter grew up in San Saba. The idea for the Filling Station arose from Alan’s recognition that San Saba needed a place locals could hang out. Adorned with retro antiques and Gulf replicas, the diner had its soft opening in May of this year and has quickly become exactly what Alan envisioned. Embraced by the community, The Filling Station will continue to serve juicy burgers, sweet shakes, and a safe space to gather. The beautifully restored Gulf Gas Station preserves the history of San Saba and will attract visitors from across Texas. Congratulations to The Filling Station team and to their official Grand Opening on August 6!
The Daily Mix
The newest of San Saba’s businesses is The Daily Mix. Who needs mainstream coffee shops when you can have refreshing smoothies and teas in the morning? The Daily Mix has been open for less than two months, but the whole town is already obsessed with the many healthy shakes, herbal teas, coffees, and caffeine refreshers. It’s the perfect place to cool off in the Texas heat!
Fiber Internet Enables New Business
Along with changing values, an important reason for this rapid economic growth has been the availability of high-speed fiber internet. Though this luxury is not offered in every rural town, San Saba residents are fortunate to have reliable cellular services and fiber internet, offered by the sponsor of Visit San Saba-Central Texas TeleCommunications (CTTC). Broadband is substantial in rural business development because it allows entrepreneurs to reach a global network of customers. It also ensures business owners can access the same resources and technology as bigger competitors, improving manufacturing, delivery, e-commerce, and communication with customers. We are firm believers that being a part of CTTC’s fiber communities has unlocked a key piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle here in San Saba.
Start a Business in San Saba
As you can see, San Saba is growing! Though our town was already brimming with nice restaurants, pleasant lodging, and fun boutiques, we are proud to welcome the above seven new business owners to our economy and look forward to what’s to come. With plenty of historic buildings available for lease or purchase downtown, the time is now to join the San Saba business community! The Economic Development Corporation is available at (325) 372-5200 to answer questions and help start your entrepreneurial journey.