For a little more than a year now, the non-profit grocery store started by country music star Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, has been providing food to those in need in the Nashville area.
Aptly named “The Store,” the facility was designed to allow those it serves to come into the store and shop for groceries for free. The organization also makes deliveries throughout the area. This has proven very important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brad and Kimberly recently talked about “The Store” with PEOPLE. Part of the interview was shared on the publication’s Twitter page. In addition to sharing details about the inspiration and development of “The Store,” the couple also talked about the decision to start delivering groceries after the pandemic began.
“We’ve had to pivot due to the pandemic,” Kimberly said. “So now we do deliveries, we do curbside, we do deliveries to homebound seniors. And we’ve delivered almost 1.3 million meals in our first year.”
Interestingly, the source of that idea came from an unusual place, according to Brad Paisley.
“… people rise up and do the stuff that’s needed. I mean, when we first started, when this all hit and they shut everything down and then it was shut the doors, we’ll have to figure out another way,” Brad recalled. “It was my record producer, a guy named Luke Wooten, that called me and said, ‘Are you guys delivering to the elderly?’
“And, I just said, ‘Well, it’s not really our model.’ Our model was always going to be you know, low income.”
Producer Shared Deliver Idea, Ways to Make it Happen with Brad Paisley
Not only did Luke Wooten offer up the idea for delivery. He also offered up ideas for making it happen.
“And, he’s like, ‘Look, these people shouldn’t be shopping,'” Brad Paisley recalled. “He said, ‘I have a studio full of interns. Let’s figure this out. These folks, we got nothing to do. We had no sessions on the books for the next month.'”
According to Brad, his producer stepped up and helped make delivering food a reality.
“So, the next thing you know, Luke’s here and Courtney, that runs the place, they’ve figured out a way to get this entire army of people delivering meals,” the singer added.
In addition to helping people during a difficult year, delivering food has also showed Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley what else “The Store” can be to the community it serves.
“When you get a place like this going you got to evolve and we will eventually be what we intended, but we’ll probably be more than that,” Brad said. “Like, they’ll be aspects of this that we didn’t realize we were capable of.”
Couple Surprised by Success of Organization’s Delivery Program
Unsurprisingly, the success of “The Store” and its delivery program has certainly been a bit of a shock.
“If you had said, ‘You’ll do 1.2 or 3 million meals in your first year,’ we’d of said, ‘No, that’s not possible.’ We’d of said, ‘It’s more like 300,000, if we’re lucky.’ But, when you have to, you find a way,” Brad Paisley added.
For Kimberly, delivering food has been rewarding as well. But, it can be “emotional” too.
“Yeah, and delivering these meals it really is emotional when you pull up and they’re waiting, they’re waiting in the door, you know,” she added. “And I think what would they be doing if we weren’t showing up today?”
You can watch Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley talk about “The Store” with People below.