By ALEXANDER WILLIS
The Rippavilla Plantation off of Main Street in Spring Hill is about to get a whole lot tastier – and musical – following its announced partnership with Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse & Bakery. Announced last week, the partnership will see Marcy Jo’s serve up their world-renowned cinnamon rolls, as well as other treats to guests at the plantation starting Friday, April 19.
Located in east Columbia, Marcy Jo’s has a long, storied history. The owner of the restaurant, Marcy Gary, is the sister of Rory Feek, one half of the award winning bluegrass duo and married couple Joey + Rory. Sadly, Joey would pass away in early 2016 after a years-long battle with cancer, though the duo would often visit, perform, and even do restaurant work in their off-time.
Marcy Jo’s is perhaps most famous for its long list of Southern favorites; meatloaf, mashed potatoes, fresh eggs and sausage, meals that would be routinely discussed on the television program The Joey+Rory Show, which often was shot right inside Marcy Jo’s.
Board president for the Rippavilla Plantation, Corrine Tomlinson, said staff at the plantation had been anxious to share the news of the new partnership for weeks, something that had gotten started months earlier.
“We were talking about how people like to have something to eat sometimes maybe 20 minutes before a tour, or they’re leaving here and going somewhere else,” Tomlinson said. “So we got to kicking around some ideas we could do in the shop.”
Tomlinson said that Marcy Jo’s appreciation of history, homemade foods and Southern dishes made the joining of the two a “perfect partnership,” and that they were “a good fit” for the plantation.
After reaching out to Gary’s son about the proposed partnership months ago, things started rolling from there.
Planned to launch on April 19, the partnership will see Marcy Jo’s act as a sort of pop-up shop, serving guests of the plantation every Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tomlinson said guests would be more than welcome to take those meals to go, though also would encourage people to enjoy their meals in the plantations courtyard or on the site’s dozen or so benches. The idea, Tomlinson said, is for the plantation to offer a wide arrange of services, from tours, food – and even entertainment.
“One of the things that we hope to do here, we would love to have something like a songwriters night here in the courtyard, and they’ve talked to us about being able to bring that in,” Tomlinson said. “There’s a lot of activities that we hope to have for the community from them.”
Tomlinson continued by saying she would love for a songwriters night to become a regular occurrence at the plantation, further encouraging families and residents to engage more with the historic property on a regular basis.
“They said that they had, with being in the music industry and everything, that they felt like that they could bring some songwriters to visit with us in the courtyard to perform,” Tomlinson said. “So we’d like to bring some type of entertainment at night for the community to come over and enjoy, which Spring Hill has lots of local artists as it is, so maybe we could just build with that as well.”
The Rippavilla Plantation is located at 5700 Main Street in Spring Hill, and hosts tours of the historic property, as well as holds new events and exhibits regularly. To learn more, visit the Rippavilla Plantation Facebook page by clicking here, or the plantation’s website by clicking here.