Watch time go by at You Say Tomato

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By Cindy Simpson

A new gift shop has opened in downtown Rockwood, brimming with cute odds and ends to make a house a home.

“I like cozy,” said You Say Tomato co-owner Jimmy Adkins. “I like things that make me smile.”

Clocks are among his interests, and the shop has a large collection.

There is also an array of figurines, ornaments, decorations and more.

“I do love it,” said friend and customer Beverly Powers. She had just bought crystal antique perfume bottles, a Christmas ornament and a large wooden statue.

You Say Tomato had its grand opening Friday.

“We are part of the (Rockwood Christmas) Tour,” added fellow co-owner Darian Barnett.

Adkins is the creative inspiration for the business, and Barnett calls himself the business side.

Adkins has done mall setups, showrooms and other endeavors, including in New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

“In Atlanta, I used to have space in antique malls,” Adkins said. “I bought a building in Rockwood and planned on opening up a shop later on. I pulled out of all my spaces in antique malls, and I kept gathering things as if I still had the spaces.”

While the store operates next door to The REC on downtown Rockwood Street, Adkins and Barnett actually own a building across the street that they plan to refurbish.

Adkins said the downstairs alone on that building is 5,800 square feet, and he hopes to have space for 27 vendors as well as his own stuff.

With his You Say Tomato theme, he plans to have a closed sign that says “See you tomato.”

Adkins decided to locate in the area because of his family. His sisters live in Rockwood, and his mother lives in Grandview.

“I was shopping at O’ Those Were The Days. I thought this would be so cute to open a little shop down here,” Adkins said.

He was in Philadelphia working when Barnett called.

“He called and said, ‘There is a building for sale. Should we try to get it?’” Adkins remembered.

You Say Tomato will be open every day during the holidays.

Hours will be from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.