Like a relaxing walk on the beach, the recently opened Anzie Blue coffee shop and CBD purveyor in Stanford Square, with its blue and white coastal-inspired Serena & Lily furnishings, offers a little escape from it all.
The store, which opened in late November, features its own line of high-end cannabidiol (CBD) products, including blackberry tincture, a sports balm and dog chews. CBD, an ingredient in cannabis derived from the hemp plant, may help treat conditions such as pain, insomnia and anxiety.
After a tornado and in the midst of a pandemic, at a time when many retailers are struggling to keep their doors open, business at Anzie Blue is up 800 percent since January.
“We have continued to listen to what our clients and customers are saying about what they need and want," says Marcie Allen, who co-owns Anzie Blue with her husband, Derek Van Mol. When customers clamored for pizza, for example, they bought a pizza oven. When customers were told to shelter at home, they offered free delivery. When customers wanted outside seating, they outfitted the patio to seat 30. They can accommodate 40 inside at full capacity. They now offer charcuterie trays, cocktails (a favorite is lavender lemonade with vodka and CBD) and thin-crust pizza. Customers can also browse artwork by Kayce Hughes and jewelry by Karen Sutton.
Both long-time entrepreneurs, Marcie and Derek know how to embrace a challenge. Derek has a home restoration firm, and Marcie founded MAC Presents, a company that connects recording artists with brands. She is also an adjunct professor at New York University teaching strategic branding, so for years, they have divided their time between Nashville and New York, where they live in downtown Manhattan. They got the inspiration for Anzie Blue from their corner bodega.
“In the West Village, you can walk in and you can buy some jewelry and you can buy some CBD and you can get a cup of coffee and you can get a glass of wine and you can get some wine and cheese and you can get a slice of cake to take home and eat later on,” says Marcie. “That’s why I love New York so much, and there are just not places like that in Nashville. So no, we can’t be everything to everyone, but we’re trying to provide as many services as we can, especially since our entire lives have been upended since the beginning of March.”
To create the store's signature CBD line, Derek worked with a facility in California to develop a high-quality product the couple felt comfortable with. “We’re not doctors,” says Marcie. “We can’t diagnose. But what we can do is speak about our personal experiences and how it has helped us.” They credit CBD with alleviating insomnia and relieving muscle pain. They developed the pet treats for their miniature Australian shepherd, Blue, who is afraid of thunder. Blue, along with a friend’s dog, Anzie, inspired the name of the shop.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Marcie and Derek, who both grew up in Nashville, are strongly committed to their community. When they saw a need, they bought a grill and cooked hamburgers for 100 health care workers at Saint Thomas West Hospital. They partner with numerous area merchants, including OSA Coffee, Firepot Nomadic Teas, WithCo cocktail mixers, D’Andrews Bakery & Café and Tennessee Sweet Cheeks, for grab-and-go items, such as cinnamon rolls, pimento cheese, artichoke and spinach dips and other signature favorites.
Photographs by Mary Craven and Daniel Meigs