Customer Highlight: The Gun Shop and Trading Post


Walking into The Gun Shop and Trading Post in Livingston is sort of like walking into the ultimate man cave of a neighborhood friend. A friend that really likes guns, has a dry sense of humor, and dabbles in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Michael (left) and Anthony (right)

Michael (left) and Anthony (right)

Michael Bartlett and Anthony Griffith opened the business three years ago and now have a healthy staff of ten employees. As young business owners (they are both right around 30), they focus on a blend of good ol’-fashioned customer service and modern technology to run their business. The two of them are laid back, friendly, eager to answer questions, and extremely knowledgeable. Their staff reflects the same customer-focused mentality and knowledge.

“Our main thing is good customer service and making it feel like you have friends in the store. We want to make sure you leave happy,” says Anthony.

With a selection of a thousand guns in stock, the diverse inventory makes sure there is something for everyone. Plus, you can pick up reloading supplies, ammo, and take care of your gunsmithing needs in one place.


The gunsmithing room







As far as personal preferences, Michael’s favorite gun is the AR-15 for its versatility – “It’s like Legos for adults. You can do anything with it. Change caliber, looks, feel, make it quiet. It’s all interchangeable.” Anthony prefers the AK for its reliability and simplicity of use.

New to the whole gun thing? They have an awesome deal on a TN carry permit class that is given monthly. At just $50, it gives great value for the money. For more seasoned firearm carriers and enthusiasts, there is an AR15 Build class on Sat, May 14th. The class is only $25 (plus parts) and is taught by Ron Carter, who teaches classes to law enforcement around the country. Private classes are also available, and classes like Advanced Pistol Shooting are coming this summer. Classes targeted towards women are also in the works.



Instructor William Hesson, showing the set-up for a gun safety course

Safety and staying up-to-speed with the right laws and restrictions are very important at The Gun Shop. While I was in the store, I overheard Michael politely correcting a gentleman on the ability to carry a gun without a permit in Tennessee (you’re not allowed to). Any guns ordered on the website MUST be picked up at the store; background checks and the right paperwork always apply.

“You have to have common sense with a gun. Pay attention to where you’re pointing one, keep your finger off the trigger. Always check to see if the gun is loaded. We have people come in and point their guns at us and we’re like ‘c’mon man!’ Don’t do that,” Michael comments.

Anthony adds, “Learn about guns. Go home, get familiar with your gun. Be around it, work on it, play around with it. Read the owner’s manual. Most people don’t do that.”

If you don’t want to look at guns or want to browse other stuff too, the trading post section of the store is stocked with a mish mash of goodies (including jewelry!) and a good selection of DVDs and video games, consoles included, at great prices. You can also pawn goods and get a loan. Talk about one stop shop.


Yaaarggggghhhh matey!




Make sure you participate in their rewards program to qualify for discounts, store credit, free gun cleaning, and more. Plus, the store partners with Check-In Angels – every time someone checks in on their Facebook page a donation is made to a good cause.


The rewards system


The Gun Shop and Trading Post is located at 711 W Main St, Livingston, TN. Turn off the main road onto Martin St. to get there.


Hours are Mon-Fri, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

You can also call them at 931-823-7296

Visit their website here

Or check out their Facebook page here

Customer Highlight: Satellite Med

On any given afternoon, you can walk into Satellite Med and find a bustling clinic full of nurses, doctors, technicians, and patients waiting to be seen. The privately funded, faith-based medical center has been around for a decade and sees around 700 patients a week – by appointment and for urgent care.

The Satellite Med staff.

The Satellite Med staff.

Speaking of appointments, you can visit Satellite Med for non-emergencies too – Dr. James Cates specializes in sports medicine and is a family practitioner, and Dr. Christopher Dill is in-house for pediatrics and internal medicine. Dr. Kenna Williams is the surgeon on board. If you do have an urgent care need, chances are you’ll visit with Dr. Carol Berg or Dr. Matthew Bolton.

We were surprised to discover the range of services offered at what appears to be a smaller operation – there’s an on-site lab, medication dispensary, allergy clinic, flu clinic, and a sleep studies department. Need to look below the surface? They can help you with x-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds.

As a business owner, you could decide to use Satellite Med for your personal and business needs; setting up a business account makes billing for services easy. They take care of worker’s compensation claims, standard pre-employment and DOT physicals, and drug screens. If your office is trying to get healthy and lower those insurance premiums, get in touch to talk about health coaching and weight loss.

What sets Satellite Med apart from other clinics in town? Founder and CEO Dr. James Cates established the clinic out of frustration with the traditional medical system. Because they are privately funded, they can do things a little bit differently than other clinics – things like lower prices paired with a cash-fee schedule and encouraging patients by praying with them.

Their mission statement goes like this:

“The Satellite Med team is based on Christian principles, focusing on service to our neighbors. Our purpose is to positively impact the health of our patients by improving the quality and affordability of healthcare using evidence-based medicine and innovative technology. Satellite Med strives to improve the healthcare system by working together with patients to drive traditional medicine into the 21st century.”

Health tips from the people bringing us back to health?

“We’re starting to see more cases of the flu lately, make sure you wash your hands well and come get tested if you’re feeling any symptoms – you don’t want to expose others,” says office manager McKenzie Raab.

Satellite Med is open Mon – Fri, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm, including all holidays except Thanksgiving and Christmas day.

Satellite Med

1120 Sams St, Cookeville, TN 38506

Phone: 931-528-7312

Customer Highlight: Hill Realty

Walking into the Hill Realty office is like walking into the home of your favorite aunt. Rocking chairs on the front porch, rich hardwoods, big furniture, inspirational quotes scattered like art on walls and tables; pictures of family placed here and there.  It’s just as well, because it’s a company that focuses on creating a family-oriented atmosphere of “helping” – both for employees and clients.

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The current building on 10th street was built in 2007, and as a small boutique real estate brokerage, there is passion and space for tailored customer service. Hill Realty prides itself on the extra time and effort to “get folks where they want to be, with care.” It’s what drives the culture of the office and allows them to provide consistently impressive results.


When asked if they list non-luxury homes Donnita says, “Oh honey, yes! In order to do the big homes you have to do the little homes. You get the same treatment big house or small. I love seeing the first time homebuyers. There’s nothing like the gratification of a first time homebuyer.”

Speaking of Donnita, you definitely can’t talk about the home of your favorite aunt without talking about the aunt herself. A bonafide fireball, Donnita has been the #1 realtor if choice in our area for 35 consecutive years. Born and raised in Putnam County, she attended Upperman High School and went on to obtain a marketing degree from Tennessee Tech. She leads her small team of agents (Kayla and Kelly) and support staff in ongoing quality work.


“I currently have the finest team I’ve ever had. They are very dedicated and that makes a difference for everyone. Each person supports the whole office. My husband is the office manager and he does a mighty fine job keeping us in line.”


Kayla Wooley and Kelly Morgan having fun on the job

A typical day for the #1 realtor has her rising at 4:30 or 5:00 am to get some time with her Bible before she heads into the office around 6:00 am. Early morning gives her uninterrupted time to get the day going. When the rest of the office comes to life, she’s ready to roll with appointments, listings, and all of the other tidbits – often unplanned – that come with running a business. Sometimes they don’t wrap up the day until 8:00 or 9:00 pm.



“I’m highly energized,” she says. “I have long days but your mind tells you when to stop. Usually when I get home I’m done. I’m out.”

Outside of her life as a realtor, Donnita takes time to refresh by indulging in motivational books and films and is also a wife, mother, and grandmother.

“In our downtime my husband and I try to spend time doing things together. Just him and I. Oh! And I’m expecting a grandbaby in July. This is very exciting. Very exciting to receive the blessings of a little child.”

One of her mantras is thankfulness – as evidenced by the license plate on her car. “When I drive through town I want people to know hey, I’m thankful for them. In life, without gratitude, you’re getting nowhere…if you say thank you a thousand times a day, you gotta feel good!”

Donnita's license plate 066

The most important thing for the Hill’s personal home? Key word: comfort. “Comfort to me is when you go to your home and know the walls are covered with wonderful memories from family. Go home and see their sweet faces in a picture. That’s comfort to me. Figuring out how blessed you really are.”


When asked for final thoughts, Donnita pauses and thinks for a minute. When she finally speaks, it’s with confidence –

“There are lots of misconceptions about being a realtor. Oh you know, people talk about all the craziness and all the hard work. Really, the dedication and professionalism of the realtor you choose and their integrity goes a long, long way.

Integrity. Do what you’re going to do and then do it. How hard is that? Over-deliver and under-promise. Don’t promise things you’re not going to be able to do. Yeah. Just do the little things that matter to people.”

To contact Hill Realty:

Call 931-520-7009

Visit 818 E 10th St, Cookeville 38501

Browse the web at

For a chance to win this lovely wall plaque:


happy home wall plaque

Just leave a comment at the end of this post tell us what makes a home comfortable for you and you’ll be entered to win! The winner will be announced this Friday.