ONEIDA, Tenn. (WATE) — Governor Bill Lee was in Oneida at Gather Coffee Lounge as a part of his ongoing effort to honor businesses across the state.

Lee praised the shop as the “perfect example of how we create community, create opportunity in rural Tennessee.” Gather Coffee is currently working to open a second location and according to the governor has plans to open shops across the state.

The coffee shop opened in October of 2020, shortly after the owners, Scott and Kristin McNamara moved to Tennessee from Oregon. The owner says that it has flourished since opening and credits part of this to the governor’s COVID-19 response plan.

I’m really proud of this county, just in the two and a half years I’ve been here I’ve seen a lot of really positive things happening here,” said Scott McNamara, the CEO and Co-Founder of Gather Coffee. “I think it’s wonderful that the governor recognizes some of the more rural areas of the state and wants to come up and spend some time here.”