Tammy and Dave Bible experienced a lot of small towns before finding their perfect fit in Franklin, PA.
Dave was in the Air Force for 27 years, which kept the couple on the move all throughout the south. Upon retirement, they traveled and RVed full time, before deciding to pick a city and settle down.
Tammy said she couldn’t take the heat any more, and wanted to move north. She wanted to find a town with four seasons, one with charming streetscapes, sidewalks and plenty of activities to enjoy that was located somewhere with easy access to larger cities.
They remembered visiting Pennsylvania and its natural beauty, so all they had to do was find the right town. They spent countless hours looking at Google Street View and were struck by Franklin’s beautiful parks and Victorian architecture. They decided to throw the tent in the truck and come up for a visit to make sure the Internet wasn’t lying about Franklin’s charm. They rolled into Franklin on Applefest weekend, October 2016, and were shocked by the huge festival taking place in this little town. They decided that very day that Franklin was the place for them. Two months later they purchased a house and were full time residents of Franklin by Spring.
They didn’t know a single person in Franklin, but Tammy told her parents they were moving and convinced them to come too. Her father, who is in his 70s, loves how walkable the downtown is, and the whole family enjoys downtown events like Taste of Talent, Taste of Franklin, Applefest and more. They are amazed at the quality of talent at the Barrow-Civic Theatre, and the independent restaurants and businesses in town.
“We love it! Every day spent here solidifies that we picked the right place,” Tammy said.
The couple didn’t just want to live in a town with things happening, they also wanted to become involved with the community by opening their own business.
“We always talked about how cool it would be to live in a small town and own our own business, but had no idea what we would do exactly.”
They considered numerous possibilities, before landing on an olive oil and vinegar store, similar to ones they’ve visited in other small towns. Tammy took advantage of the Small Business Jump Start entrepreneurial training program to learn the basics of business, and the Bibles opened The Olive Vault inside the Liberty Building in downtown Franklin in the summer of 2019.
They offer samples on open days, and experiment with different products like Balsamic Vinegar Whipped Cream, and try to get their customers excited about different flavors.
“If we can get them to sample one of the vinegars, they’re amazed how good they taste,” Dave said.
They love knowing that their business helps add to the downtown landscape that they enjoy by dining and shopping local.
They still like to explore, and have already visited Niagara Falls, New York City, Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, Harrisburg, and other cities that are within a day’s drive of Franklin. They were also pleasantly surprised by the number of outdoor recreational activities on the area’s trailways and the proximity to Cook and Allegheny National Forest.
“We have traveled A LOT so we have seen a lot of towns. I don’t think you’ll ever find a small town that has people that work harder to make the town as amazing as Franklin is,” Tammy said.