We talked to: Miss Florence Diner
We had a lovely chat with Miss Florence Diner's owner, Georgie Brunton, earlier this week. We love the hustle and bustle and old school vibe that lives on in our neighborhood diner.
How many years has Miss Florence Diner been open?
77 years. The diner was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. I assumed ownership in April of 2018, so I’ve been there for a little over a year now.
What do you love most about owning a business here?
I really feel like Florence is going through a renaissance period--there’s a lot of positive growth and change happening. For example, I recently hosted the first Chamber event they’d had in 13 years, and really focused on including many of the businesses here in Florence, including Murduff’s, JJ’s Tavern, Florence Hardware, and others. Other events that encourage business owners to get to know each other and offer support and guidance include the Little Taste of Florence, Florence Music on the Porch Series, and the Chicken BBQ. This is especially important to me as a single business owner who is not originally from Florence or Northampton. I truly feel like I have some wonderful friends and mentors in this unique community.
What made you decide to take over Miss Florence Diner when it became available?
I have had many years of experience in the industry, as I spent summers working at Louie B’s in Southwick (where I grew up) beginning at age 13 until I was 30. After that, I worked at a corporate job for a while, but always felt a connection to Massachusetts, especially since my folks still live in Southwick. When Miss Flo’s was up for sale, I kept seeing it pop up in my Facebook feed, and it piqued my interest. I eventually decided to take the leap, as it just made sense to be in this area to be close to my family and continue raising my son, who loves going to Northampton High and being able to walk downtown with his friends on a regular basis. In essence, I feel like it was a “kismet” kind of situation, and it’s been a great experience so far.
What positive changes do you see happening in Florence/Northampton?
There is some great new energy bubbling up in Florence, as well as new businesses opening--and many women-owned businesses, too. This is so great and necessary for growth and progress. I also sense that people are becoming more involved, and want their ideas and opinions to count and matter. There seems to be a more positive vibe in general--I notice more and more people pausing on the street to chat and exchange personal updates and stories. There’s an ever-growing sense of community and forward movement.
Are there some upcoming events in Florence/Northampton or at Miss Flo’s that you are excited about?
I always love the Music on the Porch Series, as well as the Chicken BBQ. It’s a little quiet right now at this time of year, but we are already looking forward to the Halloween Party we have for the staff at Miss Flo’s. It’s so fun seeing what costumes people will show up in, and if we’ll even recognize each other!