MY SEVIERVILLE: JAKE OGLE
Entrepreneur Jake Ogle shares his interests in Sevierville, Tennessee.
Two members of the ninth generation of a family that’s been based in Tennessee since the 1800s, brothers Jake and Taylor Ogle opened their newest business venture, Ogle Brothers General Store, in November 2019. Located in Sevierville, Tennessee, it’s on land known as Five Oaks that the family has owned since 1925, near some of the Ogle’s other businesses including Five Oaks Farm Kitchen and The Lodge at Five Oaks, among others.
Jake is a partner at Five Oaks Development Group, one of the area’s largest developers. We recently caught up with the business owner for his take on Sevierville.
What led to Ogle Brothers General Store?
We wanted to create a unique, authentic and experiential retail concept. The commercialization of Five Oaks started in the early 1990s with Tanger Outlets at Five Oaks, which was originally the Five Oaks Factory Outlets. We’ve continued to develop the property around that, now focusing on the west side of Five Oaks. The Lodge at Five Oaks was originally built as a Fairfield Inn & Suites then renovated and rethemed in 2018. Shortly after that we developed the 17,000-square-foot Five Oaks Farm Kitchen, and now the Ogle Brothers General Store. All three businesses I just mentioned are themed a little differently, but they all follow a true story and celebrate the history of our family, the community, and farm life in Southern Appalachia.
What’s in stock and how often will items change?
We offer a variety of handmade goods from local artisans as well as curated collections of handpicked items we know you will love. You’ll find clothing, food (including local jams and jellies), souvenirs, candy, toys, local arts and crafts (including a pottery line that’s made on site so folks can see it being made), and much more that embodies our family, community, and Southern spirit. We’re truly an authentic general store so all the items we stock have a purpose and are centered around things that go back to history, family, and community farm life in the South.
We have a kitchen where you can watch demonstrations plus try some soups, ciders, and other items. We have baked goods. One of the bigger themes of this entire retail concept it to create an experience that goes beyond making a purchase by enjoying our property overlooking Five Oaks and the Smoky Mountains. Hopefully this spring, we’ll build a stage for demonstrations and live musical performances, so you can grab one of the rocking chairs around the perimeter of the building and make yourself at home.
We’ll have an evolving product mix that’s changing all the time. In 2020, we’ll hopefully introduce a farmers’ market component. We also hope to host some festivals, but we’re in the early stages of working on that.
What does Sevierville mean to you?
I’ve always thought of it as the hometown of the Smokies—it’s home to a vast majority of the area’s population base. Shopping is a big part of Sevierville and its history. I grew up in Gatlinburg, but my grandmother spent the last 60 or 70 years of her life in Sevierville so it’s been home to me, too.
How would you describe Sevierville to someone who’s never been there before?
It’s the shopping epicenter of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park tourism area. The great thing about Sevierville is the diversity of shopping options it provides: At Tanger Outlets Sevierville there’s over 450,000 square feet of national brands, but you’ll also find shopping experiences that you can only find in Sevierville like The Apple Barn & Cider Mill and Smoky Mountain Knife Works .
What do you most enjoy about working in Sevierville?
The people in the community. People look out for each other. I think there’s a general consensus and shared mission that tourism is a major driver of our economy, so people want to present it in the best possible way by creating quality products and projects and focus on providing the best Southern hospitality.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Sevierville?
Five Oaks Farm Kitchen was inspired by my great grandmother Blanche Ogle, one of the best cooks of her generation. She had a culinary gift and a lot of her recipes are featured on the menu that offers Southern cuisine. I also enjoy Holston’s Kitchen , a great local concept that offers general American fare.
Where would you take a date in Sevierville?
Horseback riding at Five Oaks Riding Stables , which is located at Five Oaks behind Ogle Brothers General Store. Guided horseback rides are offered throughout almost 80 acres of the original Five Oaks farm. You’re on trails, typically through valleys and up rolling hills, to reach a place where there’s a 360-degree panoramic view of Five Oaks with the Smoky Mountains in the distance.
Where is the best place to take the kids?
One of the neatest attractions that kids really enjoy is Ripley’s Old McDonald’s Farm Mini-Golf at Tanger Outlets. It’s something fun that families can experience together in a convenient location.
Favorite place on a rainy day?
The Apple Barn & Cider Mill is an authentic retail concept centered around apples. It has every type of product you can imagine, all derived from apples, including pies, candles, baked goods, baskets and so much more! It’s a really unique experience and it’s been there a long time.
What would most surprise an out-of-towner about Sevierville?
For a city with its population, the variety of retail and dining options that it presents.
Do you have a favorite hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
Grotto Falls, which is 2.6 miles. It features a waterfall and is one of the easier waterfall trails to hike, which is why I like it!