meet kranberry kathy

"There are no strangers, just friends we've yet to meet!"  Kathy Aerts - also referred to as Kranberry Kathy, just Kranberry, and mom - was born and raised in St. Petersburg Florida.  While in her early 20's, Kranberry visited North Georgia and was sold!  In 1979 the family, kids and Tramp the dog were packed in a u-haul and they headed north towards Dahlonega. 

She raised her family of four, worked at a local daycare and ran her own craft business for 20 years - eventually purchasing the Wooden Pitchfork gift shop once the kids got a little older.  Kranberry changed the name and set up shop in a new location - the historic Woodsmen of the World building on Dahlonega's town square.  Cranberry Corners was born!
The warm and wonderful spirit of the new building combined with Kathy's gift for gab soon attracted a steady stream of daily local visitors - or 'nuggets'.  Eventually Cranberry Corners became a gathering place of sorts where customers and friends swapped hellos and stories, received advice, and maybe even sometimes purchased a little something!  One day a customer quipped that the store was like a church because of the fellowship and good feeling you left with - and it was then that the nickname 'Church of the Cranberry' was born!

Kathy Aerts has been the driving force behind her store since 1995, and she's a tireless supporter of everything Dahlonega has to offer as well.  She and her staff annually spearhead Operation Wise Man, a care package program for deployed troops.  She started this community involvement project at the beginning of the original Gulf War and has continued the tradition every year since!  If you see a flash of light streak past your eyes on any given festival weekend, it's probably Kathy - buzzing about volunteering and organizing.  Judging by Kranberry's actions, her favorite saying could double as her life's motto: "There are no strangers, just friends we've yet to meet!"