Tullahoma treasure Couch’s was one of the first places to visit for the national television show “American Pickers” after a COVID-19 hiatus.
Couch’s had the special visitors Tuesday as Mike Wolfe and his brother Rob Wolfe of “American Pickers” came by the shop to find some picks and hear some stories.
“American Pickers” is a History Channel show where hosts Wolfe and Frank Fritz travel the country to find hidden gems and learn about their history.
Owner Candy Couch said the show sent out a scout a few weeks ago to look around the store and learn about the store’s history to see if it was pick worthy. She said the scout emphasized that the story was as important as the items themselves.
“He told us it wasn’t only about the stuff, it’s the story,” Couch said.
This isn’t the first time Couch’s has been featured by the show. Couch said during the Christmas season a few years prior she got a call with the caller identification saying “American Pickers” on the phone.
“I told the people who were in the store and said it’s American Pickers, the show,” Couch said.
After sharing pleasantries, the show’s representative asked about the store’s history and what they had in it. Being the fourth generation store owner, Couch admitted it was hard to answer the question.
Couch said, “We have 126 years’ worth of stuff. How do you explain that?”
She added that at the time she had a few customers in the store and asked if she could call them back. She was told they would reach out to her and a few years later, they called back.
“They sought after us, we didn’t look for them,” Couch said.
After the scout’s visit, they filled out the necessary paperwork and they were chosen soon afterward. Couch said there’s a lot of prep work as they don’t just come into town and start shooting the show. One of the biggest things they had to do before filming was everyone had to get tested for COVID-19.
If anyone tested positive for COVID-19 then the deal was off, according to Couch.
Couch said everyone tested the week before but still hadn’t gotten their results. She said the show was vigilante enough to bring in an EMT and a nurse from Atlanta to test them Saturday. Couch said they had equipment that could get the results in about twenty minutes.
“They had their rules big time,” Couch said.
She said they closed the store and Daddy Billy’s, for security and COVID reasons during the video shooting, and had lunch brought to them from Spinelli’s. Couch added that the crew was there from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and it was a wonderful day
“They were absolutely wonderful and we think we have new friends in them,” Couch said. “We’re planning to hear from them again soon.”
According to Couch, there were people all over the street taking pictures as the city helped setup parking for the show’s vans and trucks.
“They had vans, rider trucks and Mike actually drove a Mercedes Airstream, which was left running for his dog,” Couch said.
Couch revealed they were told the episode will come out in the fall as the show has also been impacted by COVID-19 and Couch’s was one of the first picks since they were able to do. She said they picked a variety of valuable pieces like tools, license plates, photographs, radio pieces, advertising signs and an old soundboard.
Couch added she was thrilled when they asked to come to the store and how it is a great chance for Tullahoma.
“It’s such a great gift for Tullahoma that they were here,” said Couch, “Tullahoma will be nationally recognized when it airs.”
Couch’s is located on 117 N. Atlantic St. in Downtown Tullahoma and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is also open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and closed on Sundays.
Kyle Murphy may be reached at email@example.com.