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Something to crow about

Under the unlikely name "Chicken Scratch," partners Selene and Jeffrey Gribble and Sylvia Bernstein have converted a one-time Army barracks into a clever shop filled with treasures. The "high-end general store" opened in June 2000.

Perhaps you've noticed the sign at 3725 Powers Ferry Road, just behind Sardis United Methodist Church off Roswell Road. Sardis is the oldest church in Atlanta and the third-oldest in Georgia.

The church was the site for several years of an annual Fig Festival, a fund-raising event created when the Currier & Ives lookalike building needed a new steeple. The festival was discontinued once the restoration funds were in hand for the National Register church, but you can still find great fig preserves at the church's new neighbor.

Chicken Scratch owes its name to a live rooster, Rupert, who was adopted by the partners and is on hand to greet customers Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The shop is crammed with unusual gift items, art, toys, home furnishings, books, skin and sun care products, greeting cards and, of course, fig preserves (now produced by Prissie's in Vidalia, Georgia).

The shop creates special gift baskets (Rupert likes to "oversee" this facet of the business), which can be ordered by phone: 404-995-0070 with all major credit cards.

The shop's theme, "Promoting the Simple Art of Being Happy," is often echoed by Rupert, who frequently crows when he thinks a customer has found just the right gift.

Partner and Sardis United Methodist Church member Selene Gribble, a Georgia native from Rome, hopes to revive the annual festival this spring. Call for the dates.

Next door, Corinne Adams, Celeste Williams and Carol Brantley have created a sunny artists' co-op called "Wing and a Prayer," reflecting both the nearness of the church and the aspirations of the artists. Visitors are welcome to browse through the studios, where artists work independently in a variety of media and finished pieces are for sale. Wing and a Prayer also holds an open house every fall. For more information, call 404-231-1206, or visit www.chickscratch.com.

For more information about the church, call 404-237-6060.

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