The Cecils are dedicated to growing the Marietta Square.
By Lindsay Field Penticuff
Kacey and Hillery Cecil love living and working in Marietta. And we mean love!
The couple, both of whom were born and raised in Marietta, and were even delivered by the same doctor at Wellstar Kennesaw Hospital, attended Harrison High School, and pretty much live and breathe all things Marietta. “We were born here, and we’re going to die here,” declares Hillery Cecil, formerly Hillery LeSueur. “We want to make the place where we live better, and we want it better for everyone around us as well. We can only improve each other’s lives. …Marietta shows up big for its people, and we do as well.”
This is why they are so dedicated to helping the area grow, more specifically the Marietta Square. Their efforts center around the historic and picturesque Marietta Square. Hillery articulates their vision, “Marietta is a gem that’s been overlooked for too long. We see its beauty and potential and are committed to elevating it.”
Their investment in the area is evident through their ventures, including the real estate firm Cecil & Campbell Advisors, The Foxglove event venue, 131 Le Fleur floral shop, the Marietta Proper Wine Bar and Café, and a variety of commercial investment properties.
Located at 54 Atlanta St. SE in Marietta, the Cecils discovered The Foxglove space in 2019 while looking for a site to open Hillery’s flower shop, 131 Le Fleur. Originally a Pure filling station with a dealership in the back, Hillery says she didn’t quite know what they should do with the space when she first saw it, but Kacey knew almost immediately.
“He’s just so good at what he does,” she adds. “Kacey has this vision, sees something I don’t, and he already has a plan for it. So, as soon as he saw it, he knew it should be an event space. …We knew nothing about event spaces, but Kacey said we’d figure it out.”
The name, Hillery says, came to mind while looking for a name for her flower shop. “I thought about The Foxglove, but it sounded like a place you go, like a destination, so when it actually became a destination, that was a good fit for the name,” she says.
“We opened three months prior to the pandemic, which was a bit unsettling, but looking back a blessing in disguise,” Kacey adds. “All the other venues were forced to cancel and unable to rebook because of the backlog, our calendar filled up seemingly overnight.” Kacey also gave much credit to Marietta locals for spreading the word relentlessly.
They host all esteemed events: weddings, corporate functions, social and nonprofits, and even political gatherings. Beyond elegant weddings, they’ve had the opportunity to host the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Gov. Brian Kemp’s fundraiser, and the filming of an Aretha Franklin documentary. They have recently invested heavily into their corporate events offering program. In an increasingly remote work environment and through his background in Atlanta office leasing, Kacey says they want to partner with the best businesses in Cobb. “By partner, I mean host multiple events per year for businesses to reconnect and stay connected with customers and each other. Knowing firsthand how offices have downsized, we consider The Foxglove an alternate office location for businesses to rent monthly or quarterly to maintain relationships.”
The Foxglove aesthetics and service seem a step above a traditional interior country club room or typical conference facilities. It’s an experience wrapped in history.
Adjacent to The Foxglove is 131 Le Fleur, Hillery’s floral shop, which plays a significant role in complementing the events at their venue. The name, a nod to her maiden name, symbolizes the harmonious blend of their personal and professional lives. Hillery’s flowers are artistic and elegant as her brand motto states, “wild and refined.”
Marietta Proper Wine Bar and Café
Their latest venture, Marietta Proper Wine Bar and Café, recently opened at 9 West Park Square. It is centered around, you guessed it… the local community to gather and enjoy personally selected fine coffee, wines and whiskey from around the globe. “Out of The Foxglove family came our preferred caterer, Will Adamek, of Dogwood Catering,” Kacey says.
While discussing putting a wine bar across the street from one of his commercial buildings just off the Marietta Square, Kacey says he and Adamek learned the space formerly known as Hamilton Jewelers across from Marietta Pizza Company was becoming vacant for the first time in nearly 40 years. “We were full throttle about to start construction when this space came up,” Kacey says. “We took the asking price, signed the lease, and off we went.” Partnering with Adamek and another close friend of theirs, longtime sommelier Jordan Traylor, the Cecils worked throughout most of 2023 to renovate what would become Marietta Proper, which opens January 2024.
“They each have 20-plus years of experience, plus they CARE, A LOT! Finding partners like them is incredibly rare, and I found two.” Kacey says. “Together they are an unstoppable team; they just needed an amazing space to share their talents.
“We have one of the most prominent corners on the Square, and one of the most historic buildings on the Square,” Kacey continues. “The wine and whiskey club will be hidden by a secret speakeasy door which will guide members down a private entrance to our private wine cave, a dimly lit 150-year-old brick/stone that has been renovated completely. Members will enjoy a variety of exclusive wine and whiskeys, curated pairings, and top-notch service.”
In the mornings, Marietta Proper will serve as a café, and in the evenings, a wine and whiskey bar, serving elevated small plates created by Adamek, and paired with spirits Traylor personally selects. “The pairings will be Proper as well. Intentional with our wine list,” Hillery says. “Jordan and Will have worked together for years and overlap seamlessly.”
There also will be a Marietta Proper pick-up window accessible from the sidewalk, so if someone is shopping and walking around the Marietta Square, they can swing by and grab craft cocktails, whiskey, and wine. “Place your favorite order at the Dutch door, grab it and go shop on the Square,” Kacey says. “Hillery always says I’m more fun to shop with after I’ve had a margarita.”
They are currently accepting applications for the members-only space. Learn more online at mariettaproper.com.
And that’s not all!
Cecil & Campbell Advisors recently launched an exchange platform, Maslow CRE, that Kacey says has the ability to be a “disruptor” in the commercial real estate industry. “It’s an off-market exchange platform where investment property principles, agents and other 3rd party vendors can connect similar to a residential Zillow or Redfin” he says. “It’s a similar model, but completely confidential. We’ve worked on this for a few years and now having launched, receiving fantastic customer feedback and early successes.”
The new website — maslowcre.com — launched in November 2023. It’s an opportunity for Cecil, who has nearly 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, and his team to help kick the firm’s expertise in this industry up a few more notches. “It’s very simple and has everything to do with what’s best for every customer, buyers, sellers, and of course agents,” he says. “It’s meant to solve the communication problem between parties off market while connecting faster with our proprietary algorithm that matches Buyers and Sellers, kind of like a dating site, minus the long walk on the beach.”
One user of the platform shares, “As promised, Maslow CRE delivered on our sale leaseback. Within 48 hours, they crafted a comprehensive marketing package of digital, hard copy, and video format. On day three, we were introducing the property to vetted investors, and by day four, we had an offer surpassing our existing one.”
But there’s more!
The Cecils have kept it pretty hush-hush, but they are setting sail this July on a yearlong adventure with their two children, Charlotte (12) and Barrett (11) — dogs and cat included. “We bought a sailboat and are pulling the kids out of school next year to homeschool them to sail around the Mediterranean Sea and then back over the pond,” says Kacey. “Teenage years are in full swing, so Hillery and I hope this experience will be great for them and bring us closer together.”
The Cecils’ 52-foot sailboat is a Neel Trimaran and is currently being built in France. “Believe it or not, we’re not sailors, but we have been earning our certificates and are almost ready to go,” Kacey says, “Hillery has a relentless belief in me and never shied away from a crazy adventure idea, so they just keep getting better as we go.
“It’s all about the life experiences with each other, which is super exciting to me. The struggles are almost as rewarding as the wins at times. It’s kind of crazy to say it out loud, but doing it is even more exciting!” concludes Kacey.
Marietta Proper Wine Bar and Café
9 W Park Square
Marietta, GA 30060
Monday-Wednesday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
54 Atlanta St. SE
Marietta, GA 30060
131 Le Fleur
54 Atlanta St. SE, Suite A
Marietta, GA 30060