“I can’t thank Cave City and its people enough. I showed up with nothing, and you gave me opportunity. That’s more than I can ask for.” Shaun Johnston, Sr.
Mary Beth Sallee
Reporter, Hart Co. News-Herald
Although Shaun Johnston, Sr. isn’t a native of Barren County, there is no doubt that it has a part of his heart – especially in Cave City.
As the Owner and CEO of Caveman Customs and Restoration, Johnston has spent the past 10 years not only sustaining his own business in Cave City, but also doing what he can to support other small businesses as well.
“I know firsthand that the American dream is sometimes a nightmare,” Johnston said. “Owning a small business isn’t easy for anyone. We have the power to make a small business successful. It costs us nothing and brings us together, which we can never have too much of. I feel very strongly about the American dream. Mine became reality, and if I can help you with yours then so be it. There’s a slice of pie for everyone, and let me tell ya folks, it’s a big damn pie. I just want to see success stories. It makes people happy.”
When he first came to Cave City, Johnston said that he was shown support from many local people.
“I come from a place where there aren’t a lot of cheerleaders, and the locals here (in Cave City) have a way of building you up,” Johnston explained. “They have big hearts and helped me, when I didn’t have my own business, with food, rent, bills and employment, and again when I did start a business.”
Therefore, Johnston knows the importance of giving back and makes it his goal to support children and families of the community. One of those ways was by hosting a Bike or Treat on Broadway last year in which children could have somewhere to safely trick or treat for the night.
“I love Halloween. It’s the biggest holiday in our family, and Cave City seems to love it, too,” Johnston said. “Bike or Treat will be happening again on Broadway in Cave City this year! I hope to get more people involved and have it grow into something truly special…It was also for the kids and community to help bring people together, and it’s a lot of fun for us all!”
Because of his support of small businesses in Cave City, as well as his dedication to bringing family-friendly events to the community and giving to those in need, Johnston has been selected as Hometown Hero for the month of May. He was nominated by April Isaacs.
“Shaun is the biggest advocate for small business you will ever find. He makes it a point to not only patronize and support local businesses, but he also shares and refers them to everyone he talks to,” Isaacs wrote. “He is constantly sharing and making posts on his social media accounts to promote others. In addition to this, he contributes to any fundraising/donation campaigns that he is made aware of for the city/community and its citizens. He never makes it known or public that he has helped out a community member in need. He likes for it to be kept private, but he is always one of the first to offer help when someone needs it. There have been more times than I can count (and even more that I’m sure I don’t know about) that he has assisted with food, monetary donations, or just a helping hand. He is always looking for new ideas to bring to the city to help promote growth. Last year, he organized Bike or Treat on Broadway because he wanted another safe place for the children to visit on Halloween. He truly loves the city of Cave City and wants to see it and Barren County continue to grow.”
For Johnston, being named a Hometown Hero may be an honor, but even more so it means that he is part of a town and community that never stops giving.
“I wouldn’t want to do what I do anywhere else in the world,” Johnston said. “I moved to Cave City in 2010. They had just received an award in 2009 for being the best small town in America. In my opinion, they never stop living up to that. It was a well deserved award.”
“It’s an honor to be chosen as a Hometown Hero,” Johnston continued. “It’s flattering because I don’t think of myself like that. I just like helping others and seeing growth in our city and county…I can’t thank Cave City and its people enough. I showed up with nothing, and you gave me opportunity. That’s more than I can ask for.”
On behalf of Jobe Publishing, Inc., the Barren County Progress is honored to recognize Shaun Johnston as a Hometown Hero for his dedication to the small businesses of Cave City and compassion to those in the community.
“It’s an honor to be chosen as a Hometown Hero. It’s flattering because I don’t think of myself like that. I just like helping others and seeing growth in our city and county.” Shaun Johnston, Sr.