Sun, April 21, 2024

CSRA has a new place to flock for entrepreneurs and remote workers

Urban and Rural Roost is creating a new way to work in the CSRA where entrepreneurs, remote workers, startup founders, and podcast hosts can gather for interaction and stimulate their creative juices.

There’s a reason for the business name Urban and Rural Roost and it’s another bit of “out of the box” thinking by founder, Gary Finnan.

“Aiken merges the urban and rural beautifully,” he said. “The area where we are, 703 Richland Avenue East, might be considered urban blight, but I believe this area has great potential and will grow. When it does, we will be a roost for workers who want to be part of a creative flock of support instead of being a loner working on a computer at a coffee shop.”


The business logo features a flock of starlings. It’s referred to as murmuration when birds flock together, offering safety in numbers and allowing them to exchange information such as where to feed. It reflects Finnan’s goal for Urban and Rural Roost.

The Urban and Rural Roost logo captures a murmuration of starlings. Owner, Gary Finnan hopes to create a roost for entrepreneurs and other workers.

“Some people come in just to get a good internet connection,” Finnan said. “We had a lady from Pennsylvania show up recently who was visiting family in Aiken. She needed to work a few days remotely and we provided that space.”

That experience only scratches the surface of his ultimate goal. He has partnered with the Aiken Chamber, Aiken Center for the Arts, and Augusta Podcasts, which developed GetUp Productions to produce podcasts for Aiken businesses. Urban and Rural Roost also features Stories from the Big Chair to bring in small groups for discussions similar to TED talks.

According to Finnan, “It’s unique because we also want to blur the lines between work and play. We even have a backyard space to host events or just sit and have a beer while creating and connecting with a few coworkers.”

If his idea sounds like risky business, here is a little background: Finnan and his wife, Eva, were visiting Aiken and pulled in to check out Sparkleberry Farm on their way to the airport for the flight back to Sonoma County California.

Gary Finnan makes a presentation to the Aiken Chamber of Commerce explaining his goals for Urban and Rural Roost.

“We came for a weekend and left with a farm,” he said. “Sometimes the adventure takes you there.”

On the other hand, Finnan has a history as a published author, entrepreneur, creative expression mentor, and building successful hospitality ventures for the California wine industry.

Few things thrill him more than making interaction happen or doing what “brings you to life,” whether it’s in his homeland of Scotland, where he grew up in Zimbabwe, or in his adopted new home base of Aiken.

“We are committed to tying everything together in this community and using the resources to bring a presence for businesses who need help,” he said. “Something that fascinates me is that people are often told they can’t do something and believe it to be true, but it’s not. Urban and Rural Roost is here to bring ideas to life.”

Finnan finds inspiration for his big plans in these words from a poem by David Whyte: “Anything or anyone who does not bring you alive is too small for you.”

For more information on Urban and Rural Roost, click here or call 803-335-1455.

Editor’s Note:
Mitzi Oxford is a veteran broadcaster and features writer who also worked at the same television station in Columbus, Georgia as Augusta’s Brad Means! 

If you have a South Carolina story idea for Mitzi, please email her at

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