When Gene Gantt’s grandfather said to him in North Carolina, 'go over the mountain and make something of yourself,' he took the command to heart and followed the loving edict with determination. Grandad would be proud.
For Gantt, over the mountain, turned out to be Livingston, Tennessee. Making something of himself meant becoming a successful respiratory therapist, the owner of a medical equipment company, restaurateur, restoration pioneer, and preservationist. And those are just a few of the interests on this busy man’s list. But when you ask him how his career made the transition from respiratory to restaurant, he’s the first to tell you. He has no idea.
From Iron Lung to Iron Skillet
Gantt purchased the historic building for the 1806 General Store on the Livingston square because - like any savvy entrepreneur - he saw a need and filled it. Gantt already owns several buildings here. The front window of his respiratory consulting business houses one of only 32 Iron Lungs in the country. This one was made famous by tourists who take selfies with the rare collector's item.