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Business Pulse: 7-13-14

Matt Sands, left, and Josh Baker are opening Topz Frozen Yogurt this Friday. The Main Street business will offer 18 different flavors of soft serve frozen yogurt, including cookies and cream, key lime pie, cotton candy, and traditional favorites like chocolate and vanilla.

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The wait is almost over. Beginning this coming Friday, frozen yogurt will be flowing freely on Main Street at Topz Frozen Yogurt Café. The new business is located across from Citizens Tri-County Bank.
Topz has been over three months in the making as owners Josh and Monica Baker, and Matt and Anna Sands have been working tirelessly to completely remodel the storefront. The renovation looks spectacular with rustic hardwood floors and brick-like walls.
But who is going to be paying much attention to the walls when there are six frozen yogurt machines with three flavors per machine for a total of 18 flavors. I had a sample of the cheesecake yogurt on Friday and am concerned about what this new business might do to my waistline. Delicious yogurt within walking distance of the office is a dangerous combination.
In addition to cheesecake yogurt, other flavors include cotton candy, key lime pie, cookies and cream, cake batter, peanut butter, and basics such as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
“We will have a few flavors that are always our staples,” said Josh. “We’ll mix up our other flavors to provide a variety.”
As far as pricing, Josh and Matt say people have asked if it’s the type of yogurt place where you pile on the toppings then weigh your cup at the end. Customers will be able to pile on the toppings with dozens of toppings to choose from, including fresh fruit. But there won’t be any weighing at the end.
“We decided to do our pricing by the cup size,” said Matt. “That way people know what the price is and they know what to expect. A parent coming in here with three kids won’t get a big surprise at the end when it comes time to pay. We think it will work much better for the customer.”
Matt and Josh are still working to finalize their pricing. There will be several different sizes available, as well as a 32-ounce container you can take home and stick in the freezer. Or if you really like frozen yogurt, you could have a really big treat and eat 32 ounces at once. Don’t tempt me.
“We’re also going to have pies by request,” said Josh. “You can get any flavor you like put in a pie with a graham cracker crust or an Oreo crust and whipped cream on top. They are really good.”
Topz wants to work with community organizations and church groups on special projects. For example, if they have Project Graduation Night at Topz, they will keep the receipts of every customer who comes in and mentions Project Graduation. At the end of the night, they will take a percentage of those receipts and donate the money to Project Graduation.
“We’re a business so we’re obviously here to make money,” said Matt. “But we also want to be a part of the community and that means giving back to the community.”
Topz even has its own mascot, appropriately named Topz the Dog. Josh’s son Holden put on the dog suit Friday to show his Topz pride. Holden, by the way, is a member of the Warren County High School basketball team and he’s excited about the arrival of new coach Chris Sullens. Expect big things from the Pioneers this year.
As for frozen yogurt, Topz will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The only other item the café is going to serve at this time is drinks with the possibility of expanding the menu in the future. For more information, call 474-TOPZ.

Evil Ink is pretty nice

If you’ve been to a swimming pool in recent months you have likely noticed people are crazy about tattoos. Folks are getting tattoos of all shapes and sizes all over their bodies.
I am not a fan, but I have come to realize I am apparently part of the 1 percent of the population which does not have a tattoo. For the other 99 percent who just love tattoos, Evil Ink has opened at 109 Hot Wheels Lane just off Sparta Street. Jimmy McGinness and Jill Sells are the business owners.
“Tattoos and piercings are really popular,” said Jimmy, who has been a tattoo artist for the past 15 years. He has worked at shops in Cookeville and Manchester, but never had a shop in his hometown until Evil Ink. “We can draw pretty much anything you want and we are very clean and very health-conscious.”
Evil Ink will open Tuesday and have regular hours Tuesday thru Saturday beginning at noon each day and going to 8 p.m. on weeknights and 9 or 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The phone number is 474-TATT.
As for the most popular tattoos, Jimmy said it’s hard to say because so many people come in with an original design. He said anchors and crosses are probably the two most popular tattoo designs if he had to name a couple.
He said one of the growing trends is to get a tattoo outlined with black-light ink. When this is done, the ink is not visible in the daylight, but it turns a bright, neon color under the black lights of a dance club or other black-light area. It’s like the black-light posters that were popular 20 or 30 years ago, only your skin is the poster now.
Jimmy says he can do tattoos to cover up scars and he can also tattoo over old tattoos to make them disappear. This is common for names, or tattoos that may be offensive.
“I use a cosmetic ink and match it to your skin tone as closely as possible,” said Jimmy. “Then I go over the old tattoo. After a couple times it covers it up.”
Another big part of the business is body piercings. This includes microdermal implants.
When it comes to the pain of getting a tattoo, Jimmy says the foot and neck are two of the most painful spots. He says he won’t do tattoos on the face.
“I’ve been cussed, slapped and bitten,” said Jimmy when talking about how some customers react to the discomfort of getting a tattoo. “Some people take the pain better than others.”
There is a $35 minimum and tattoos generally range from $50 to $100. Jimmy says he will have a computer set up with Internet access for people who want to surf the Web for tattoo ideas.

Get ready for
Marketville

I would be missing a huge opportunity if I didn’t mention the summer sales spectacular taking place next weekend at Warren County Fairgrounds called Marketville. This has been described by some as the can’t-miss event of the summer, although I’m not exactly sure who those people are. Marketville hours are Saturday, July 19, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This year Marketville is bigger and better than ever and it will be highlighted by the unveiling of the 50th anniversary Mustang in an event arranged thanks to Kidd Ford. The 50th anniversary Mustang is set to be unveiled at 9:30 a.m.
There will be two car shows. One is a special Mustang show, and the other is a traditional car show open to all of your usual classes. Car show registration starts at 8 a.m.
There are dozens and dozens of vendors scheduled to be on hand. There have already been 70 to register, with registration continuing until Wednesday. This includes yard sale vendors, crafters, and food vendors.
There is even a scheduled appearance by an animal dubbed as the world’s smallest horse at a mere 19 inches tall. That is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Marketville is a production of your friendly folks at Southern Standard, your source for local news. We strive to be a community leader and this is one of the many events we schedule throughout the year to help accomplish that goal. Admission is free.

Are you ready for Cruizin?

Local mechanic Jack Redmon is accepting a new challenge. He’s preparing to operate a new bar and grill at Sunnyside Heights called Cruizin that’s set to open at the end of July.
Before Cruizin opens its doors, Jack is doing a complete remodeling project inside the building. He says it will look great by the time it’s done.
“It’s going to have a 1950s and ’60s theme with muscle cars and motorcycles,” said Jack. “We’re building a highway inside that’s going to be completely unique. I’ve served in the military and traveled all over the world and I can’t say I’ve seen a place that will look like this inside. It will be something to see.”
Jack has long worked on vehicles and moved his shop to downtown McMinnville about 18 months ago in the spot next to Hardee’s. The repair shop is not going to close. Jack said Cruizin is a new business venture.
“A friend of mine got me interested in doing this so I made the decision to make the investment,” said Jack. “We’re going to serve all types of food. There will be oysters, shrimp, calamari, steak and we’ll also have basket food.”
Jack says he will be glad to give me a tour when everything is finished but he doesn’t want pictures made of the interior just yet. He wants to be up and running by the end of July with a grand opening set for Aug. 2 with two bands. Cruizin is utilizing space from the old Shooters and old Grasshopper buildings so he will have a pretty large bar and grill. Look for more information at a later date.

Billy Wood gets bought out

Back when Billy Wood, Rickey Minton and David Hill formed a partnership and bought the old A.O. Smith building, the plan was to turn cotton seed into a form of biodiesel. That plan never gained much traction, but the group called a quick audible and created Red Road Business Park, a complex where over 10 businesses are currently operational.
One of those entities happens to be McMinnville Police Department, which has been leasing space at Red Road Business Park since November 2009. This created its share of controversy with Billy being a McMinnville alderman and some people not liking the fact he was leasing his property to the city.
Well it’s a controversy no more as Billy has decided to wash his hands of the property and he’s sold his share of Red Road Business Park to Rickey and David. A new deed removing Billy from ownership was filed with the county July 3.
“This is something we’ve talked about for several months,” said Billy. “David and Rickey have been partners at Triangle Nursery for eons so we figured the easiest way to do this is for them to be the partners together on this.”
If you need any type of commercial space, Red Road Business Park is a great place to consider. The building is now home to a boat manufacturer, a nursery supplier, and even housed an indoor batting cage for two summers.
I asked Billy if this move is perhaps signaling he will mount another run for alderman, but he is currently playing his cards close to his vest. He said he’s still undecided on another run for alderman.
If this is Billy’s last rodeo, I think we need to give him a medal for his years of service to the city. Not a really expensive gold medal, more of a cheap medal that’s a symbolic gesture.

Old print shop
for sale

Remember when Pioneer Printing was open on Sparta Street? If you do, you have a pretty good memory because that was back in 2008.
Since then the property has been vacant, although owner Dan Cline has only recently been trying to sell it. There had been a big realty sign in the front and when that realty sign came down and I saw activity there, I figured there might be a new owner.
My calculations were incorrect. When I stopped by Friday, Dan told me he is still the owner and he’s is in the midst of several upgrades such as paint and new carpet. He said he is now trying to sell the property on his own.
“This is a good business location,” said Dan. “This building worked well for our purposes which was the print shop. Right now it’s a blank canvas for somebody to get some use out of.”
The location is great on heavily traveled Sparta Street.
“The traffic is good, sometimes too good if you’ve ever tried to pull out of here,” said Dan.
When thinking about what might be a nice fit for that location and building, Dan said a check advance business would work great there. Yes it would, but we hardly need another one of those in McMinnville.
As for other possibilities, it’s too small to be a Mexican restaurant. It’s probably big enough to be a tobacco shop. It would work as a hair studio. Let’s see, what else opens in McMinnville?
If you’d like more information, give Dan a call at 474-9792.

That’s all folks

I have scoured the corners of Warren County to uncover all the business news possible. To report tips, call 473-2191 or email editor@southernstandard.com


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