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Business Pulse - Another Dollar General may be coming
Dollar General.jpg
Dollar General has become the backbone of what we stand for in America – quick and easy. There’s widespread speculation Warren County could be getting its 13th Dollar General store on Smithville Highway not far from Delores Market. Pictured is the Dollar General on Sparta Street.

It’s kind of humorous really.

We all complain about having 147 or so Dollar Generals in Warren County, yet we’re all eager to have just one more.

For the record, my unofficial count has us at 12 Dollar General stores. So why not 13?

The wild rumor that’s circulating is that a new Dollar General is in the works on Smithville Highway not far from Delores Market. The Dollar General would be on the same side of the highway as Delores about a half mile toward town on land recently purchased by home builder Connan Jones.

I called Connan for a comment on Friday, but it being Fourth of July weekend and all, he wasn’t able to get back to me. That just opens the door for me to speculate and my speculation can be right on occasion.

According to property tax records, Connan purchased 9.5 acres along Smithville Highway. The back portion of that property has been divided into tracts, which seems to indicate homes will be built there.

That’s a great sign because we sure need more homes. Everything I hear from those in the real estate business indicates Warren County needs more houses in all price ranges.

What’s in question is the front part of the property along Smithville Highway where a Dollar General would sit just perfectly. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

I know the consensus among the community seems to be that we: 1) have too many Dollar Generals, and 2) have too many Mexican restaurants. I tend to think otherwise.

I think we definitely need another Dollar General in Irving College and we could probably support at least two more Mexican restaurants, especially one in Westwood. This is all a long way of saying Warren County could be getting Dollar General No. 13 near Delores Market. I believe it could do spectacular business there.

Oral surgeon

On the way

The dental office on Sparta Street that was the home for Dr. Donald Wilson for decades is in the process of getting a complete remodel.

When renovation is finished, it will serve as a satellite office for Plateau Oral and Facial Surgery, a Cookeville-based operation owned by Dr. Cortland Caldemeyer.

Dr. Caldemeyer is a renowned oral surgeon who has practiced in places as far away as San Diego, Calif. He’s been a Cookeville resident for six years and his practice is thriving which is why he’s looking to expand and add an office here in McMinnville.

When I stopped by Friday, a remodeling crew was hard at work. When I asked when Dr. Caldemeyer wanted to move in, I was told two months ago. We all know how that goes.

Renovation work is projected to be complete in the next two to three months so we’ll all have to keep our eyes open for this new addition to our community, which is a good one.

New business

Graces Rock Island

The Rock Island business community is thriving. Traffic is heavy and people coming into this area have money to spend.

Rock Island State Park manager Damon Graham said on Friday that 800,000 people visited our state park from May 2020 to May 2021. That’s an awful lot of people.

Looking to capitalize on the swarm of tourists visiting our county, Jan and Wil Lowe have opened Rock Island Emporium, a charming store that features a little bit of everything.

“Rock Island is busy all the time now,” said Jan. “To me, the park is so much nicer than Fall Creek Falls.”

We have a great state park, no doubt, and Rock Island Emporium is filled with just about everything. This includes woodwork, jewelry, salsa and jelly, old tools, home décor items, glassware, plates, and a wide assortment of collectibles.

If you’re in the area, I suggest you stop by to see what’s happening. On Friday, Kailey Williams was hard at work making beaded jewelry. 

I understand some of the woodwork was made by none other than Jeff Golden.

Jan and Wil are nice folks who have transformed the building formerly owned by the gas company into a neat store.

“It’s been a lot of challenging work, but it’s been fun,” said Wil. “The traffic on this road is great. Usually it’s a solid line of campers.”

Lola the dog is ready to greet customers and Wil jokes that she’s for sale for the low price of $2.5 million.

Jan said they bought the property around 10 years ago, turned it into a residence, and lived in it for a few years. It would make a really cool hangout.

But now they’ve converted it to retail space and are ready for customers Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is (931) 331-1007.

fresh Peaches

Have arrived

Apparently, people just love fresh Georgia peaches. And I mean many, many people.

The Georgia Peach Peddler has set up a tent in the Plaza Shopping Center parking lot near Walgreen’s and business has been hectic. When I stopped by the booth on Friday, customers were swarming like yellow jackets.

Brad Durham of Southern Standard fame is operating the peach booth. 

Brad says the response has been tremendous.

“We’ve seen a lot of customers who bought peaches from us last year through Covenant Academy,” said Brad. “They loved the peaches and they are back for more.”

The peaches being sold on Friday were picked from a peach farm in Woodbury, Ga., on Tuesday. It’s almost a little too soon to eat, according to Brad.

“You have to let them ripen to get the most sweetness,” said Brad. “Some people like to let them ripen for 2-3 days. I’m more of a 4-5 day guy.”

In an interesting circle of life, the peach trees were purchased from Warren County nurseries and then planted on a sprawling farm in Georgia. Sean Lennon is the farmer and he says he has some 70,000 peach trees.

In between peach sales, Brad wanted to tell his faithful newspaper readers that he will return to the Standard in the fall to cover Warren County football and other great sports. Brad has been greatly missed since he decided to take a sabbatical to concentrate on school fundraising.

For anyone who would like to experience the mouth-watering sensation of indulging in a fresh peach from the Georgia Peach Peddler, the booth will be at Plaza Shopping Center for all of July. Due to popular demand, Brad says he will even be open on the Fourth of July beginning at 12 p.m. noon until they all sell out.

The Georgia Peach Peddler days and hours of operation from July 1–31 are:

Wednesday: 12–2 p.m.; 4–6 p.m.

Thursday: 12–2 p.m.; 4–6 p.m.

Friday: 12–2 p.m.; 4–6 p.m.

Saturday: 8–10 a.m.; 12–2 p.m.; 4–6 p.m.

Sunday: 12–2 p.m.

Mt. Leo


Everybody has been asking about the new Italian restaurant which is coming to Mt. Leo in the former location of Gary and Gail’s Pit Stop. I have stopped by the store several times and have yet to catch anyone there to give me more information.

When I stopped by Friday, there was a new sign complete with phone number. But when I called the phone number I learned it’s not currently a working number. I was a little discouraged.

Driving back to the office I noticed a man on the side of the road selling watermelons so I stopped. The man is James Perry, who has sold produce all his life.

“I sold four loads of strawberries here in February and this is my third load of melons,” said James. “These melons are like sugar. They sure are sweet.”

James said he had 300 melons on Wednesday and was down to about 50 on Friday. He said he would probably go back to Cordell, Ga., to get another load of melons and maybe some corn to sell this week.

“The thing about corn is it has a short self-life,” said James. “You have to sell it in about three days or it’s no good.”

One thing I noticed while I was talking to James is the non-stop flow of traffic on Beersheba Street in the Mt. Leo area. It was so much traffic, it made it difficult to have a conversation because there were so many vehicles driving by.

“This is a very busy road,” said James.

It makes me wonder why Mt. Leo is, pardon my language, such a dumpy looking place. I don’t mean to offend anyone who has deep ties to Mt. Leo and thinks the area is a thing of beauty, but I wonder why it can’t look better.

In my 15 minutes of talking to James at his watermelon stand I can say the traffic rarely let up. 

The stream of motorists is constant. Yet the buildings look like something out of a junkyard.

I think that should be a focus as the city of McMinnville moves forward. Ask not what Mt. Leo can do for us, but what we can do for Mt. Leo.

There has to be a way to beautify one of the most heavily travelled areas in our community. We should all look at Mt. Leo and think that we can do better.

That's all folks

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