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Business Pulse - Food that's picture-perfect
Grandy's - David Christian.jpg
Will our Grandy's bury the competition? Who knows, but McMinnville Funeral Home owner David Christian seems happy with his meatloaf and mashed potatoes plate Friday for lunch.

Chris Benner was one of the few people inside Grandy’s on Friday morning who wasn’t wolfing down the food. Instead, he was taking pictures of it. And, if truth be told, he was taking a few bites along the way.

“It looks so good I can’t help it,” said Benner, the owner of our local restaurant which opened Monday on The Strip next to Captain D’s. He broke off a corner of a Grandy’s signature Sinnamon Roll after taking its picture next to a cup of coffee.

Benner’s pictures are for advertising purposes.

“This isn’t like Burger King where you see a picture on TV and then it doesn’t look anything like that when you get it,” said Chris. “We tell them to make the food just like they normally do, nothing special. This is how it looks no matter who orders it.”

The Grandy’s lunch rush became fierce around 11 a.m. on Friday as customers began filing through the door for meatloaf, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and other home-cooked food.

“We’ve been like this all week,” said Jamey Tidwell, our Grandy’s area director. “The customers who walk in, they see the meat and three and that’s what they want. The meatloaf has been really popular. We never stop cooking meatloaf all day. The customers at the drive-thru, they are ordering more sandwiches, something they can eat on the go.”

Grandy’s opens at 6 a.m. seven days a week and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Local residents who enjoy free Sinnamon Rolls will want to take note of a special promotion that's happening this Tuesday.

The first 50 customers in the door will be given a card that can be used for one (1) free Sinnamon Roll a day for an entire year. Grandy’s offered the promotion last Tuesday and, as expected, cards went faster than hotcakes.

“It was so much fun last Tuesday we’re doing it again,” said Jamey. “The cards went fast. We had them all given away by 6:30 a.m. There were about 15 people waiting outside to get in when we opened.”

If you want a free Sinnamon Roll for a year, excluding Christmas Day when Grandy’s is closed, you better arrive early on Tuesday. Your mouth will thank you.

If the first week is any indication, Grandy’s is doing much better than Bojangles did at that same spot. The Bojangles business seemed to die down almost immediately as the opening-day magic wore off rather quickly.

Bojangles closed in August of 2018 and the building sat empty for more than two years. Let’s hope Grandy’s can build a prosperous business at that location with delicious food and jobs for our economy. The restaurant hired around 45 employees for its startup.


Computer guru

Ready to serve


John Miller started working on computers when he was 6 or 7 years old. He decided to turn his life-long hobby into a business and has opened Miller’s Custom Computers & Repair.

“If you have a computer, a tablet or a cellphone, it’s going to have problems. It’s only a matter of time, but it will have problems,” said John. “I’ll work on anything as long as I can find the parts available. Getting it repaired is a much more affordable solution than buying something new. A cheap repair is better than buying a new phone.”

John said a cracked screen is a common reason for someone to go out and buy a new cellphone. Depending on the model, a new phone can cost in the neighborhood of $1,000.

John has screens in stock for dozens of cellphone models and he can get you up and running with a new screen in about 45 minutes at a fraction of the cost. He also has the new privacy screens he can install.

“If you’re looking straight at the phone you can see everything just fine,” said John. “But if someone is standing next to you looking from the side, they are not able to see what’s on your screen. It’s great if you’re checking your bank account information and don’t want other people to see it.”

John says there’s a large militia of computer hackers out there who want to steal your personal information or infect your computer with malware to make it run slowly. These people are jerks.

It’s so easy to click the wrong button or link on a legitimate-looking email and then find yourself in trouble, John said. It’s even happened to one of his family members.

“They clicked on the wrong thing and ransomware got onto their computer,” said John. “They were wanting $1,000 to unlock the computer. Whatever you do, don’t pay the money. All that does is give them access to your financial information too. If you bring it to me, I can fix it and get your computer unlocked.”

The email scams are effective because they often use the actual logo of the company and have an official-looking website. And if it’s a scammer pretending to be a major company like Amazon telling you something is wrong with your recent order, there’s a good chance many people may have a recent Amazon order and mindlessly click on the link to see what’s up.

John says it’s a good idea to get your computer serviced about once a year, if for no other reason than to clean out the dust that accumulates inside it. He says an abundance of dust will make a computer overheat, which will make it run slower. 

If you’re thinking of buying a new computer, John can make a custom computer to fill your specific needs. He says a real advantage to having him build it is that it’s much easier to update down the road.

If, in five years, you want the latest and greatest processor, it’s easy for him to update a system he has built. He says sometimes that’s not as easy when you buy a factory computer straight off a store shelf.

Miller’s Custom Computers & Repairs has opened at Plaza Shopping Center. The business is currently sharing space inside Warren County Coin and has regular business hours Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. John is available outside those hours by appointment.

He is willing to make house calls for folks who don’t want to disconnect their computer and bring it in. John also says he will travel outside Warren County to do repair work, but there is a mileage charge. There's no mileage charge if you live inside the city limits.

The business can be reached at (931) 304-4710.

Westwood Market

Back in business


It’s been a hard, trying month and a half for Westwood residents and motorists traveling through the area on Morrison Street. Since the end of October, Westwood Market has been closed.

But sunshine finally emerged from the storm clouds of darkness on Wednesday as the market reopened its doors and customers began to arrive.

Andy Patel, his wife and his children will be the main ones operating the market which has hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Those are some fabulous hours, at least for customers. I’d have a different opinion if I was the one working them.

When I stopped by Friday morning, Andy had a fresh batch of biscuits that included tenderloin, bacon, sausage and egg, and other combinations of meat, bread and cheese.

One thing I noticed is the store is well-stocked. Andy says that’s because Westwood Market is owned by Peter and Jack Patel, who both own other convenience stores around these parts. Peter owns J&K Travel Center off Exit 111 in Manchester, while Jack owns the market in Rock Island behind Dollar General.

“I will order whatever people require,” said Andy. “If you ask for it, I’ll get it. I have a book and I’ll write down special requests as they come in. Then I’ll order it and it will arrive in the next wave.”

Andy also wants to promote his drive-thru window, which he says is full service. He says you can buy anything from the drive-thru window, including cigarettes and beer. He is working on his beer selection and if there’s a certain beer you like he can order that too.

Coffee and cappuccino are expected to be available this coming week. Snacks are everywhere and there are lottery tickets too.

Andy is probably already tired of hearing questions about the gas pumps. Gasoline will be coming but that’s a project that’s down the road.


Grumpy’s Getaway

Offers relaxation


Here’s an interesting tidbit I stumbled upon when thumbing through recent business licenses. Grumpy’s Getaway has opened in Rock Island right across from the state park.

Grumpy’s Getaway is an Airbnb rental that’s operating by Warren County’s own Brad and Marcy Bolding.

“I’ve lived in Rock Island my whole life and I’ve never realized the amount of traffic from all over the country that comes to Rock Island,” said Brad. “We got this finished in May and started renting it in June and it’s been full about every night. It’s booked the rest of December to January right now. So far we haven’t had anybody local stay there, but we’ve had a few from Tennessee. There’s a couple staying there this weekend from Indiana.”

Airbnb is an easy-to-use website. Anyone looking for a place to stay in Warren County just has to list the nights they are interested in staying and available rentals will pop up. 

Grumpy’s Getaway has a 4.96 star rating and Brad and Marcy are highly rated superhosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests. Brad says it’s been a long time reaching this point.

“We bought it four years ago and it’s been a four-year renovation project,” said Brad. “It’s been a learning experience and I’ve learned a lot about our hotel/ motel tax. Marcy and I do it all ourselves. We do have a dependable cleaning lady. So far we’ve had good guests staying there.”

With the increasing popularity of Airbnb, having quality rentals in this area is just another piece of the very large puzzle that makes Warren County an attractive place to visit. So here’s a shout-out to Brad and Marcy for the work they’ve put into this project.


That’s all folks


I’ve got a business list and I’m checking it twice. Right now the list looks pretty empty so email your business tips to editor@southernstandard.com and I’ll work on getting your business news in the paper.

If calling is more convenient, the number is 473-2191.