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Business Pulse - Grandy's set to open Monday
Grandy's menu.jpg
Few things create interest like the opening of a new restaurant. Grandy’s area director Jamey Tidwell says the restaurant will meet its Dec. 7 target date and open this Monday.

In this world where we’re getting thrust toward more online interaction, I’m spending a greater portion of my life proving I’m not a robot.

By now we’re all familiar with the dynamics of what I’m talking about. As we’re looking to make some sort of online transaction, we come to a spot where we have to click on a box which states, “I am not a robot.” 

Then we have to take some weird vision test where numbers and letters are awkwardly displayed in a format – which a robot obviously can’t read  – and we’re told to type those numbers and letters into a box. If we do this correctly, we can complete our transaction.

I’ve been mindlessly doing this task for years without much thought to the process until it hit me last week. Why can’t a robot order blue jeans from LL Bean? What’s the big deal?

Robots have become an integral part of our lives, so much so that some robots are even performing heart surgery. Despite this key contribution to society, we’ve found it necessary to keep robots from ordering music on iTunes.


If robots are going to build our cars and vacuum our living room carpet, I think it’s time we allow them to order sneakers from Amazon. I am but a small voice in a world of very obnoxious voices, but I say it’s time we treat robots fairly.

It’s been more than 100 years since women were granted the right to vote. I say it’s high time we give robots the right to fully explore the online universe. In the name of equality, the box that says “I am not a robot” must go!


opens Monday

The tentative opening date has become official. According to Grandy’s area director Jamey Tidwell, our new Grandy’s restaurant will open this Monday, Dec. 7, in the old Bojangles spot.

With this news in mind, my advice is don’t eat anything for the rest of the day. Get ready to visit Grandy’s with a hearty appetite tomorrow.

“We have employees training and cooking food right now,” said Tidwell when I called him on Friday. “We’ve hired 45 people and we will be opening on Monday.”

When it comes to restaurant chains, Grandy’s is not exactly a household name. Jamey said the chain had more than 300 restaurants at its peak, but then it experienced turbulence due to mismanagement. 

The tasty Grandy’s food was never part of the problem. I like to call Grandy’s a fast food version of Cracker Barrel and Jamey said that’s a close comparison. The chain offers food like fried chicken, mashed pototoes, fried okra, macaroni and cheese and more.

“It’s a meat and three,” said Jamey. “Grandy’s is a tried and true brand.”

The Grandy’s restaurant chain first opened in 1972 and rose to prominence, Jamey said, but it failed to update its menu, service style, and even its logo. That caused the Grandy’s brand to implode. But now it’s back – and better than ever.

Grandy’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

New owner at

old John Deere

The 11.6 acres of property in the Dibrell area that used to be home to our John Deere dealership has a new owner. Ozzy Lopez has purchased the land and the spacious building and he’s opened Ozzy’s Truck and Trailer Repair.

When I stopped by Friday morning, Ozzy said there’s an old adage that certainly applies to his business. No job is too big or too small.

They will do something simple like change your oil, or they can do a major engine repair if needed. Here’s the great thing. They work on everything. This includes farm tractors and other equipment and also 18-wheelers. They also repair regular passenger cars and pickups.

“We’re a full-service repair shop,” said Kevin Rutledge, who is a longtime mechanic. “This type of work is mainly repetition. You take it apart and put it back together. We’ll work on whatever people bring us.”

For some 40 years the location served as our John Deere dealership. It’s sad to walk around the property and not see the familiar John Deere green, but it’s nice to hear Ozzy talk about his plans and the possibilities.

Ozzy has been a truck broker for three years and he says in the coming months he will probably have more big rigs on the property. He runs all over the U.S. with the exception of California.

“The biggest problem is getting drivers,” said Kevin. “We could have 50 trucks outside and that won’t help us in finding anyone who will drive them. Someone will make one run and then they’ll want to be off for the next week. That makes it tough.”

For folks who are seeking routine auto repair and maintenance, Kevin says the goal is to provide speedy service. He says if you’re just needing an oil or fluid change, that can take a very short amount of time and can usually be finished while the customer spends a few minutes in the waiting room.

“We’ll do oil changes, brakes, tires and balancing,” said Kevin. “We can get whatever you need for truck and passenger tires. We’re going to really focus on the local nurserymen and what we can do to help them.”

Since the facility is so big, Ozzy says he’ll have plenty of room to keep commonly needed parts in stock. 

He says he’ll work on building his inventory as he learns the specific parts people begin asking for on a regular basis.

Ozzy’s crew is ready to get to work. Shop hours are Monday thru Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. They will also work a half day on Saturday as needed.

The business can be reached on its landline by calling (931) 934-1317. Kevin can be reached at (931) 304-4522 and Ozzy can be reached at (931) 247-1202.

Country store

Sells in a jiffy

Depot Bottom Country Store was just on the market a matter of weeks before Suzanne Prater snatched it up as the new owner. Her first day running the restaurant was Tuesday, Dec. 1.

“This place has a great history and I certainly want to keep the history,” said Suzanne. “This is an iconic place for our little town. I know it’s a successful business and there’s not much I want to change. Everybody seems to like it here so there’s no reason to come in and start changing everything up.”

Suzanne is well versed in food preparation, having worked in the WCHS culinary arts department. In that capacity, she established a morning coffee shop that began serving students at 6:30 a.m. three days a week and she also oversaw catering events held outside the high school.

There are a few minor tweaks she envisions with Depot Bottom Country Store, but she says nothing is going to change this year. She’s going to spend December getting fully acclimated with the business.

“I might add a few special touches but that’s about it,” said Suzanne. “One thing several customers have already asked me about is dinner and if that’s something we can do down the road. That might be something we can do one or two days a week, but it’s still a little ways away.”

Suzanne said she’s also been asked about opening on the weekends to serve a Saturday and Sunday brunch. She says Saturday is possible, but it’s a definite no on Sunday because that’s a church day.

A few new specials are likely on the way so Suzanne can put her personal stamp on the business.

“All the crew stayed so it’s been great so far,” said Suzanne. “I just had to come in and take over. The whole business was ready.”

Former owner Travis Young spent this past week showing Suzanne the ropes. Friday was his last day, but his wife Olivia will be on hand this coming week to help with the transition process.

“There was a lot of interest when we put it on the market, but Suzanne was the one who stepped in right away and made it happen,” said Travis. “She’s been doing a great job, which is going to allow us to step away. We’ll be available if she needs us, but I think she has everything under control.”

Depot Bottom Country Store will maintain the same hours, Monday thru Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. As a former teacher, Suzanne said another thing she might consider down the road is delivering to nearby schools. The phone number remains unchanged at (931) 507-3366.

Get your 

Nails done

Sun Nails Spa has opened at Northgate Center just down from La Cazona. When I stopped by Friday to ask about promoting the new business in this section there was definitely a language barrier.

Customers were getting pedicures in what looked to be very comfortable chairs and employees looked skilled at performing nail needs, but otherwise they weren’t much for conversation.

In an effort to keep you aware of all the business happenings that come to my attention, I’m proud to say Sun Nails Spa is now open and ready to serve. However, I don't have much more information than that.

That’s all folks

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