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Business Pulse - Huddle House now hiring
Huddle House outside.jpg
Huddle House renovation work is nearing completion at the old Captain D's building. The restaurant is currently hiring and has plans to open in October.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Huddle House.

After months of inching along at a painfully slow pace, renovation work is taking shape at the old Captain D’s building. A new Huddle House is on the verge of opening its doors.

The great taste of pancakes and omelets aren’t the only things on the horizon. The opening of Huddle House also means the community is going to be scattered, covered and smothered with new jobs. Allow me to apologize in advance for the Waffle House hashbrown reference.

Huddle House is currently hiring for all positions as restaurant officials eye an early October opening. Among the benefits of working at Huddle House, the company says it offers competitive wages, medical, vision, dental and life insurance, and paid time off. The company has full-time and part-time jobs available.

Your Huddle House application is just a click away. Anyone interested can apply at www.huddlehouse.com/careers.

I think Huddle House is going to be a great addition to McMinnville’s fabled restaurant row. The chain touts itself as having a people-first attitude and says on its website, “At Huddle House, we believe it’s “YOUR HOUSE. YOUR KITCHEN.”

Just please don’t test that philosophy and go to the fridge and drink out of the milk carton. I think that’s more of a catchy slogan than an actual suggestion.

When I made a recent online post about Huddle House, I received questions about Grandy’s, which is the restaurant moving in to the old Bojangles building. I wasn’t successful in making contact with owner Chris Benner, but I did learn the Grandy’s location in Murfreesboro has opened for business.

When I talked to Chris a couple months ago, he said the plan was to get the Grandy’s in Murfreesboro open in August then, if that goes well, to open the Grandy’s in McMinnville in October.

Grandy’s in Murfreesboro had its official opening Aug. 24 with the first 25 customers getting a gift card that entitles them to one free Sinnamon Roll every day for one year. The Sinnamon Roll is Grandy’s signature dessert that it touts as being scrumptious. It’s a cinnamon roll that’s so good it’s a “sin.”

I will pass along more information about the opening of both restaurants as it becomes available.


Coffee Cat purrs

With new ownership


Here’s something to purr about. Coffee Cat at Northgate Center is under new ownership.

Tabitha McKinley has purchased the popular drive-thru after working there for about six months. Tuesday was her first day operating the business as the owner.

“It was a little scary, but it’s been exciting too,” said Tabitha. “I’ve never owned my own business before. When I mentioned it to my husband, David, he said I should give it a try so here I am as the new owner.”

Teresa Paris, the former Coffee Cat owner, recently opened a new business called McMinnville Nutrition and didn’t have time to operate both.

Coffee Cat has gained a reputation for its tasty coffee drinks. The frappes, lattes and espressos are all extremely popular and Tabitha says the drinks that include Ghirardelli white chocolate are all big sellers. 

“The Ghirardelli white chocolate drinks are sweeter than most of our others,” said Tabitha. “We have some sweet drinks, but the Ghirardelli is really sweet.”

If you’re a black coffee drinker, Coffee Cat has that too. There’s a wide selection in which to choose.

“A lot of people comment about how much they like the drive-thru,” said Tabitha. “They can get what they need and get to work or wherever they’re going.”

Coffee Cat is open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday. It’s also open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. It will be closed this Monday for Labor Day.

“People are welcome to call in orders and I’ll do my best to have them ready by the time they arrive,” said Tabitha. “I’ve had as many as 12 coffees in one order so it takes a few minutes to get all of that ready.”

Coffee Cat can be reached at (931) 314-2829. The blue-colored coffee shop is located in the parking lot at Northgate near the end with LaCazona. If you’re craving a good cup of coffee, give it a try.


Can you hear

Me now?


McMinnville has been connected to a new cellphone dealer. Boost Mobile opened Wednesday at Northgate Center with plans starting as low as $10 per month.

Store manager Anis Ahmed says Boost Mobile is a company that’s dialing up expansion plans. He said Boost Mobile has eight locations in Knoxville, three locations in Chattanooga, and is looking to strengthen its foothold in Tennessee.

Anis says he’s been in the cellphone business for five years, including two as manager. He says he understands customers want affordable rates, but they also want reliable service. They don’t want dropped calls and weak signals.

While I have never used Boost Mobile and can’t vouch for the type of service the company provides, Anis says customers are satisfied and that Boost has a strong coverage area in Middle Tennessee.

When it comes to cellphones, there are all types of plans available with all different talk and text options. 

Data is an important feature for many cellphone users who enjoy the internet and there are many data options as well.

To get all the options available for things like number of phone lines and amount of data, it’s probably best to stop by Boost Mobile for yourself. Cellphone plans are fast becoming like health insurance policies where there’s a lot of fast talk and misunderstanding. I think it’s best I stay away from exact details as much as possible.

Anis did say that customers can receive a free phone when they come in with an existing phone number and are looking to switch. He also said Boost offers the iPhone7 for $50 when customers have an existing number.

Boost Mobile is located next to Factory Connection. Store hours are Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The phone number is (931) 414-4314.


Transformation

Of the old VFW


Wild Bill’s BBQ has made a nice business for itself at the old VFW building and work continues around the property which is now owned by businessman Scottie Keel.

Excavation work is taking place to provide a road and more room for parking and a wedding chapel on the river is the next big project on the schedule.

Bill Davis, owner of Wild Bill’s, says more parking is desperately needed because of the flood of kayaking activity on weekends. He says there are so many kayakers on some days, it can be a struggle for his customers to find a place to park.

Bill said the wedding chapel will be the first of many upgrades to come. I always thought that property on the river, complete with boat ramp, was gushing with great possibilities and I’m glad to see a smart and capable guy like Scottie beginning to tap into the potential that exists at that location.

An impactful event that’s happening there this Friday, Sept. 11, is a tribute to 9-11. It will be the 19th year since planes destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

“This is not about my restaurant or my business,” said Bill. “Our biggest thing is we want people to remember what happened that day because it seems a lot of people don’t. It’s about remembering the people who lost their lives on that day and also remembering how we came together as a country. Looking at us now, our country seems so divided.”

Sept. 11 was a tragic day, no doubt. But what Bill says rings with truth. America did join together in unity and there was a great effort around the nation to recognize the work that police officers and emergency responders do each and every day. The events of 9-11 did bring the country together as one.

Bill says the event will be held in partnership with Tunnel to Towers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the families of officers and first-responders who die in the line of duty. Tunnel to Towers has helped two families in this area by paying off their mortgages after a death.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the event which starts this Friday at 8:30 a.m. at Wild Bill’s BBQ, 3340 Sparta Highway. The times of 8:46 a.m. and 10:28 a.m. will be noted as the time the planes struck the World Trade Center and the time when the towers collapsed.

The event is a fundraiser for Tunnel to Towers. Bill Davis says he’s making a donation and he challenges other business owners in the area to do the same.


Taxi!


Sean Graham is gaining speed with his local taxi service called Tennessee Rideshare. He’s available to provide rides around Warren County or anywhere in the nation.

“If I can legally put my four wheels on the pavement, I’ll get you there,” said Sean. “In state, out of state, in town, out of town, I’ll go anywhere.”

Sean estimates about 75% of his business is for out-of-town transportation. He was in Kentucky on Thursday, in Knoxville on Saturday, and makes frequent trips to Nashville and Murfreesboro.

Sean recently implemented a new rate system in an attempt to encourage more business inside McMinnville city limits. For just $5, he’ll pick you up and drop you off, provided you’re going from two addresses inside the city limits. He charges $2 for each stop along the way, if you choose to make stops.

“The $5 rides have been really popular since I started that a month or a month and a half ago,” said Sean.

His vehicle is a 2018 Nissan Altima with leather seats. He says he cleans the car daily and has charging stations, free wifi, and satellite radio.

“I try to provide as much luxury as possible at an affordable rate,” said Sean.

For more information, Tennessee Rideshare can be reached at (931) 259-7000.


That’s all folks


Give me a call with business tips at 473-2191.




email at editor@southernstandard.com.