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Business Pulse - Kathy brewing up new plans
Capital Real Estate.jpg
Scot MacDonald, left, and Justin Tanner have opened Capital Real Estate & Property Management on Main Street. The company specializes in listing, selling, and managing residential and commercial real estate.

It’s been said to smoke ’em if you got ’em. 

Whenever folks ask me business questions, I try to answer those questions first. I'll answer ’em if I got ’em.

There’s been activity in Newtown at the old Meat Market building, which may be best remembered as the old Foodland building. So I’ve been asked what’s going on.

Sid Patel owns the property. If Sid is a familiar name it’s because he owns the new convenience store which is right next door and he also owns Hina Market across the street. Sid is a big stakeholder in the Newtown area.

When I stuck my face up to the window and looked inside the old Foodland building, I noticed very nice glass cases all around the store. Sid said those cases have been high maintenance to assemble and that’s what has taken so much time to get the place ready.

But the grand reveal, and hold the drumroll please, is Sid is going to make the old Meat Market into a giant tobacco superstore, complete with vape items. It will be a paradise for smokers and a letdown for the rest of us.

Also of note, Sid said his daughter is getting close to opening McMinnville Pharmacy right next door to the old Meat Market in Newtown. She just has a few paperwork issues to get through the system and she’ll be ready to go, Sid said.

Kathy SayinG 

goodbye to retail

She started with one gown and a dream. Now Kathy Brewer is ready to turn the page and embrace the next chapter of her life. 

Kathy has announced that her renowned store, Kathy’s of McMinnville, will stay open through this prom season before closing on May 10 after 31 glorious years in business.

“This is not a sad time. This is what I’ve worked toward for 31 years and I’ve planned an exit strategy,” said Kathy. “Business is still good and I’m leaving on my own terms. I’m excited and I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life. I’ve been working on my real estate license and that will be the next big step for me.”

With the departure of Stewart’s Pharmacy several years back, Kathy’s of McMinnville is one of the senior spokesmen at Plaza Shopping Center. It rivals King’s Den, Gary Steele Karate, Fiesta Ranchero, and Mid-South Respicare for longevity.

Kathy says the formal wear business has been an absolute joy. One of the perks has been getting to work with people during a happy time in their lives, usually a wedding or a prom.

“With COVID, schools have really had to reinvent how they handle the prom,” said Kathy. “Last year, Warren County had to hold the prom in two phases in the parking lot. I know girls are always going to want to dress up and go out to eat, whether it’s a school-sponsored prom or a private party. I think a majority of people want to dress up and have one last dance together.”

Kathy said the dynamics of retail have certainly changed. People are no longer flipping through catalogs. Instead they’re ordering on their phone.

Kathy said she wants to thank her customers and her store manager, Erin Harvey, who started working at her store when she was in high school. 

At 56, Kathy says she’s ready to enjoy life with her husband, Hilton Conger, who is winding down a distinguished legal career at age 72.

“Hilton closed his private practice two years ago, but he’s still working full time doing title work for a real estate company,” said Kathy. “He’s told me that he will slow down if I slow down. He’s had a law practice for 45 years and he’s still DeKalb County attorney, but he’s wanted this for awhile too. It’s been a good run and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

Kathy says her new motto is to have less and enjoy more. She said she would entertain the idea of selling the store if someone comes along who is interested, but her current course has her liquidating everything in stock, including fixtures. 

Kathy says all prom and pageant gowns are 50% to 70% off. She doesn’t want to take it with her to store in her basement! 

Shocker!! Mapco

gets boarded up

Mapco has closed and boarded up its high-traffic store on Beersheba Street. The unexpected news came Friday when the store closed and it was reinforced Saturday morning when workers began placing plywood over the windows and front door.

Customers continued to approach the front door even as plywood was being put in place, stunned by the news the store has shut down. There was great sadness. It is not expected to reopen.

While none of this information is from official Mapco headquarters, it is believed structural issues are to blame. The store is said to have been built on a foundation of sawdust because an old sawmill used to operate at that location. A core drilling conducted several years ago is said to have revealed a shaky foundation.

A state inspection was recently conducted and it is believed that inspection ended poorly. The store is now closed and employees on site Saturday morning said vendors will start coming to collect their merchandise on Monday or it will be distributed to other Mapco stores.

"So many people shop here," said employee Bridgett Valenta. "We're the No. 1 store in our district. Mapco has 260 stores in all. Our district includes stores in Murfreesboro, Tullahoma, Cookeville and Smithville."

Our local Mapco has eight employees.

"Most people who work here stay for awhile," said Bridgett. "I've been here for two years. Mapco says they'll like to get us another store in McMinnville so we'll see what happens."

Employees created a vision board for the type of Mapco store they would like to see. They said Mapco had explored the idea of doing ground work at the Beersheba Street location to firm up the foundation, but that groundwork was said to be cost-prohibitive.

New real estate

Firm has opened

Justin Tanner and Scot MacDonald have opened Capital Real Estate & Property Management on Main Street.

They will be listing, selling, and managing residential and commercial real estate property. The name “Capital” is an homage to Warren County being the nursery capital of the world and a reference to the capital invested in rental properties they will manage for their customers.

"Houses that are in good condition and are priced right don't stay on the market long," said Justin. "One of the big things is getting it priced right and that's where a professional can help."

A large aspect of the business will be rentals and property management. Scot has extensive experience in this area, having bought his first rental property at age 24. He now has 19 rental properties here in town.

Scot says Capital has the technology in place and all the framework to help people who may have one or two pieces of property they don't know how to handle.

"It's very inefficient to try to manage just one or two properties," said Scot. "We have everything you need to help you out. We can properly screen tenants and set up payments online so you're not having to try to track down the money yourself each month. If anything goes wrong, we can send somebody to fix it. We can even handle the eviction process if that's needed. For people who have never had rental property before, there are a lot of questions and a lot of unknowns."

Justin and Scot pointed out that people looking to get in the home rental business might not know anything about preparing a legally sound lease. They can handle that.

There are many aspects to the property management business, but they say the No. 1 goal is to provide a quality home for a tenant, or a family, to enjoy.

Justin has experience when it comes to real estate. He was the top producing real estate sales agent on the No. 1 team in the No. 1 office of a national brokerage in Murfreesboro before moving his family back to McMinnville in 2015 and becoming a loan officer. He’s been back in real estate since last May and has continued his success in Warren County.

Justin’s business roots run deep in Warren County back to 1905 when his family bought the property on Nashville Highway where his grandfather Mason owned and operated Tanner’s Grocery. His wife, Shay Smith Tanner, enjoys being the school nurse at West Elementary and has strong local roots as well.

Scot and his wife Hunter worked for a property management company in Memphis before moving back to McMinnville several years ago. The MacDonalds have also grown their other business, McMinnville Moving & Storage, over the last three years since they took over the local staple. Scot is the current chairman of the Industrial Development Board.

Hunter has been working in her family’s veterinary practice since moving back to McMinnville over 10 years ago, working both in the business operations and with patients, to ensure the same quality of care that Drs. Sam and Linda Young have provided for over 40 years.

Capital Real Estate & Property Management will be utilizing modern technology, such as an online landlord and tenant portal for paying and collecting rent, along with 24/7 access to financial reporting. Those are some of the many prime services they will be providing.

Capital will also be providing turnkey investment properties if you would like to invest in real estate without the hassle of finding properties, screening tenants, and then managing both.

Whether you’re looking for professional-level real estate listing services when selling your property, need an agent who understands the financial side of buying and has a relentless work ethic, or have rental property needs, Capital Real Estate & Property is ready to serve.

You can reach the office at 931-304-8170 for property management or contact Justin directly at 931-743-2632 to buy or sell property. The website is

Red Door Kids

Getting closer

In my travels up and down Main Street, I’ve noticed Jessica George hard at work at her new storefront at 102 West Main Street. That’s the location of her new store called Red Door Kids.

Jessica says much has been accomplished with that space and she’s confident she will be able to have a soft opening on Monday, March 22. Later that same week, she will have an official grand opening on Saturday, March 27 with all the typical spectacles grand openings provide.

The store will specialize in clothing items for children from birth to the tween years.

“This will be very different from the boutique and have an entirely different feel,” said Jessica, who also operates Red Door Boutique at Plaza Shopping Center.

That’s all folks

It seems Warren County has seen an explosion of business news in recent weeks. I need a Mini Me to keep up with it all.

Should you have a business tip, I am always open to suggestion. Send me an email at