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Business Pulse - New boutique very Intriguing

In the interest of full disclosure, I guess I should admit I’ve failed. I don’t know what type of business will be locating in the old Warren County Furniture building on the corner of Spring and Morford streets. 

I tried with fierce determination to provide that story, but it will have to wait for another day.

What I can tell you is the Warren County Furniture property has sold. The deal is finalized.

Former building owner Jimmy Zavogiannis tells me he’s got the money in the bank and the property is no longer his concern after 11 years of ownership. He’s handed over the keys. 

Jimmy wouldn’t reveal much more than that. It’s not his baby anymore so it’s not his place to say what will be going in there. 

From what I can piece together from here and there, the new property owner is Ruth Frank of Shelby Land Holding. I haven’t been able to make contact with her to learn about her plans.

It’s not for a lack of trying. I sent her an email. I sent her messages through third parties asking her to contact me. I did everything short of carrier pigeon and perhaps I should have done that if I knew how to train a bird to deliver a message.

What I can report is that I stopped by the old Warren County Furniture building on Friday and was amazed at the amount of space available. All the old restaurant equipment has been removed and it’s surprising the amount of floor space that’s there. Workers were getting rid of a few remaining partitions that had been left behind and now there's a clear view inside the building from the street.

Property tax records shows there’s roughly 5,000 square feet on the ground floor and 5,000 square feet on the second floor. The building used to be home to a furniture store so you know there’s plenty of room.

I’ve heard different ideas about what would work well in that spot. I know some people are hoping for another downtown restaurant. I saw on our Facebook page where one person mentioned a brewery. Personally, I’m hoping for another Dollar General.

New boutique

very busy

The longtime home at 410 N. Chancery Street has been transformed into Intrigue, a charming boutique that’s owned and operated by Stacey Simpson and Erica Bundy.

Intrigue opened on Monday and was swamped with customers from the start.

“We were supposed to be open at 10 a.m. and the first customer got here at 9:45 a.m.,” said Stacey. “We stayed open until 7 p.m. and the store was never empty that whole time.”

Stacey and Erica have worked together at Warren County Livestock for about 10 years and they started their retail journey some seven years ago. They formed Intrigue about two years ago and had been operating it from another lady’s store.

The new location is a big jump up and they’ve turned the home into a unique spot for shopping. They’ve done tons of work, including adding chandeliers to each room which really provides a nice touch.

“In doing this over the years, the biggest comment I hear about boutiques is too many of them are cookie cutter,” said Erica. “We didn’t want to go that way. When people shop here, we want to give them something they can’t find anywhere else.”

One room definitely fits that description with Western style clothing that has a sort of Bohemian and gypsy flair. There’s a wide selection of clothing for all sizes with both ladies stressing they carry plus sizes.

“We have a rotation and we’re constantly bringing in new items every day,” said Erica.

Store hours are Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We want to stay open a little later at night till 6 p.m. for all the women who work till 5 p.m.,” said Stacey. “This will give them an hour where they can come in and shop after work.”

Erica and Stacey are an interesting pair. They both have four children and admit they are nothing alike.

“I’m the fun one,” joked Stacey. “People who know us both pretty well can walk through the store and tell what I picked out and what she picked out. They know our styles. We’re completely different and I think that’s why we work so well together.”

The boutique is open for business but there are still a few tweaks to be made. Out front they are going to work on some new landscaping and on the side they are going to work on making improvements to their parking lot.

When I talked to Stacey before they opened, she thought they would be fine with parking to accommodate six to eight cars. That now appears to be inadequate due to the crowds which have been coming to the store.

“We wanted to give people a unique shopping experience,” said Erica. “Everybody knows you can shop online, but it’s still a fun thing to do to get out and shop. A lot of people like to get together with a friend and go shopping.”

A grand opening celebration will be held from Thursday, Sept. 2 to Saturday, Sept. 4, which is over Labor Day weekend.

New bank

Heading our way

I had a nice conversation with Coffee County Bank representative Amanda Montez last week. She told me the bank was excited to have the services of Chase McGee, who has worked at a couple local banks here in Warren County.

Also exciting is that Amanda revealed Coffee County Bank is in the process of locating a new branch here in Warren County. She said because of all the paperwork and hurdles that surround opening a new branch, a location has to be secured before too much work can be done and bank officials are looking to find just the right spot now.

I asked if Coffee County Bank would be looking at a spot in Morrison or looking to move into town and Amanda said they are definitely looking at McMinnville.

One spot that clearly jumps out is the old Regions Bank location at Plaza Shopping Center. I know extensive remodeling work was taking place at that building when I stopped by a couple months ago. 

It has served as a bank location for decades and is next to the busiest intersection in town so I would consider that a great spot. We’ll have to wait and see what takes place in the coming months.  

MPC building

May have buyer

The good news when it comes to industrial development is the old Metal Products Company building on Garfield Street appears to have a buyer.

From what super-secret sources tell me, a local business is in the process of making an offer on the property which has been vacant for most of this year. The property is owned by the Industrial Development Board, which had leased it for decades to MPC.

Now that MPC has gone out of business, the prime property is available and ripe for a new tenant. It’s served as a productive industrial spot for years, although it doesn’t have the tall ceilings which are desirable by today’s industry standards.

I’ll keep my eyes open to see what might happen with that property.

Job fair

is Monday

I've mentioned this the past two Sundays and will give it one final shoutout as a reminder.

A job fair will take place this Monday, Aug. 16, at Milner Recreation Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About 15 employers have registered to have representatives at the job fair, including Bridgestone, Yorozu, Morrison Industries, Lowe's, and our new Hampton Inn hotel.

Milner Recreation Center is located at 500 Garfield Street and may be best known as McMinnville Civic Center. Bring a resume and perhaps a warm smile. There are jobs available for anyone in need.

That's all folks


That's all the business news I could uncover for today's edition. Send me an email at if you have business news for the newspaper.