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Business Pulse - New business is Elementary
The Elementary - Dwayne, Bernadette.jpg
Dwayne and Bernadette Doud, pictured with Boots, have purchased the old Morrison School and have big upgrades in mind. One is expanding the fitness center to have a room devoted to cardio machines. Garrett Adams, right, is shown doing a triceps exercise. Call (931) 808-1546 for more information.

It was three years ago when Monica Saine reached for the stars and fulfilled her dream of owning her own fitness center. Her location was none other than the old Morrison School.

Now with three children, Monica’s priorities have shifted and she’s eager to devote more time to her family. She decided to sell the old Morrison School and it’s landed in the very capable hands of Dwayne and Bernadette Doud.

Dwayne and Bernadette know how to make a business thrive as the current owners of Morrison Hardware and Warren Custom. They’re looking the take the solid foundation Monica has established and transform the old school into a complete family entertainment venue. It has a catchy new name, The Elementary.

“Our goal is to keep the community active and give the community a place to come,” said Dwayne. “We’re going into this with the attitude that the sky is the limit.”

The fitness facility remains vibrant and new equipment, including seven new treadmills, has already been purchased. Access is available 24 hours a day thanks to a keypad entry system. Dwayne said a goal that should be achieved in the near future is establishing a cardio-only room for the fitness center.

Garrett Adams was one of the many folks getting in a workout Friday morning. He says he loves the convenience of having weights available in Morrison.

A focal point of activity also revolves around the old school gym with basketball goals still intact and ready for 3-pointers. Fitness classes are taught in the gym and a men’s basketball league will tip off Jan. 24. Cornhole tournaments with a $20 entry fee are held the fourth Sunday of the month at 2 p.m.

A tasty addition is the fully operational concession stand that’s been added next to the gym. It’s great for grabbing nachos, popcorn, hotdogs, drinks and more.

One thing Dwayne and Bernadette have learned about owning a former school is there’s an abundance of space, glorious space. If you’d like to rent some of that space for your next birthday party, baby shower, company party, or wedding reception, The Elementary is opening its doors.

Don’t worry about bringing the tables, chairs and tablecloths. There are more than enough available to rent, no matter the size of your gathering. 

Bounce houses are ready to bring delight to the face of your child. You can rent three inflatables with the base package or upgrade to as many as six more. Now that’s a party!

“We can host the whole event and provide everything you need, except the catering,” said Bernadette, who indicated she may make her special-recipe wings at some point down the road.

If all that’s not enough, there’s more icing on this cake. It’s a large cake that’s been made for someone to jump out of, preferably a very attractive woman. There’s even a dunking booth you can rent. And if you want a DJ in the house, Dwayne can handle those duties as the smooth-talking owner of Mobile Music Unlimited.

Future plans a year or two on the horizon include rejuvenating the old softball field behind the school and holding games there. It’s all part of the magnificence that awaits visitors to The Elementary.

For more information about any of these offerings, or to reserve a spot on the calendar before it disappears, call (931) 808-1546.

From the kitchen

To the cave

As owner of Depot Bottom Country Store, Travis Young knows how to cook a meal. Now Travis will be looking to cook up underground excitement as the new general manager of operations at Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee’s largest show cave.

“Travis is an accomplished leader with significant caving knowledge and experience,” said Jim Herschend, president of Cumberland Caverns, Inc. “We are pleased to welcome him to our management team. More impressive than Travis’ background, are his faith, dedication, and love of this cave and his family. He is the right fit to lead our organization into the next phase of growth and usher in a very bright future for our business and community.”

For fans of Depot Bottom Country Store, don’t panic. The popular downtown eatery will remain open under the guidance of Travis’ wife, Olivia.

Travis will pivot from downtown to the depths of a cave that’s come to life with music and a flurry of activity in recent years. Travis grew up caving and had the pleasure of working with Cumberland Caverns founders Tank Gorin and Roy Davis in the ’90s. 

During that time, he fell in love with the cave and rose from tour guide to overnight manager. Since those days, he has remained involved with the cave, assisting when needed and exploring new passages. 

“Working with such extraordinary men as Roy and Tank, they instilled in me the importance of preservation of the cave and I am fully committed to continuing their legacy and keeping their dream, which is now my dream, alive for them and Warren County,” said Travis. “My wife and children support me 100 percent and share in my love of the cave and this community. Growing the business of the cave, bringing new opportunities to my hometown, and strengthening the relationship with Warren County are my main goals.” 

Travis will be digging into the role as of Jan. 28. The position became available after Robby Black, general manager at the cave for five years, answered his calling to become a full-time minister at Bates Hill Presbyterian Church. 

Said Robby about his successor: “Travis will be a wonderful manager for the cave. He is a great Christian man, who like me, has a love for Cumberland Caverns and the conservation of our area. I think he will be a fine leader for our business moving forward into 2019.”  

Cumberland Caverns, first discovered in 1810, has been helping families create lasting memories together as a tourist attraction for over 60 years. Currently, the cave offers daily walking tours, adventure tours, guided outdoor hikes, underground camping, concerts, and special events.  

Cumberland Caverns welcomes over 40,000 visitors from all over the world each year, who come to experience unimagined beauty hidden 333 feet below the surface.

Lunch Lady

Ready to serve

Stacy Lee has spent nearly a year galloping around to weekend horse shows where her food trailer has earned a faithful following. Now her business, called The Lunch Lady, has parked itself on Manchester Highway in Morrison next to Hullett’s in the front of Benchmark Trailers.

“We specialize in healthy, fresh food and there’s a big need for it here,” said Stacy, whose menu includes a 10-layer burrito and a 10-layer salad.

Other menu items are cheeseburger wrap, taco, quesadilla, nachos, chicken bacon ranch salad, and coconut cake.

Stacy says serving hundreds and hundreds of customers who visit horse shows at Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro has improved her gait.

“Horse shows have trained me on how to take care of the customer and how to take care of the customer fast,” said Stacy. “I’ve even had someone come up and order on horseback.”

That likely won’t happen in Morrison, but customers are more than welcome to arrive by car. If you don’t want to arrive at all, give The Lunch Lady a call at (931) 247-8003. Delivery is currently offered on Mondays and Wednesdays within a 10-mile radius. That extends all the way to WCHS and Hickory Creek.

“I understand when teachers order food they need it to arrive at a set time because they only have a few minutes to eat,” said Stacy. She’s working with 931 Delivers to see if that will be an option to expand delivery to other days, but for now it’s available Mondays and Wednesdays.

Stacy says she plans to stay put at her current spot, a question I continually ask food truck owners because they always seem to be on the move.

“One of the challenges of the food truck industry is they move too much,” said Stacy. “I know they are mobile, but you also have to establish yourself.”

Stacy says she plans to extend her hours to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. by the end of this week. Call ahead if you would like your meal ready when you arrive. Stacy says she plans to open a second food trailer in Newtown in the next few weeks.

Union Corrugating

On the grow

It’s been a year since Union Corrugating opened a plant in Warren County and began full-scale operations last January. The company that specializes in metal roofing is growing once again, as evident by two new buildings being constructed on Manchester Highway next to Medley’s Diner.

Union Corrugating operates its local facility behind those two new buildings in the old S&S Industries factory. The two buildings under construction by the road will be display models for a steel building company Union Corrugating recently acquired.

Information on this new business venture for Union Corrugating is still being compiled so I hope to provide a more detailed report later. But if you’re wondering about the new buildings going up on Manchester Highway, the answer is they belong to Union Corrugating and you may find one that suits your needs.

That’s all folks

The new year is the perfect time to renew your commitment to business news. Open your new business today, then call me at 473-2191.