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Business Pulse - New business talks trash
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Danny Smedley and his son Collin Smedley have opened Trash King for all your garbage disposal needs. The business can be reached at (931) 743-2711.

It’s been said there are only a few guarantees in life. Among those certainties are death, taxes and garbage.

A new business in Warren County can’t help you with death and taxes, but it can sure come in handy when it comes to disposing of your household garbage. Trash King of Tennessee is open for business and is operated by the father-son team of Danny and Collin Smedley.

“We want to work with the people of Warren County to help them with whatever their needs may be,” said Danny. “We think this is a service people will want. We can come pick up your garbage once a week, or once a month, whatever schedule you like. We cover the whole county and we hope business does well and we can eventually expand to other counties.”

As a McMinnville city resident, I must admit I’ve been spoiled by the city’s trash service. But before Cupcake and I moved into town many years ago, we lived outside the city limits for 12 years and had to haul our garbage to the dump.

It was OK, but I’m not the kind of guy who really likes to haul garbage. Danny knows the feeling.

“I put trash in my truck and end up hauling it around for two weeks before I make it to the dump,” said Danny.

That sounds a lot like me.

Residents who live outside the city limits can give Trash King a call and get their garbage picked up on a regular basis. Danny says he’s working on establishing routes so residents in Morrison can expect to get their trash picked up on a certain day, and residents of Rock Island can get their trash picked up on another. Those are just two examples because he serves the whole county.

“We’ll provide a free estimate on anything you have to haul off,” said Danny.

He said they did a simple one-time job for a lady last week where they hauled off a mattress and box spring for her. But small jobs aren’t the only chore they will tackle. If you have property filled with junk and want to have it cleaned up, Danny and Collin will provide an estimate.

“I’m looking at buying a mid-sized garbage truck that compacts garbage,” said Danny. “I found one that’s coming up for auction in a few days and I hope to get it. That will really help out and allow us to provide even better service.”

Danny said he’s been really encouraged by the support they’ve received in their early days of operation. “We’re adding new customers daily,” he said. “We want to be reasonable with our prices and provide a service to the people of Warren County that they really need.”

Danny and Collin are good folks and they’re thinking big.

“We’d like to get to the point where we have several trucks operating in several counties,” said Collin.

To find out more about Trash King of Tennessee, call or text (931) 743-2711.


Local boutiques

Lend helping hand


By now, most of us are aware of the flash flooding which took place last weekend in Waverly where 20 people were killed and many homes and businesses were destroyed.

The boutiques of Warren County want to help.

In an uplifting show of solidarity and support, the boutique owners of McMinnville have joined together to hold a fundraiser this Tuesday for Pink Willow Boutique of Waverly. That boutique suffered heavy flood damage.

All of the boutiques in McMinnville are participating and donating a portion of their sales this Tuesday to the business in Waverly. In addition, monetary donations can be made at local boutiques to help the store in Waverly.

“I can’t imagine waking up on Saturday morning and my business being fine and by the end of the day I’ve lost everything,” said Kari Burnett of Tiger Lily Boutique. “That’s hard to comprehend and that’s why we want to help.”

In addition to Tiger Lily, participating boutiques are Red Door, Linen & Grace, Intrigue, Trendy Trunk, and Lemon.

Local boutique owners say they’ve been dealt a tough hand trying to navigate the retail industry amid the COVID pandemic. Like seemingly every business in operation, they are dealing with supply chain issues and lengthy delays in getting orders filled. Customers have also been a little more cautious about getting out to shop when virus cases are high.

Kari said it’s her understanding Pink Willow Boutique is the only boutique still in operation in Waverly after others have been forced to close during the pandemic.

Erica Bundy of Intrigue said she’s thrilled all of the McMinnville boutique owners are coming together for a common cause.

“We’d like to work together to keep people shopping in our town,” said Erica. “With all the boutiques we have, we really have a lot to offer and we have a lot of different merchandise. We don’t have the same thing at our stores.”

Vicki Benedict of Linen & Grace added, “It’s community over competition. We’d all like to work together.”

From my perspective, I’ve covered every one of the McMinnville boutiques when they’ve opened for business and I can say we’re very fortunate to have some quality shops in our town. It’s encouraging for me to see local businesses working together to make a positive impact and I applaud these ladies for striving to make a difference.

VA headed

To the mall

It was several months ago when I mentioned the possibility of the VA Clinic moving from South Chancery Street to Three Star Mall.

It appears that speculation has turned out to be accurate as Leland Northcutt tells me that the VA Clinic has given him notice that it’s leaving his facility on South Chancery.

“They’ve rented from me and been good tenants for 14 years so I can’t complain,” said Leland. “I’d like them to stay longer but they’ve told me they’re moving to the mall. That will leave us with some good office space available and we’ll get something else in here.”

The VA Clinic will be a definite boost for the mall, which is walking with a limp since JC Penney and Goody’s left. More recently, McMinnville Parks and Recreation moved its offices to Milner Recreation Center to leave the mall with vacancies the size of a black hole.

I’m not exactly sure how much space the VA Clinic will occupy at the mall. It had some 7,500 square feet on South Chancery Street and word was that it was looking to get substantially bigger. The mall most certainly has the space with J’s Restaurant, Roses, and Bath & Body Works doing their best to hold down the proverbial fort.


A talk with

Huddle House chef


Today’s Business Pulse column was really a joy to compile on Friday because I got to talk with so many different people. I decided to reach out of my comfort zone and try something new and I arranged an interview with the chief chef at Huddle House, none other than Kirk Biondi.

It’s easy to walk into a restaurant, place your order, and not give much thought to all the work that goes into developing the menu. When you’re a company like Huddle House, with over 300 restaurants, items don’t make their way onto the menu by accident. They have been carefully developed and tested.

That’s where chef Biondi enters the picture. He’s the director of menu development for Huddle House and he has a huge test kitchen at his disposal in Atlanta. He explained the process.

“When I’m working on a new menu offering or a menu improvement, it starts with tasting and getting feedback,” said Biondi. “If it’s an LTO, a limited time offer, we’ll pick a location, serve the product there and heavily promote it. Then we’ll see how it does. If it does well, we might expand it to five to 10 stores, and if that works well we might go system-wide.”

Biondi has four menu items which are making their Huddle House debut system-wide this Sunday, including the Homestyle Huddle Wrap, and also the Southwestern Wrap.

“The trend seems to be going with food that’s easier to carry out, that’s more portable,” said Biondi. “These flavor-packed wraps are made with the highest quality ingredients.”

Biondi has an interesting story in that he’s worked in the restaurant business all his life. He got his start – where else? – in the dish room washing dishes and gradually worked his way up. He eventually went to culinary school to refine his craft.

“My grandmother was from Italy so I grew up with family and food being a central part of my life,” said Biondi. “My grandmother knew how to serve great food in her kitchen but it’s a little different to serve great food on a larger scale.”

Biondi says what he loves about Huddle House is all the food is cooked to order and it has flavor which will bring customers back for more. Huddle House of McMinnville is closing in on its first year of operation and is open seven days a week on The Strip.


Incentives

For jobs


There was a groundswell of activity at August’s monthly meeting of the Industrial Development Board, so much so I couldn’t fit it all in last week’s column.

One highlight of the meeting was IDB executive director Don Alexander brought in two representatives to talk about incentives that are available for bringing jobs to Warren County. One representative was with TVA and the other was with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Develop-ment.

They noted the average wage in Warren County is around $16 an hour. In order for a company to be considered extremely attractive, it’s important for that company to pay more than the standard wage.

In other words, it doesn’t serve any benefit from an economic standpoint to recruit a company with 500 jobs if those jobs are only going to pay $8.50 an hour. Workers earning that wage aren’t going to have an abundance of discretionary income. They’re just going to be barely getting by paying their bills so that doesn’t help the economy.

What would help the economy would be to recruit a company with 50 jobs that pay $22 an hour. Workers earning that kind of wage will have extra money to buy a fishing boat or a nicer car. That in turn helps the local economy.

Don said like most everything else, the world of economic development is constantly changing so he was glad to have the two representatives provide information for his own benefit and the benefit of the Industrial Board.

“It’s always good to get a refresher course,” said Don. “Every project we work on is a little bit different with different variables in place. Now it seems like the trend is to go with more automation and robots. You might have fewer workers but the workers you do have will have a much higher responsibility. They can’t have those robots and lines go down for any amount of time.”


Unemployment 

Glance


According to the latest unemployment numbers released Thursday by the state, Warren County unemployment was 5.4% for July. That’s the exact same as the national average of 5.4%, but just a touch higher than the statewide rate of 4.7%.

The unemployment rate for other counties of interest for July are as follows. Figures were provided by the state.

Van Buren – 5.7%

White – 4.3%

Rutherford – 3.7%

Putnam – 4.3%

Grundy – 6.6%

DeKalb – 5.2%

Coffee – 4.4%

Davidson – 4.2%


That’s all folks


Take care and be safe. Email business tips to editor@southernstandard.com.