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Business Pulse - New owner, new business, new deal

We’ve reached that wonderful time of the year when it’s easy to assume all business in Warren County revolves around the Warren County A & L Fair. And, to a certain extent, that’s true. Places like Three Star Cinema, J’s Restaurant and Collins River BBQ routinely use fair week as an opportunity to take a well-deserved vacation rather than compete with the biggest event in the county’s social calendar year.  J’s will reopen Sept. 19. Three Star Cinema and Collins River will reopen Sept. 20. But there’s still a little non-fair business news to talk about. 

Great New owner for

good ol' Sloppy Top

  Over the past seven and a half years, Good Ol’ Sloppy Top has established itself as a standout among Warren County’s food trucks. Matt and Danielle Pelham started the business and grew it into a success story but, at the start of this year, the Pelhams began turning their attention more fully to their event venue – The Union Roost at 343 Gwen Pelham Lane in McMinnville. 

This led them to begin a search for a new owner and they didn’t’ have to look any farther than their own truck. Christy Cassady began working for the Pelhams four years before. “I was looking for a job that would fit into my schedule and allow me to pick up my little girl from school and I answered their ad for a part-time employee. I learned on the job and, over my four years, I eventually felt like I could pretty much handle everything that would be thrown at me in the business,” Christy said.

When the Pelhams mentioned their intention to sell, Christy knew she had a choice to make. “I thought, well, I’m probably going to have to find a new job if I don’t buy it. If I don’t try it, I’ll never know so, you know what, I’ll just go ahead and do it.” 

Christy credits Matt and Danielle for giving her the experience, the confidence in herself and the opportunity to take this massive step and become the owner of her own business. “I’m very blessed and thankful to Matt and Danielle. If not for them, I would not be doing this. They have blessed me in so many ways, they don’t even know,” Christy said.

Christy is no newcomer to the restaurant industry, having grown up under the influence of Warren County culinary royalty. “My granny, Willene, was the cook at Eva’s years ago. When I was 19, I worked there with granny and I always looked up to her,” Christy said.

Christy took over ownership of Good Ol’ Sloppy Top at the first of August. Her first order of business was to add a completely new staff as the truck’s summer staff was comprised of students who returned to school last month. Cassady is thankful for the assistance of her sister, Susie Rackley, as well as employees Alexxia Hillis, Loren Hinshaw and Abby Guy. Christy also has a strong support system at home with her husband, Charlie Cassady, and their two children, ages 11 and 27.

The faces may be new but the menu remains the same. “I believe if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” Christy said. She says her main seller is chicken salad and she’s also proud of her homemade pimento cheese. “I don’t like store-bought pimento cheese. I’ve got the good stuff.” 

Sloppy Top features a different special every week, with the Mr. Good Burger being a customer favorite. It’s a quarter-pound patty with melted jalapeño pimento cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, mayo, mustard and sautéed onions on a toasted bun. “We’ve heard you can’t find anything like this burger anywhere else,” Christy said. 

Good Ol’ Sloppy Top’s location is a bit up in the air for now as Christy has been approached by several different locations. The one constant will be Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Pump ‘n’ Pay East near the hospital. Christy is also looking to set up at other events such as JROTC meets and, potentially, the Hunter Girl concert in Tullahoma Sept. 17. For other locations and schedules, Christy encourages customers to check the Good Ol’ Sloppy Top Facebook page. She also offers catering featuring her full menu.

Time for a touch

of Autumn

After spending the upcoming week standing and walking at the Warren County A & L Fair, there may be a lot of folks needing a good massage. Autumn Wanamaker Young will be ready.

Autumn has recently started a new massage practice where she works with Deanna Magar at Sage Skincare and Wellness, located at 496 N. Chancery St. next to Bobby Ray Elementary. 

Autumn is a born-and-raised Warren County native who is married with two children. She’s been in the medical field for about 20 years and has worked out of town for many of them. “I wanted to change careers but wanted to stay in the medical profession and I knew massage was the best option to allow me to own my own business and provide care for others, both mentally and physically,” Autumn said.

Autumn recently earned her diploma from the Nashville School of Massage Therapy in Brentwood. “I was able to do my clinicals at Massage Envy in Murfreesboro as a massage therapist, which I think gave me a leg up in providing great massage therapy,” Autumn said. “I’m now a massage therapist at Sage and I love it. Deanna has helped me through school and given me great guidance, as well as my mentor, Donna Hale.”

Autumn and the folks at Sage strive to cultivate a relaxing atmosphere. I can personally attest that the place smells great and has an overall soothing vibe. 

Autumn offers a wide variety of treatments, including Swedish relaxation, deep tissue massages, hot basalt stone massages, Himalayan stone massages and aromatherapy massages. 

Not one to be satisfied with the status quo, Autumn frequently travels across the country to study new techniques so she can bring the best services back home to Warren County. “In October, I will be traveling to New Jersey so I can begin offering a Thai herbal poultice massage. In December I will be offering complete full-body mud wraps. And lymphatic treatment will be coming in 2023,” Autumn said. “Sage is the perfect place to indulge yourself and I offer a little bit of everything for everyone.”

So when the stress of everyday life gets to you, turn to Autumn.

A pretty sweet deal

While it's true Collins River BBQ on Main Street is closed for fair week, they've still got some business news to report. 

Acutely aware of the rising prices of food and restaurant supplies, Collins River BBQ owner Joe O'Neal has had no choice but to adjust pricing on his menu. But in  an effort to avoid leaving a sour taste in customers' mouths, he's added a sweet new offer to lessen the blow.

With the purchase of a meal, tea is offered for free for dine-in customers.  "This is just a little something we could do to help out our customers. We appreciate their support of our small, family-owned business and we want to do what we can to help everybody out," O'Neal said. 

As someone who often orders water at restaurants as a cost-saving measure, free tea sounds like a great offer.

Join the Hunt

If you're taking your kids to the fair this week, I'm sure an extra $500 would come in handy. Luckily the Southern Standard is offering our It's a Wacky, Wacky, Wacky, Wacky Warren scavenger hunt where you can win big. Check out our ad on page 6B for details. 

Until next time, 

same biz time,

same biz page

I hope you all enjoy the Warren County A & L Fair this week. It truly is one of my favorite times of the year. And while you're there, don't forget to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi offered by our exclusive sponsor of Business Pulse, Ben Lomand Connect. As always, if you have any business news to report, please call me at (931) 473-2191 or email me at