The editors of Business Pulse love uplifting stories about business owners who start small and achieve success through hard work and determination.
As owner and operator of Precision Engineering, Jamey Hyder certainly falls into that category. He started his company in 1995 with a two-person staff that included him and his wife Melody.
Closing in on 25 years later, Jamey has a workforce of 12 and he’s doing business with companies such as General Motors, Barrett Firearms and Nissan. The best part may be yet to come as Precision Engineering is on the grow at its facility on Manchester Highway in what used to be the old Walter A. Wood and the old Ironhorse Trailer building.
A 3,100-square-foot expansion is taking place in front of the current manufacturing facility that will house 10 offices for engineers and designers. The goal is to move into the new offices around the first of the year.
“The construction has grabbed attention because we’ve had several people stop in to ask, ‘What are you building?’” said marketing director Kyle Ward. “This is going to lead to more work and more employees. The new robotics center is going to be perfect for us because it’s producing employees with exactly the skills we need.”
Precision Engineering has a 5,100-square-foot machine shop and is also leaping head first into the world of automation by developing a robotics system that loads engine blocks onto an assembly line. The company also works to create ergonomic solutions to help employees faced with repetitive-movement tasks.
The best news for the Warren County workforce is when the Precision Engineering office addition is complete, it will be filled with engineers and designers. Those positions will create more work for other employees and result in more local jobs. Hooray!
Precision Engineering is located at 5638 Manchester Highway near Brown Lee Ford.
Is in the books
I received a Business Pulse tip Wednesday about a high level of activity taking place at the old Wilson Cutting building on Sparta Highway. Picking up my camera and trusty notepad, I ventured across town to uncover the answers.
What I learned is a used textbook company is in the process of relocating from Mt. Juliet to McMinnville with hopes to be open around the first of the year. The business is Walrus Book Company and it’s owned and operated by Brent Rust, who has 25 years of experience in the textbook industry.
“I started this in a garage with 500 square feet,” said Brent. “Then I moved up to 1,000 square feet and it’s gone from there. By the time we get moved in here, we’ll have one-third to one-half of the building filled.”
Brent and his brother were busy doing some serious remodeling work on Wednesday with Brent saying he’s thrilled to be moving to the area. A native of Mt. Juliet, he said he’ll be pleased to get some relief from the smothering Mt. Juliet traffic and he loves what Warren County has to offer.
“I think I found a heck of a deal on this building and you have a beautiful downtown area,” said Brent.
He said his main customers are school systems in Tennessee, Alabama and Indiana. But he also sells to individuals throughout the U.S. in all 50 states thanks to the reach he has with the internet.
The benefit of landing Walrus Book Company is Warren County gets an established business that will bring new life to an empty building. Brent said he and his wife plan to relocate here too.
However, Brent was quick to point out the company won’t have a retail presence, meaning customers won’t be able to walk in and buy a textbook on site.
That minor detail aside, Business Pulse is pleased to welcome Walrus Book Company to McMinnville. In the infinite words of John Lennon, “I am the egg man, I am the walrus, Goo goo g’joob.”
Is big news
There’s business news that’s worth mentioning and then there’s business news that’s really a big deal. Renowned local surgeon Dr. Jeff Peterson’s new project falls into the latter category as he’s in the process of constructing new buildings for Big Deal Storage.
“This will be one of the nicest storage facilities in the region for boats and RVs,” said Dr. Peterson. “I’ve done a lot of research on this and looked at a number of different facilities and once people see how nice this place is they’re going to want to rent the space.”
Big Deal Storage will be located on Manchester Highway across from Warren County High School and next to Dollar General. Dr. Peterson has owned the property for two years and says his idea for the extra large storage bays stems from his inability to find such storage for his own boat and trailer.
Construction on the first building is expected to begin in the next 10 days. It will feature storage bays that are 14 feet wide by 40 feet deep.
Dr. Peterson said the first building will have nine spots available to rent and four have already been reserved. He said he’s received interest in four more, which could leaving only one spot left in the first building.
But never fear because a second building will soon be constructed with 18 bays. The second building is expected to be complete in January or February.
Big Deal Storage will offer 24-7 gated access with ample cameras installed for security. There are also bonus features you won’t find anywhere else as there will be a courtesy dump station for RV customers to offload their sewage. There will also be a courtesy washing station where you can give your boat or RV some shine.
Dr. Peterson points out that the last thing most people want to deal with after a long trip is finding a place to pump their sewage. To take his point one step further, that’s the last thing I want to deal with at any time of my life.
I think Big Deal Storage is a great idea and a welcome asset to the community. I know there are folks who have made big-dollar investments in their boats and RVs and they need a place to park them because they won’t fit in the driveway.
For more information on Big Deal Storage, call 815-2443.
Eat more tacos
There’s an ancient Chinese saying that indicates you can never eat too many tacos. Or maybe it’s a Central American saying.
Regardless, there’s room for one more taco truck in McMinnville and that taco truck is called Cinco De Mayo. It’s located atop the hill on S. Chancery Street next to the longtime vegetable stand.
Cinco De Mayo owner Armando Mercado has an interesting story as a 33-year resident of Chicago. He’s been in Warren County the past nine years and is a former owner of Lupita’s on Spring Street.
Armando said he loved the great selection of fabulous restaurants in Chicago and also the many flea markets. However, he finds the small-town charm of McMinnville much more to his liking and said he doesn’t plan on living anywhere else.
Cinco De Mayo specialized in freshly made, authentic Mexican food. I can say the guacamole is delicious as I ate an entire container of it.
“All the restaurants are on the other side of town. I’m the only thing here,” said Armando. “That’s why I really like this location. I have customers who have started coming every day.”
Armando said it’s interesting how tastes vary by region. He said when he was in Chicago, there were very few Americans he found who enjoy spicy food. However, he said there are many, many Warren County residents who love their tacos, enchiladas and gorditas to pack a kick.
He also said very few of his Hispanic customers like guacamole. In contrast, he says his American customers could consume guacamole from a fire hose.
If his food truck continues to thrive, Armando is already eyeing the empty building across the street, that being the old Hillis Grocery. He says he can envision operating out of that building in the future if everything goes according to plan.
Cinco De Mayo is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The food truck is closed on Monday.
That’s all folks
I’ve received more business tips the past two weeks than I’ve received the rest of year. If you keep asking questions, I’ll work to keep finding answers. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.