By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Business Pulse: 10-12-14
Placeholder Image

There’s great news, boys and girls, concerning the old Ryan’s building across from Walmart. Shoe Show is locating what will be an enormous shoe store at that spot with plans to open in January.
According to Shoe Show spokeswoman Vicki O’Donnell, the company is going to completely remodel the building. When finished, Shoe Show is going to utilize 10,863 square feet of space to display more than 14,800 shoes, handbags and accessories.
Shoe Show is clearly a company on the grow with 1,136 locations in 41 states. O’Donnell says Shoe Show averages opening one store every seven days.
The store that will be opening in McMinnville will be under the Shoe Dept. Encore division, which includes stores that are two-to-three times the square footage of a tradition store. Shoe Dept. Encore caters to a broader range of customers by offering a wider variety of shoes and price points.
There will be all types of footwear for the entire family, everything from sneakers to dress shoes to hiking boots.
I was tooling around the company’s website on Friday and noticed a number of items in addition to shoes. Most notably, Shoe Dept. Encore offers the largest selection of socks I’ve ever seen with tons of colorful, character socks for the kids. Other merchandise includes handbags, backpacks, watches, sunglasses and shoe-related gear such as inserts, odor-eaters, and water repellent.
As far as brand names, Shoe Dept. Encore offers Aerosoles, Clarks, Columbia, Easy Spirit, Florsheim, Liz Claiborne, Nine West, Rockport, Rocky Boots, Skechers, Steve Madden, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Nike, New Balance, Keds and K Swiss.
The company got its start 54 years ago and is headquartered in Concord, N.C., about 15 miles north of Charlotte. It has more than 9,500 employees and will likely have around 15 to 20 employees in McMinnville depending on business, according to O’Donnell.
On a final note, I’d like to applaud the efforts of local recruiters who worked to make this deal a reality. Shoe Dept. Encore locating in McMinnville is a direct result of the large retail trade show in Atlanta, which we send representatives to each year.
It took a couple years of work and persuasion, but the company finally decided McMinnville would be a nice fit and is making the investment to locate here. Industrial Development Board director Don Alexander is among the local representatives who will be attending the retail show in Atlanta later this month. Maybe they can bring back an Electronic Express.
It’s also positive news for the old Ryan’s building, which has been mostly vacant since Ryan’s left in February 2008. Sentosa, a Chinese restaurant, tried to make a go of it there under two different owners, but didn’t last long.
If we can find a reliable retail tenant for the old Hasting’s building, now vacant for 18 months, that area will once again be looking sharp.

Getting another good neighbor

McMinnville will soon be welcoming a new State Farm agent with the arrival of Leigh Holland. She is opening an office at 1428 Sparta Street in the same building as the dialysis center. The office is scheduled to open Nov. 1.
Leigh told me she had been working in State Farm corporate marketing and had been approved for her own agency for some time. She said it was a matter of picking the right spot and that spot for her is McMinnville.
“I could have gone anywhere in the country,” said Leigh, who is moving to town with her husband and 1-year-old. “For me, this seemed like the place to be. Coming from a bigger city, I like the atmosphere of a smaller town. And it seems like there are some real good opportunities for growth here.”
Leigh comes to McMinnville from Jackson and says she will offer more services than a standard insurance agent thanks to her licensing. By having her mortgage license, it opens the door for her to do more banking-related business.
“I will bring more than just insurance because I can offer financial services,” said Leigh. “I will be a mortgage lender, I can sell CDs, and I can offer mutual funds for retirement or college savings.”
Leigh says she understands a vital part of doing business in a community is giving back to that community and she plans to be active in a number of local programs once she gets settled. Her office phone number is 474-5252 so give her a call for your insurance or financial needs.

Superior Walls works on luxury hotel

I stumbled on a rather neat story last week about Superior Walls and the work it’s been doing for a 28-room, three-story upscale hotel in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I found the story interesting because Mills Park Hotel is a luxury hotel and because the project is hundreds of miles away, not far from Cincinnati, Ohio.
“All the materials were made right here in Warren County and trucked up there,” said Superior Walls president Stacey Harvey. “It took us about a week and a half to make everything here, which is just a fraction of the time it would have taken if all the work was done on site.”
Superior Walls manufactured the concrete foundations and also the three-story elevator tower. Stacey said his work with the hotel is done, but other contractors are now on site making the structure conform to historical guidelines in that community.
As for overall business, Superior Walls has bounced back from the lean years of the housing recession and is up to 60 employees and counting. Stacey said the business is now hiring, especially truck drivers, crane operators, and wall installers.
“Our challenge before was finding work which is why we stretched to some outlying areas like Ohio,” said Stacey. “Now our challenge is keeping our supplies up with the demand. We’re going to have to more wisely choose the business that we do because of all the pent-up demand. We’re also scrambling to hire and train quality people. We’re finding that to be pretty difficult.”
Superior Walls of East Tennessee, located near Rock Island, has been in business since 2003. Stacey said any hard worker looking for employment is welcome to stop by the facility on Sparta Highway.

MES throws party for 75 years

McMinnville Electric System celebrated 75 years of service on Thursday, treating visitors to cake and king-sized hotdogs from The Hot Dog Man.
MES general manager and CEO Rodney Boyd pointed out Tennessee’s 60 municipal electric systems provide power to 2.1 million homes and businesses and make up over 70 percent of the state’s electric customers.
“We at McMinnville Electric System pride ourselves in providing clean, safe, odorless, reliable, efficient and convenient electricity,” said Rodney. “I am proud to report that after all the squirrel-caused outages, bird-caused outages, vehicle-hitting-a-pole-caused outages, lightning-caused outages, and equipment-caused outages, for this year thus far, our average system reliability is 99.99 percent and that is pretty darn good.”
As someone who enjoys surfing the Internet and watching my wife do laundry, I want to thank MES for providing the electricity to my modest home. My life wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable if I didn’t have AC in July, and if I didn’t have my trusty album collection to listen to at night.
It’s with all that in mind, I have taken the time to compose this original, heart-warming poem to convey just what MES means to me and my life.

That’s all folks

If you have business news to report, give me a call. I’m always at the office unless I’m not here. The phone number is 473-2191.