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Business Pulse: 4-6-14
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If you’re looking for jobs, jobs, jobs, the big news last week came Wednesday from Manchester where Aspen Technologies announced it will be locating a new plant. The company is expected to create 160 jobs.
I realize these aren’t Warren County jobs, but the drive to Manchester is not too far for folks looking for work, especially if you live in the Morrison area. According to Mapquest, the trip is 23 miles from downtown McMinnville.
Aspen Technologies will locate in Manchester Industrial Park and plans to begin its hiring process in June. Local production is scheduled to start the first week of July. This means company officials really have to hustle.
Aspen Technologies is based in Brighton, Mich., which is not far from Detroit. Like most companies locating in Tennessee, Aspen manufactures products for the automotive industry.
Aspen makes polyurethane foam products used mainly for the interior of cars, trucks and recreational vehicles. This includes instrument panels, doors, and other molded products. From looking at its website, Aspen manufactures products that look much like the ones made by Miniature Precision Components in Morrison.
If you are reading this and wondering about employment opportunities at the new Aspen plant, résumés can be sent to

Mud Bums
to open Tuesday

There’s a new sports grill in McMinnville and it’s called Mud Bums. The restaurant held a soft opening Friday night and will open to the general public this Tuesday.
Charlie and Donna Turner are the restaurant owners. They’ve spent many hours transforming the old Baskin-Robbins location at Northgate Center into a great-looking establishment. I stopped by Friday and was treated to a wide variety of great-tasting food. This included hot wings with a zesty tang, the soon-to-be-famous Bum Burger with bacon and pepper jack cheese, and SEC baked beans, which get their name because Donna says, “They’re from the South.”
The menu has a little of everything from burgers to grilled chicken. Then there are more unique items like oysters, crawfish, froglegs and a seafood platter.
“We want this to be the next fun place for McMinnville where you can go to get good food, good service and have a good time with your whole family,” said Donna.
The dining room looks nothing like the old Baskin-Robbins location and has been completely transformed. There are seven TVs, a small bar, and a patio area with additional dining. The restaurant can seat 64 inside and 16 outside.
“With the weather starting to get nice, we think outdoor dining will be a big hit,” said Donna.
If you’d like a refreshing beverage, there are several types of draft beer to choose from along with bottled beer and strawberita coolers.
There are video games for the kids and I just love the jukebox that’s equipped with the latest technology. You can download an app to your smartphone and play the jukebox without ever leaving your seat.
“When there’s not a big game on that everybody’s watching, we will have the jukebox up a little louder,” said Donna. “But when the Vols or Titans are on, and everybody is watching the game, we will have the game turned up.”
Mud Bums has hired six waitresses, three cooks, and two kitchen helpers. In addition, Donna, Charlie and their kids will be working at the restaurant.
“We’ve hired several high school girls as waitresses and they are really excited because this is their first job,” said Donna, who said she is happy to give the young ladies a chance.
Beginning Tuesday, Mud Bums will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on week nights, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
“We will be somewhat flexible with our hours,” said Donna. “If there are a bunch of people hanging out and watching a game, we’re not going to turn it off and tell them to go home because it’s 10 p.m.”
Cat’s Meow
has a new purr

If you have an image of The Cat’s Meow on Sparta Street as being a thrift store, get that image out of your head. The thrift store is gone and The Cat’s Meow is now a formal store featuring brand new merchandise.
Among its inventory, The Cat’s Meow now has new wedding gowns, prom dresses, and pageant dresses.
If there’s a wedding in your future, the store has a dress for the bride, the bridesmaid, the flower girl, and even the mother of the bride.
“We have completely redone the entire store,” said owner Ellen Hankal. “Buying a dress like this for a special occasion is supposed to be a fun experience and we want to make it that way. We have some of the top, name-brand dresses and everything to go along with them like veils and headpieces.”
Ellen said the idea of getting in the formal wear business started when she operated the thrift store and had the privilege of helping high school students go to the prom.
“I had two couples who couldn’t afford to go to the prom so I helped them out with some pre-owned dresses and it really started from there,” said Ellen. “That’s when I originally started to get prom stuff and I just kept getting more and more. It was several months ago I decided I no longer wanted to be in the thrift store business. I will miss some of my regular customers, but it’s something I decided I no longer want to be doing. Now that we redid the store and are all formal, I see this is a much better opportunity. I think it’s a needed service for the girls of Warren County.”
Ellen says she doesn’t want to forget her roots even though she has changed her focus. She is still committed to helping girls afford a dress so they can have a memorable time at their special event.
“I offer layaway and I’ll work with them however I can,” said Ellen. “We have all different price ranges from $200 to $2,000 so we will have something they will be able to afford. And we have all different sizes from a size zero to a size 32.”
Ellen said she’s been pleasantly surprised by the number of out-of-town customers who have already visited her store. She also wanted to emphasize several racks of reduced merchandise she has in stock for people on a really tight budget. Some formal dresses there are in the $80 price range. There is also tuxedo rental for the guys.
The Cat’s Meow is located at 206 Sparta Street. The phone number is 474-MEOW. Hours are Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dirt work on
N. Chancery

I’ve had several people ask me about the bulldozer work taking place on N. Chancery Street across the road from Neil Helton State Farm.
According to city records, the property is owned by Donna Vaughn. She is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on April 14 to see if she can get a special exception to the property’s current C-2 zoning.
According to paperwork submitted to the city, she is looking to construct multi-family housing on the property. This could be either an apartment complex or more than one duplex.
When I was taking pictures of the property last week, it goes back pretty far from the road so it could support a small apartment complex if that is the plan. The exact plans will have to be presented to the Planning Commission next Monday in order for any zoning exception to be approved. I will pass along more information as it becomes available.

New assisted
living facility

It appears a new assisted living facility is in the planning stages for McMinnville on property on Cadillac Lane. A company based in Dallas, Texas called Country Place Living has purchased two acres of property there and has started the procedures for becoming a licensed assisted living facility.
I’m not exactly sure what timetable the company may have and had no luck reaching a company representative last week. Building plans have not been submitted at McMinnville City Hall. When those plans are submitted, we will have an idea about how big a facility this might be and how many people it can house.

Land surveyor
sets up shop

There’s a new land surveyor in town and his name is Allen Maples. Allen has set up an office on Chancery Street at Zechman Plaza and is ready to serve all your land surveying needs.
“I started in 1999 and got my license in 2002,” said Allen. “I’ve been working for myself since 2005 and worked with a lot of real estate companies looking to develop farms into tracts. We’ve been staying pretty busy lately and running two crews.”
Allen says he has six full-time employees who have over 50 years experience in the land surveying business. His wife, Billie, helps him part-time writing legal land descriptions. He is a 2000 graduate of East Tennessee State University who has a degree in surveying and mapping.
Allen says his goal is to provide accurate, dependable service that is second to none. He’s available for services such as boundary surveys, mortgage surveys, topographic surveys and utility surveys.
“I use all the latest GPS equipment and keep up with technology,” said Allen. “There are some surveyors who still draw their plats out by hand, but we do all computer design work.”
When is a land surveyor needed? Allen says it’s a good idea before:
• subdiving land
• purchasing or selling land
• building a fence or structure
• designing a construction project.
Surveying can also be done to settle a long-standing dispute with your neighbor about where the property line falls.
To get in touch with Allen Maples Land Surveying, the business can be reached at (931) 837-5446, Allen can also be contacted via his cellphone at 808-3765. His website is

Nissan jobs

In an effort to keep you informed of jobs available in this area, I’m pleased to report Yates Services is looking for employees to fill long-term, full-time positions at the Nissan plant in Smyrna.
The company is hiring for nights, afternoons, weekends, and rotating shifts for the following positions: production, material handling, industrial maintenance, tool and die maker, and warehouse. The pay scale starts at $12 for warehouse jobs, up to $15.45 for industrial maintenance. No starting pay was listed for tool and die makers.
To be considered, you must bring a résumé to Murfreesboro Career Center and two forms of ID. The Career Center is located at 1313 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, TN 37129. The phone number is (615) 898-8081.
If you’re interested in one of these jobs, good luck.

That’s all folks

When it comes to business news, share the love. If you have a business tip, give me a call at 473-2191.