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Business Pulse 1-25-15
Teresa Paris has continued to expand Paris Caf on Hillside Lane.

We have an interesting story on the front page of today’s paper about a woman who has been banned from Walmart. It’s not just our Walmart in McMinnville, but every Walmart on six continents and in 27 countries.
Allow the weight of this decision to sink in for just a moment. For the rest of her life, this woman can never again legally step foot inside a Walmart store. Never. Is this good or bad?
While this worldwide ban may seem harsh, it did get me thinking. I wonder if there’s a way someone could ban my wife Cupcake from Walmart. I’m thinking this would save me a lot of money.
I’m not exactly sure what it is, but Walmart has a way of getting you to spend $117 every time you walk through the door. Even if I’m just dashing in to buy something simple like frozen fish sticks and laundry detergent, I somehow get sidetracked and end up spending more than I ever dreamed.
I guess this is why Walmart is the largest retailer in the world. They have ways of making you spend. So a lifetime ban from Walmart might actually be a blessing.
As for odd news around the nation, lottery officials in New Hampshire are jumping on the bacon bandwagon. Earlier this month they unveiled their first scratch-and-sniff lottery ticket that smells like, you guessed it, bacon.
It's looking like bacon is becoming the universal panacea that solves all the world’s problems. Are you fighting depression? Forget about Prozac and eat bacon. That will cheer you up.
Just got in a fight with your girlfriend? Bacon will turn that frown upside down.
Didn’t win the lottery? Well at least your losing ticket smells like bacon.
Last but not least, a motorist sounded off to an Atlanta, Ga., TV station because he was given a ticket for eating a cheeseburger while driving. The motorist said he was in absolute disbelief to be cited under the state’s distracted driving law.
I say amen! It’s about time. I’m tired of people eating, shaving, texting, reading, and doing everything behind the wheel except driving. Pay attention to the road and quit shoving that cheeseburger down your throat, but I don’t really have much of an opinion on the matter.

If the shoe fits . . .

Friday was the first day of business for Shoe Dept. Encore, which has opened at the old Ryan’s building across from  Walmart. It was a very quiet opening with very little fanfare. And with construction work still taking place outside, I’m sure there are many people who don’t realize the store is open.
The inside, however, is completely finished and the new store looks great. I’ve had people ask me how a shoe store was going to fill such a large 10,000-square-foot building and I finally have the answer – with an awful lot of shoes. I feel confident in saying if there’s a shoe you want, Shoe Dept. Encore will have it in stock.
There are shoes for men, women and children. There are dress shoes, work boots, sneakers, and sandals. There’s everything when it comes to footwear.
I don’t really know what else to say about this new store except that it has big shoes to fill. The shoes make the man. And don’t judge me until you walk a mile in my shoes. Those are the only sayings I can think of that pertain to shoes.

Could there be Zaxby’s?

Get your honey mustard ready because there’s talk a Zaxby’s might be coming to town. Of course I should stress this is just talk and you can’t believe most of the things you hear. However, you can believe 98 percent of the things you read in Business Pulse.
All that said, I’ve heard that a Zaxby’s representative has been asking about vacant land across the road from Sonic and Foodland Plus. Yes, that’s prime real estate and it would make a great spot for a Zaxby’s, or an O’Charley’s, or a Ruby Tuesdays.
From what I’ve heard over the years, several people have inquired about the former mobile home lot across from Sonic. However, the price has always been outrageous.
Curious to see if this rumor might possibly be true, I tracked down a number for Zaxby’s real estate development office and talked to representative Tommy Mitchell on Friday.
“We do not have any comment on those type of transactions until everything is dotted and signed,” said Mitchell.
I can understand this philosophy because property has a way of rising in value when government agencies and companies like Zaxby’s become interested.
Looking at the Zaxby’s model, McMinnville does seem like it would fit with the company’s business plan. There are Zaxby’s located in nearby cities such as Tullahoma, Winchester, Crossville, and Fayetteville. Those towns aren’t too much different than McMinnville.
So we’ll have to wait and see if anything materializes from this great Zaxby’s rumor. The editors of Business Pulse are not making predictions at this time.

Wedding bells halt at Hickory Creek

Do you remember back in the 1990s when it seemed like everyone was getting married at Hickory Creek Wedding Chapel? After hundreds of weddings and a nearly 20-year run, property owner Eldie Ferrell says the time has come to close the wedding chapel. He’s having the building remodeled to become residential property.
“People have been asking me what I’d do when it was time to do a gay wedding there,” said Eldie. “That’s why I say it’s time to do away with it because I’m a Christian man and I don’t want a gay marriage out there.”
Hickory Creek Wedding Chapel, located on S. Chancery Street, opened in October 1995. It was extremely popular at the start as couple’s flocked to the new location as a hip place to get married. While it’s difficult to know an exact number, it’s safe to say hundreds of couples have been married at that chapel.
Eldie’s wife, Treva, was the heart and soul of the wedding chapel and it lost much of its charisma after her death in March 2012. Treva was a fine lady and she’s still missed.
Eldie says it’s time for the wedding chapel to become other things so he made the decision to close it and it’s cur-rently being remodeled for residential living. The decision means Warren County is without two of its once-popular wedding spots now that ceremonies are no longer being conducted at Hickory Creek Wedding Chapel or at The Inn at Harvest Farms.
With a lack of local wedding spots, I’m thinking about turning my house into a chapel for all the people longing to get married in the beauty of a residential neighborhood. Prices start at $499 and include wedding photos and a bag of BBQ potato chips.

Paris Café keeps expanding

What started in a food trailer outside their business at 58 Hillside Lane has grown into a widely popular Southern lunch buffet for Regon and Teresa Paris at Paris Café.
To accommodate its growing lunch crowd, Paris Café has expanded yet again and now has 17 tables. It is also adding an extra day to its hours of operation and will now be serving food on Mondays to make it a complete Monday thru Friday operation.
“We go through a lot of potatoes and a lot of dried beans because we make everything from scratch,” said Teresa. “It’s not as convenient as opening a can, but you can taste the difference. Our sauces, dressings, pies, they are all made from scratch.”
While there are other lunch buffet bars in the area, Paris Café is unique because it specializes in Southern cookin’. Fried chicken is on the buffet every day and there are regular favorites like meatloaf, catfish, sweet potato casse-role, fried potatoes, and green beans.
It’s the made-from-scratch food that’s made Paris Café such a lunchtime destination. It’s also open for breakfast dur-ing the week and dinner on Friday nights.
Considering their recent expansions, I asked Regon and Teresa if they planned on moving to an even larger location since there’s not much room left to expand at their current spot. When they first left the food trailer and moved into the building, they had just four tables. Regon said their focus is going to be on remodeling and making the current restaurant nicer when needed, but he does not envision a different location.
That building is becoming awfully busy because there are three other businesses there – Paris Plumbing and Electric, Wellspring Christian Bookstore, and Carbide Fitness, which is a crossfit gym.
“They can get all they want to eat here, then go burn it off over there,” said Teresa.
Paris Café can be reached at 473-3606.

H2 Education ready to teach

Valerie and Bill Hovenden have opened a new business that offers a variety of services from student tutoring to clas-ses in theatrical production. The business, called H2 Education, opened Tuesday at 199 West Main Street near the Park Theatre.
A six-week course called Introduction to Drama begins Feb. 7 and will be one of the first offerings for H2 Education. The course will focus on a variety of live theater issues from body language, getting into character, to technical pro-duction. Valerie is no stranger to this type of work as she toured for 12 years with Kenny G and also worked with bands such as Kiss, Barry Manilow, Meatloaf and Stevie Wonder when they toured in the United Kingdom.
“I started with Kenny G as production tour manager in 1986,” said Valerie. “He was so small back then, we fit every-thing into one bus. That was all the equipment, all the guys, everything in one bus. By the end we had three buses, three semi trucks and Kenny was flying to shows in his private plane.”
Valerie, who is from that side of the pond, was also active with the Liverpool Playhouse and the English National Opera. She is very knowledgeable when it comes to live performance.
All this fits in well with the opening of the Park Theatre set for this April. With people envisioning a facility that holds many live performances like the Cannon County Playhouse, it will come in handy to have a resource like Valerie right next door.
As for the other aspect of the business, Valerie and Bill will offer one-on-one tutoring for children in grades K-8. Valerie realizes this is a large age group and will offer different teaching styles for children in grades K-2, grades 3-5, and grades 6-8.
Bill has spent most of his life in education, most recently spending 28 years as the headmaster of Sumner Academy in Gallatin. The Hovendens have lived here about a year.
“One of the most important things to focus on is not achievement, but whether a child is engaged,” said Bill. “A child who is curious, who asks questions, who is engaged in the learning process is a child who is going to learn.”
Bill said some kids would rather take an easy test where they know they can score 100 than take a hard test where they will be challenged. He said other students prefer the challenge.
Bill says much of learning is about understanding the student, what type of person they are, and how they learn best. He said many major companies use the Myers-Briggs Indicator to determine the 16 different personality types of their employees. He said it’s important to keep this in mind when trying to connect with students and create an environment where they can best learn.
In addition to individual tutoring sessions, age-appropriate group sessions will also be offered after school. Summer activities are on the agenda when school lets out in May.
Valerie and Bill have a wealth of ideas and the experience to put those ideas to good use to offer beneficial educational programs. I like their concept and hope they do well.
To get in touch with H2 Education, the phone number is 506-7119 and the email address is

That’s all folks

The business well has run dry. I’m now about to enter the business desert with no water in sight. Phone in business tips at 473-2191.