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Business Pulse 2-9-14
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I think it’s time for men of the world to unite and turn the tables on women this Valentine’s Day.
For some reason, and I don’t know how this started, the pressure of finding the perfect, romantic, absolutely charming Valentine’s gift always falls squarely on the shoulders of the man. Quite frankly, I’m tired of all the anxiety.
Each year I’m left trying to outdo myself from the year before, trying to think of some magical way to declare my love that’s never been thought of anywhere in the country.
Send her a message over the jumbotron during a hockey game. That’s cliché at this point. Put her picture in the newspaper along with a love poem. Did that more than a decade ago. Buy a basket of fruit dipped in chocolate. It takes an almost-painful commitment to eat all that fruit before it spoils.
Meanwhile, the ladies slip by on Valentine’s Day without the least bit of pressure. A can of WD-40. Hey, that works for me. New batteries for the TV remote. I just hit the jackpot!
But this year I’m going to raise my level of expectations. I want Cupcake to surprise me like never before with the perfect gift that shows her love. Simple hardware supplies aren’t going to cut it for this guy.
Keep in mind folks at home, I can only do so much. I can suggest positive change, but it’s meaningless if I don’t get some support. That’s why I’m encouraging guys across the nation to stand up and no longer accept a frosting-covered chocolate chip cookie as a suitable Valentine’s gift. Well OK, maybe it’s kind of suitable.

Coffee, yoga,
hypnosis and more

If you’re looking for a Main Street business that has just about everything, I have a new store for you.
Marcy Hillis has opened The Natural Marketplace, a unique coffee shop that has a wide variety of other merchandise from jewelry to Marcy’s popular candles. There are also a number of classes to relieve stress, enhance health, and improve your well-being. These includes yoga, sound therapy, massage, and hypnosis.
The Natural Marketplace opened Saturday with a grand opening celebration set for Valentine’s Day, which is this coming Friday. The business is located next to Collins River BBQ.
“I’ve wanted to open a shop back up for years,” said Marcy, who first started with a candle business some 16 years ago. “Downtown needs a coffee shop and a business like this. I see it as a community gathering place.”
The coffee shop will seat 25 and offer fair trade organic coffee, which is made without chemicals and harmful additives. There is everything from a simple cup of black coffee to fancy coffee drinks with all types of natural flavors. The coffee shop opens at 7 a.m. Monday thru Saturday.
Marcy said she became interested in natural products and stress-relieving exercises because they have worked so well for her. Marcy said her use of essential oils and a change in diet have helped her quit smoking and stop using anti-depression medication after 19 years. She says she feels better than ever.
The Natural Marketplace will include several other businesses at its location on Main Street. One is called Simplified Healing, which is operated by Tracy Martin and her husband, Darin.
Tracy uses essential oils to treat a variety of health problems. She says the oils can help with high blood pressure, cholesterol, headaches, heart issues, anxiety, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other ailments.
“I’ve been doing this for 15 years,” said Tracy. “It started when my son was diagnosed with ADHD and they wanted to put him on medication at age 4.”
Tracy said a change in diet along with the essential oils were successful in improving her son’s behavior and focus. She said the oils are rubbed into the skin, absorbed into the blood stream, and can impact cell function.
Another business is High Five Wellness operated by Stephanie West. Stephanie does hypnosis, massage and reiki, which is a Japanese technique of stress reduction through the hands and fingertips.
“I started with hypnosis 12 years ago because it was so effective with me in helping me overcome my own pain,” said Stephanie. “Hypnosis is one of the easiest ways to go because it shifts you to the powerful side of your mind that we all have, but we so seldom use because we get distracted. Hypnosis is a great way to get focused on your goals. It can give you a redo on life and help you get a grip.”
Stephanie said people so often associate hypnosis as a technique used to help people quit smoking, but it can be used to assist in nearly every aspect of life where a person is experiencing trouble.
Another business operated by Trechia James is called Tre’s Zen Den. One of her unique offerings is sound therapy, which uses different tones to create a soothing effect. There is also yoga, which can enhance flexibility and strength.
The plan is to offer multiple classes each day with only a $5 charge per class if you register 24 hours in advance. The charge for walk-ins will be $7.
Also of note is the upstairs portion of 121 East Main Street, which Marcy says hasn’t been used for 30 years. The stairs had even been removed and a drop ceiling put in place over the opening to get upstairs.
But Marcy has had new stairs installed to open up the 4,800 square feet available on the second floor. When renovation is complete, that area will be able to accommodate classes as large as 50 people.
All this is a long way of saying stop by The Natural Marketplace on Main Street. More information can be found on its Facebook page, which can be found by typing in the business name.

Galligan in middle
of national lawsuit

Some of you likely remember the meningitis scare in the fall of 2012 where tainted pain shots were linked to the illness that killed 62 people nationwide.
As you would expect, there have been a number of lawsuits as a result of the negligence of New England Compounding Center of Massachusetts, the company which provided the medicine that caused the fungal meningitis.
Prominent local attorney Michael Galligan is among lawyers from around the country who have been named to a Creditor’s Committee that was established to settle lawsuits with the owners of New England Compounding, other negligent companies, and their insurance agencies. To date, $110 million in settlement money has been obtained.
“This is probably the largest complaint I’ve ever done,” said Galligan, who has made numerous trips to Massachusetts as part of the litigation. “There were 62 people across the country who died and probably another 400 or 500 more who have had significant issues from this. The $110 million we have so far is a decent start to this. Hopefully it will encourage other defendants to come forward and do the right thing and get this resolved. We hope to have a global settlement by the end of the year.”
In addition to his overall duties on the Creditor’s Committee, Galligan represents seven clients from Middle Tennessee and one from Kentucky. Among those is local resident Bertrum Walker Bryant Jr., whose wife Margaret died on Sept. 18, 2012.
“She had a shot from the contaminated lot,” said Galligan. “She went to the ER with symptoms of headaches and pain the first week of September. By Sept. 14, she was unresponsive. An MRI determined she had a massive brain stroke, which is the mechanism by which fungal meningitis will kill you.”
Galligan said New England Compounding is at fault because its product was supposed to be made in a “clean room” with vacuumed air that’s meticulously free of contaminants. Instead, Galligan said the company was operating in a mice-infested building with a leaky roof and located next to a facility where molded, old mattresses were being stored. He said the company was mass producing compounds which were supposed to be made individually.
“They tried to grow too quickly and supply a massive number of clinics and they got sloppy, real sloppy,” said Galligan. “I have clients who have undergone two or three surgeries because of this. It really injured people unnecessarily.”

Speaking of
coffee shops

I realize I did a rather large piece on the coffee shop that’s opened on Main Street, but I have even more coffee shop news. Tess Turnbull, who operates Pink Gorilla Espresso in Smartt Station, says she will be moving to town later this month.
Tess is renting a space at Northgate Center near the old Hastings. Her pink building is scheduled to be moved Feb. 24.
“I’m super excited to be moving to town,” said Tess. “I’ll basically be in the same spot as Hastings used to be so maybe people can get back in their old routine.”
Tess has a wide selection of coffee and other items. She said she does well at her current location just off Manchester Highway during school days, but can really tell a drop-off when school is not in session. I’ll provide more information when she gets up and running at her new spot.

Scrounge Around
offers good deals

For all the folks who like to save money on used furniture, appliances and other items, Scrounge Around has opened on Sparta Highway.
“This started out small and now it’s grown to take the whole upstairs,” said owner Tammy Webb.
Tennessee Valley Furniture, which specializes in patio furniture and swingsets, is located in the basement with Scrounge Around on the ground-level floor. The shop is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
When I stopped by Friday, there were three refrigerators along with a sofa, dining room table and other decorative items. There’s glassware, mirrors, electronics, kitchen items, chairs, helmets, coolers and much more.
Tammy says she welcomes consignment items and will sell them on an 80-20 split with the owner taking 80 percent. The business is located next to Walker Tire and Alignment and can be reached at 259-5402.

McDonald’s workers
gain recognition

Business Pulse wants to extend its congratulations to two local McDonald’s workers who were honored at a recent banquet. The banquet was held by Funderburk Management, which operates 14 Middle Tennessee McDonald’s franchises, including the one in McMinnville.
Restaurant manager Cathy May was praised for his first-rate work. She has been with the organization for five years.
Swing manager Ashlyn Meacham was also recognized for her top-notch service. She has worked at McDonald’s for five years.

That’s all folks

May your Valentine’s Day be filled with love, romance and good business news. If you have news you would like to see in this column, call 473-2191.