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For anyone wanting to teach their kids about the joys of starting their own business, a lemonade stand might not be the best way to go.
I say this after my two boys, with encouragement from some neighborhood kids, were kicking around the idea of what to do on a lazy summer afternoon. Instead of riding bikes or playing video games – their usual mindless pleasures – it was decided they would start their own lemonade stand. Somehow our house was selected as the site.
To give them full credit, they attacked this idea brimming with enthusiasm. It brought back memories of my first – and only – lemonade stand back in the mid-’70s when I made my first venture into the world of capitalism by selling lemonade for 10 cents a cup. I made over $1 that day, but only because my mom and dad bought six or seven cups.
Fast forward to 2012 and the boys decided to price their lemonade at 50 cents, which seems like a fairly competitive rate. But setting the price turned out to be the easy part. Making the lemonade and getting it to the curb was an entirely different ordeal.
It turns out the kids had a perfectly logical idea on how to accomplish this. They took a table and chairs from inside my house and hauled them to the curb. This wasn’t exactly my first choice, but hey, whatever.
Next came the step of turning my kitchen into a swimming pool, or as they called it, making the lemonade. Since there was a pitcher of lemonade actually carried to the curb it served as proof some lemonade did make it into the container, but the bulk was spilled all over the kitchen floor.
Once the lemonade was taken outside to join my table and chairs, the kids realized they were missing one important part of the equation. They didn’t have any cups.
This is where Cupcake came to the rescue. Not only did she catch the boys pulling some nasty plastic cups out of the trash can in our mancave and forbidding them from being used, she rushed to the store and bought new cups.
Not that any of this really mattered because, try as they might, the boys didn’t sell one cup of lemonade. They made signs, tried to flag down the handful of passing motorists, and even talked to a man who strolled by on foot. But they just couldn’t land that one big sale, or any sale for that matter.
The endeavor ended predictably enough. With temperatures in the 90s and interest from customers nonexistent, the boys ripped up their signs, kicked over my table, and drank all the lemonade themselves.

Dollar General
could have company

It’s been two months since our newest Dollar General opened across from Warren County High School. What’s grabbing attention now is the adjacent lot where heavy equipment has been moving dirt.
The property is owned by Nashville-based realtor Montgomery G. Turner, who is making some land improvements, according to one of his agents, Angela Eering.
“We got a permit from TDOT to take that bank down a little bit to give that property more visibility,” said Angela. “It’s on the market. TDOT won’t allow another entrance there, but there is a shared access easement with Dollar General so that won’t be a problem.”
If anyone is interested, it’s 2.56 acres that’s located next to a fairly busy store. Angela can be reached at (615) 383-7878.

IDB works to
finance projects

I decided to attend the monthly Industrial Development Board meeting Thursday afternoon and was pleased to see board members are taking action.
The IDB wants to move forward with two major projects that are expected to bring new jobs to this community. Board members just want to make sure they aren’t cutting their financing too close.
IDB members want to start construction on Spec Building 3, and also help an existing industry with immediate expansion plans. The existing industry has asked to remain anonymous at this point.
According to IDB treasurer Mark Brown, the organization has about $2.4 million in available cash. Committing financing to Spec Building 3 and the 50,000-square-foot expansion at the existing industry would take the IDB’s available fund balance down to around $500,000. IDB officials are worried this may not be enough cash reserves.
Time is an issue because the existing industry wants to move quickly with its expansion plans and needs an answer soon. It was also mentioned the IDB could save 5 to 15 percent if it puts both projects out for bids at the same time and the same contractor agrees to build both.
With this in mind, the IDB voted to apply for a $500,000 TVA loan and accept the loan if it’s awarded so they can move forward with these projects. The IDB also passed a motion to pay an engineer $66,000 to prepare bid documents for construction of the expansion for the anonymous existing industry. This was done with the understanding the IDB would get the money back if the company suddenly halts its expansion plans.
“I think we need to write a detailed letter and notify everybody about exactly where this money is going since there have been some questions about that,” said IDB member Levoy Knowles. “The questions all along have been what are you doing with the money?”
I think the IDB is right on track with pursuing these projects aggressively. Spec Building 3 needs to become a reality and if an existing industry wants to expand, by all means help.

Company interested
in Warren County

One of the great things about IDB meetings is companies always want to remain anonymous so code names are used. Director of economic development Jeff McCormick told the board Warren County is a finalist for Project Excel, a code name for a company considering locating here.
“They have looked at a site and we’re the only community in Tennessee to make the cut list,” said McCormick. “I can tell you the information they have requested has been very, very detailed.”
McCormick told the board the company will be looking to make a decision in September or October. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
McCormick also told the board, without elaborating, that three retailers are considering one particular site in McMinnville. He didn’t reveal the site, but if I was going to bet all my money on black, I’d say it’s the old Ryan’s/ Sentosa spot.

IDB works
to help Yorozu

County Executive John Pelham gave a report at the IDB meeting about Yorozu and it’s booming business. He said Yorozu is up to 1,000 full-time employees and 500 temporary workers which is creating problems with parking.
“To show we are not forgetting our existing industry and we’re working to help them in any way possible, I talked to Richard King and Jack Phillips at Yorozu,” said Pelham. “And I asked them if there’s anything we could do to help.”
Pelham said he was told continuing the Sister Cities exchange program with Japan is a main priority. He also said Yorozu requested the county pave a drop-off/ pick-up area that’s needed because the parking lot is so full.
“Tinsley Asphalt has paved it and it cost $6,000,” said Pelham. “But now we’re running into the question if it’s OK to pave property the industrial board doesn’t own.”
While there were legal questions about this, the assumption was it would be OK for the IDB to pay for the paving. That was agreed to be done as soon as it was cleared through legal.

Christy Ross
comes back home

I didn’t realize it had been 15 years since Christy Ross left McMinnville to pursue a career as a hair stylist in Murfreesboro. Now she’s back and better than ever.
Christy recently finished a two-month project where she’s restored a vacant storefront on Main Street and made it look spectacular. Her new hair salon, called Ross and Co., is located across from Collins River BBQ.
“My daddy got his first haircut here so it anchors me a little more,” said Christy referring to her dad, Jimmy Ross. “There really is something to be said about coming home. I love it here.”
One aspect of the business which separates Christy from other local stylists is she offers a seven-step, hot-towel shave for men. The shave includes oil, a massage, hot towels before and after, toner, a cool towel, and moisturizers.
“There aren’t many ways for men to get pampered so this is something for them,” said Christy. “Jenn Cantrell will be working for me and she’s done this type of shave for eight years working in Brentwood and Murfreesboro.”
The salon is for men and women with Christy doing all of the decorating. The shop has been taken down to its original wood floors and has widespread appeal.
“Men feel comfortable in here,” said Christy. “It’s not girly at all, but women love it.”
I applaud Christy for putting so much work into a Main Street business. I saw it before she started and it was an absolute mess. Now it looks great. The business is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and can be reached by calling 474-9447.

Old gas station
coming down

Some folks may remember when Jewell Hale bought several gas stations from Sid Stanton a few years back. One of them was Pit Stop South on S. Chancery Street. Jewell leveled the old building, constructed a pretty new one, and now it’s a thriving business.
I bring you that little story because on Friday I noticed workers atop the old Pit Stop North gas station next to AutoZone. They were taking down the roof. This sparked my curiosity so I called Jewell to find out the scoop.
“I’m going to take it down to the bare lot and go from there,” said Jewell. “It’s in too bad a shape to do anything with so I’m going to clean it up and see what happens.”
I asked him if he might just go ahead and construct a new building there and he said that’s a possibility.
“Everybody seems to want something new so I could rebuild,” he said.
I bring you this report so you’ll know what’s happening when you see the old place getting knocked to the ground.

Drew Barrett
goes to Washington

Drew Barrett had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. earlier this month for the North American Office Products Awards banquet. He spent four days in training meetings to soak in everything he could about the office supply business for his company, Barrett’s.
“We’re a stockless dealer and I had people coming to me who had been in business since the 1930s and 1940s wanting to know how to set something like that up,” said Drew. “It’s the way it’s going.”
Barrett’s offers 30,000 office items. That includes something as simple as a box of paper clips, or something big like an office desk and chair. He’s able to be a stockless dealer because he can get it to you the next day – and he delivers.
“I’m getting ready to drive a $9 order out to Irving College,” Drew said on Tuesday. “That’s the way we do business.”
If you want to find out more about what Drew learned during his four days in D.C., including his chance to meet Ben Stein, give him a call at 474-3278.

Dr. Hekimoglu
not leaving town

You never know how rumors get started, but apparently there is widespread speculation Dr. Cetin Hekimoglu of Advanced Care Internal Medicine is leaving town. That is not true says his LPN Shondee Foster.
“We’ve had so many people call and say, ‘I need to get my medical records since you’re leaving’ and that’s simple not the case,” said Shondee. “We’re accepting new patients and not going anywhere. The last couple of weeks have been horrible.”
Shondee said she thought Business Pulse would be the perfect place to get the word out that Dr. Hekimoglu is staying. If you’re looking for a doctor, his office can be reached at 474-8888.

That’s all folks

If you’ve made it to the end of this column, give yourself a hand. And if you have business news, give me a call at 473-2191.