It was last week when I announced Bojangles is coming to McMinnville across from Sonic on The Strip. It seems business activity has really intensified in recent weeks which has led me to do some more digging.
I was doing a little research and sifting through information at City Hall when I made this discovery. The land on Chancery Street between C&K Donut and Auto Zone has just recently been subdivided.
What that means is the 1.09 acres between C&K Donut and Auto Zone is now its own lot. It’s now separate from the 3.53-acre field which is behind it. If you’re familiar with development, this doesn’t happen for no reason. You don’t get a land survey done and shuffle through mountains of paperwork because you have a few hours to kill. You do it because you have a definite plan.
The plot approved at City Hall calls for an access road to this property from nearby Martin Street and of course there will be access from Chancery Street. The property was formerly Pit Stop North for those who can remember back about 10 years.
I’ve been gathering information on this site from some of my super-secret Business Pulse sources who are deeply embedded and heavily disguised. From what I can determine, another chain restaurant is extremely interested in the location.
I was going to reveal the name of the restaurant today in this very column, in this very spot, but I chickened out. I’ve been told I will be given information for a monumental announcement next week. We’ll see if that happens.
More on Bojangles
If you read last week’s column, I reported that Bojangles is coming to the old Clayton Mobile Home property on The Strip. That property was also subdivided into two lots and folks have been asking if Bojangles is taking the side closest to UGO or closest to Caney Fork.
After reviewing the plans on file at City Hall, Bojangles will be in the 1.28 plot next to UGO. According to Bojangles communications manager Brian Little, construction is expected to begin in late July or early August.
As for what’s coming to the other half of that development, I’m hearing from sources it’s going to be a new location for Advanced Auto Parts.
As most of us know, Advanced Auto Parts already has a store in McMinnville that’s only about a quarter mile from that location. When I called Advanced Auto on Friday, I was told the company has purchased land for a new store in McMinnville, however the exact location of that land is not known by employees of the local store.
This could be more wild and unsupported speculation, but I believe Advanced Auto will be moving next to Bojangles on The Strip. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
As for Bojangles, I’ve heard several people say they’ve never eaten there. If you’d like to try it, a new Bojangles is opening in Sparta this Thursday, June 11, at 5 a.m. Among the prizes during grand opening festivities is the chance to win a free Bojangles breakfast every week for one (1) year. There will also be $50 Bojangles gift cards given to the first 50 customers in line.
The new Bojangles in Sparta is located at 681 Roosevelt Drive.
Towee Boats is sailing
Todd Gregory says he gave new meaning to the term “shoestring budget” when he began work to open his new business, Towee Boats, in 2009.
“We had just enough money to build one boat, buy one trailer, and pay our booth fee for a trade show in Atlanta,” said Todd. “We ended up selling that one boat and trailer and that got us started. We built 13 boats our first year and we’ve kept growing from there. This year we’ll build about 75 boats.”
Towee Boats got its start leasing a small space at the old A.O. Smith building. Todd said he started design work in 2009, began building his first molds in 2010, built his first boat in late 2010, and sold his first boat in early 2011. After getting his start at the A.O. Smith building, Towee Boats moved to Gilispie Road at the old Martin Crating facility in October.
Todd said he got the idea for manufacturing his high-quality boats as a longtime fishing guide on the Collins River and even as far away as the Everglades.
“I saw a huge hole in the market, a boat everybody was looking for but no one was building,” said Todd. “Our boats are generally used by guides, very hard-core anglers and some government agencies. They are not really used by the recreational fisherman looking to spend a few hours on the water. They are insanely stable boats that are only 51 inches wide. That allows them to be more maneuverable and they can go in extremely shallow water. Our boats can be loaded with gear and hold three people and still float in 4 inches of water. They will go places other boats won’t.”
Towee Boats has a unique business model in that it has no authorized dealers. All boats are built using a hand lamination process on Gilispie Road and either picked up there or shipped from that location.
“We have people coming in to pick up a boat or making arrangements for buying a boat nearly every week,” said Todd.
He says Towee Boats can be found around the nation and used for a variety of purposes. Todd says this includes trout fishing in Montana, tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys, and musky fishing in Wisconsin. The company has gained popularity mainly through national magazines and social media.
Todd says his boats are highly durable. The hulls come with a lifetime warranty for the original owner. Each boat is made to the owner’s exact specifications as are the trailers, which are custom built in Chattanooga.
Towee Boats has three employees. Chris Smith was the company’s first employee and is still on staff. He started with Towee Boats working part-time about five hours a week on the side. Now he works full time and does the entire process from start to finish including painting and wiring.
“This has turned into a job,” said Chris.
Todd says it takes about one week to build a boat from start to finish. Because a number of orders are already lined up, Todd said it takes about eight to 10 weeks from the time a boat is ordered till the time it’s ready.
While this is a company that’s clearly on the grow, Todd said it’s his goal to stay small so Towee Boats can maintain its attention to detail on every boat it makes. He says he doesn’t envision the workforce ever getting larger than about 10 employees.
For more information on Towee Boats visit www.toweeboats.com.
Juicy’s Wellness ready to flow
As a writer, I like to get the creative juices flowing, figuratively speaking of course. If you enjoy it when the juice gets flowing literally, there’s good news in store. Juicy’s Wellness Café is in the process of opening on Main Street.
Owner Mary Beth Laxson is opening the business with co-owner Heatheran Kristopher, who is an investor from New York City. Heatheran is familiar with the Warren County area because she has a grandmother who lives here.
“My story is much the same as Mary Beth’s,” said Heatheran. “I’m also a cancer patient and during my recovery I started juicing. Now I want to share with people the gift of health and how to make choices for a healthier life.”
While Heatheran lives out of state, she plans to be active in the local business. That includes flying in this Tuesday to help get Juicy’s Wellness Center operational. It’s expected to be open in June and Heatheran says she plans to make monthly visits here.
“Juice places have really taken off in Manhattan,” said Heatheran. “There’s one on every corner.”
Mary Beth says Juicy’s Wellness Center will be a two-story business at its location on Main Street next to Paul Holder Realty. On the ground floor will be a traditional restaurant area where people can order juice, snacks, and plant-based meals. The wellness center is upstairs with counseling for cancer patients and people who want to adopt healthier lifestyles.
The restaurant menu will include soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, daily specials, and some raw-food dishes.
“Even if you eat a plant-based diet for just one day a week you’ll be able to change how you feel,” said Mary Beth.
There will be books and DVDs for sale and the DVDs will be shown throughout the day on TV. Mary Beth says she will have recipes available and she’s always eager to talk to people about better ways to prepare food.
“I don’t want to say here’s the food, eat it,” said Mary Beth. “I want people to learn why it makes them feel so much better.”
Mary Beth says the business will offer juice delivery and free juice to cancer patients during treatments. When open, business hours will be Tuesday thru Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be closed Sunday and Monday.
Mary Beth has already hired one employee, her daughter-in-law India Ware Laxson. She will be looking to hire a few more employees in the future. The phone number is 474-CAFÉ.
School employees get free membership
I love the promotion being offered by Brandon Eckel at Carbide Crossfit. To honor all of our fine school system employees, Carbide Crossfit is offering free gym membership to them for the entire month of June.
“This is not only for teachers. It’s for anybody in our school system,” said Brandon. “This includes lunchroom employees, janitors, bus drivers, anyone. Some may come. All may come. They all play a big role in taking care of our children and we offer this as a free token of our gratitude for all they have done for the kids in the county.”
What a nice gesture and it’s one we’re proud to promote here in Business Pulse. If you’re not familiar with Carbide Crossfit, it’s located on Hillside Lane next to Paris Café and the Christian bookstore. The gym offers high-intensity workouts that are strenuous but relatively brief. The concept is to push the body hard for a short amount of time.
When talking to Brandon this Friday, he told me Carbide Crossfit is in the process of opening a second location in Smithville. I’m sure it will be much more convenient for local residents to utilize the gym in McMinnville, but I thought you might be interested in knowing the business is enjoying some success.
That’s all folks
Good luck on getting business news in next week’s edition. I’ll be at Bonnaroo enjoying sunshine, lemonade, and plenty of rockin’ music. What a combination.
However, if your business is located between the Standard office and Manchester, you have a much better chance of making it in the newspaper. Phone in business tips at 473-2191.