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Business Cheetah 3-27
Who couldn't use a bullet-proof couch?
Tractor Supply employee Lynn Adcock shows two ducklings that are 3 to 4 days old. She said the business received about 75 chicks and ducklings Friday morning and expected them to be sold out by the end of the day.

Since I’m in the business of providing business news, I thought I’d convey information on a company with an exciting new product.
A Glasgow, Scotland-based business called Osdin Shield has announced it is manufacturing bullet-proof furniture in an effort to provide relaxing, yet secure, comfort.
Osdin Shield says its sofas and chairs are sturdy enough to withstand fire from 9 mm handguns, shotguns, and even AK47s. It is marketing this furniture for homes, hotels, schools, shopping malls, and government buildings.
Operating under the philosophy gun attacks happen everywhere, Osdin says it builds its furniture to save lives. Says Odsin on its website, “Not only does our furniture offer the highest level of safety against gun attacks, it is also stylish.”
An online video shows a man with a large handgun firing six shots into the back of a chair with none of the shots penetrating through the chair. This is furniture that provides peace of mind.
On this day of love and sacrifice we know as Easter, welcome to the age of ballistic-resistant furniture. Do you think God is looking down and smiling on humanity?

Chips and salsa reign supreme

After months of anticipation and salivation, Jalisco Mexican Grill opened Wednesday next to Foodland Plus. The new business is owned by longtime restaurant employees Hector and Yuliana Marquez, along with Yuliana’s father, Antonio de la Paz.
“It’s taken a little time to get used to the new place and where everything is,” said Yuliana. “We’ve done this for so long, that’s not the hard part. It’s getting used to the new place.”
We all know one of the great things about Mexican restaurants is getting chips and salsa, but Jalisco is taking that one step further by also bringing its popular Jalisco Dip to the table when you are seated.
Said satisfied customer Tiffany Smith, “That cheese dip they bring you has got it going on.”
The Jalisco Dip includes ground beef, pico de gallo, and queso sauce. Blended together, those ingredients form a delectable treat that will have you fighting your friends to get your chip in the bowl first.
If you bring your appetite, Yuliana suggests trying to Jumbo Burrito, which is like an elephant in size. It’s made using a 16-inch flour tortilla so it’s an entrée to order if you’re convulsing in hunger. The Molcajete Special is a unique mix of grilled chicken, steak and sautéed vegetables that’s different than your standard taco.
Jalisco gives Warren County its sixth Mexican restaurant by my unofficial count. That does not include Taco Bell.
Folks tend to roll their eyes when you mention another Mexican restaurant, but they are seemingly everywhere because people keep supporting them. When I stopped by Friday around lunch, Jalisco was doing a brisk business. Yuliana said they had been busy their first two days. It’s a nice, clean restaurant and I expect it will do well.
Jalisco is open seven days a week beginning at 11 a.m. each day. The phone number is 507-4747.

State official tours community

Industrial recruiter Don Alexander recently took the state’s top automotive project manager on a tour of Warren County to show her our community and the buildings and sites we have available.
Don said the state official, Victoria Hirschberger, was impressed by what she saw.
“Comments continue to be made that we’re head and shoulders above other areas when it comes to economic development,” said Don. “The tour was good because the better she knows our products and what we have available, the better she will be able to sell it.”
The Industrial Development Board has two open tracts at Mt. View Industrial Park that are both around 60 acres. They would be ideal for a company looking to start from the ground up.
As for available buildings, there are not many. Buildings available include the old Pine Hill Plastics in Green Hill, the old Tennessee Warehouse in Morrison, and the old S&S Industries building in Morrison behind Medley’s Diner.
The old S&S Industries building is just now becoming available as Don Yancy and his company, PC Disposal, are in the process of moving out.
“We’re downsizing and looking for something a lot smaller,” said Don.
PC Disposal, a recycling company, was viewed as a booming business around three years ago. That’s when Don left a 9,000-square-foot building in Woodbury to relocate to the 44,000-square-foot building in Morrison.
Shortly after getting set up, Don held a job fair and said he was looking to hire 40 employees. If memory serves me correctly, that was in January 2013.
Back in those days the job fair was huge news because there were still a few people who wanted to work who couldn’t find a job.
Unfortunately, PC Disposal could never reach highway speeds and such a large building became too much. Hopefully Don will be able to land on his feet in a smaller facility and we’ll be able to attract a company with high-paying jobs to the old S&S Industries site. 

Paris Café turns off stove

A nearly four-year run has come to an end as Paris Café on Hillside Lane has closed its doors. As you might expect, the restaurant closed because it was unable to reach the sales needed to stay afloat.
Restaurant owner Teresa Paris seemed to be doing everything right, starting extremely small with just a handful of tables and then gradually expanding as business increased. Her home-style cooking was a hit with customers as she was determined to make her meals from scratch.
Business was rolling along just fine until a few months ago, according to Teresa’s daughter, Cassie Eckel.
“We were doing well and then in November it just dropped off,” said Cassie. “We expected it to pick back up, but it never did. We were feeding 75 to 100 people a day and that was fine. When it dropped off from that, it didn’t make sense to stay open.”
It was around a year ago when four businesses were operating from that location at 58 Hillside Lane -- Paris Café, Wellspring Christian Store, Paris Plumbing, and Carbide Crossfit. Paris Plumbing sold and now Paris Café has closed, leaving two businesses remaining.
Since Cassie owns Wellspring Christian Store, I asked her about what she plans to do next and if she might expand into some of the space formerly occupied by the restaurant.
“I got a lot of foot traffic from the restaurant so I’m going to have to wait and see over the next few months how it goes,” said Cassie. “As of right now, they’re not moving anything in the restaurant. All of the tables and chairs are just going to sit there. I’m going to monitor business and see how we do without the restaurant being open.”
The story of Paris Café is a reminder of how the restaurant business is extremely volatile. It makes me wonder what other jostling we might see in the coming months with a new Mexican restaurant opening last week, Bojangles still in its infancy, Zaxby’s on the way, and a new Captain D’s coming too. Can we support it all?

Don’t quack at this news

It’s chick and duck time at Tractor Supply and customers are literally waddling in the door to buy these fine, feathered friends.
“We got an order of about 75 in this morning and I’d say they will all be gone by tonight,” said Tractor Supply employee Lynn Adcock on Friday. “They are very popular.”
Firefighter Phil Mitchell was among the folks anxious to buy a bird.
“I bought some ducks about four years ago and one of them has become my dog’s best friend,” said Phil, adding the duck will even eat dog food. What’s amazing is the dog hasn’t eaten the duck.
Phil says he owns around 8 acres of land that includes a 1-acre pond that’s great for the ducks. It’s important to have the right setup because Lynn said the animals should not be considered an Easter gift that will be forgotten in a few days.
“We started a six-chick minimum and a two-duck minimum to discourage the casual buyer,” said Lynn. “We don’t want them to get discarded after Easter. We want to do what we can to see they’re treated right.”
The chicks and ducks are 3 to 4 days old when they arrive at Tractor Supply. Lynn says the store sells the feeders and the feed to get customers ready to go when it comes to their care.
The birds initially need a heating element because they prefer a temperature of 95 to 98 degrees until all their feathers come in. Lynn said that takes about two weeks.
One of the primary problems of owning the birds is keeping them away from predators. Wild creatures have a way of finding them, eating them, and leaving a few feathers behind.
If you missed the bird-buying frenzy Friday at Tractor Supply, Lynn says the business will be getting more in stock over the next three weeks.

Is auto industry about to stall?

For weeks I’ve been one giant cheerleader for our local economy, shouting through a megaphone about how many jobs we have available. I’m not going to backtrack on that statement, but I will say, in the spirit of Easter, how dangerous it is for Tennessee to have so many eggs in the automotive basket.
Here in Warren County, nearly all of our main industrial employees are tied to automotive work, with Jarden being the most notable exception. Tennessee is riding along the same road with the state’s recent financial success being driven by the automotive industry.
So it caught my attention last week when I was reading comments from the annual J.D. Power Automotive Forum that suggest the auto industry might be reading to shift into the slow lane. The article listed several factors in reaching this conclusion:
• Loan lengths are growing -- With average transaction prices at an all-time high of $30,600, Americans are taking out longer loans. In fact, six-year loans now represent 34 percent of sales, rising for a sixth consecutive year. The longer people are paying on a current car loan, the article said, the less likely they are to buy a new vehicle.
•  Underwater owners -- Because car loans have reached such lengths, more motorists have negative equity in their vehicles. That means they owe more than the car is worth.
The report said nearly one-third of car owners are underwater on their purchase which also inhibits their ability to buy a new vehicle.
• Loan rates rising – The interest rates on subprime loans, which are issued to risky buyers because of their credit history, are expected to keep rising this year, according to J.D. Power. Higher interest rates make for a higher total price and it will prevent some customers from buying.
• Drivers are diminishing – According to recent research, millennials don’t care as much about cars with the growing popularity of ride-sharing apps. The result is young adults are less likely than ever to drive.
A University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study showed just over three in four people ages 20 to 24 had a driver license in 2014. The exact figure, 76.7 percent, represents a steady decline from 79.7 percent in 2011, 82 percent in 2008, and 91.8 percent in 1983.

Jobs everywhere

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development sent me an email Wednesday to tout the number of jobs it says are available in the state.
The department says more than 90,000 jobs are available throughout Tennessee at the state website: Just thought I’d let you know.

That’s all folks

After you recover from the glow of Easter, let me know your business tips by calling 473-2191.