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Business Cheetah 8-27
Walmart looks to tower above the rest
Elected as officers of the Industrial Development Board during a meeting this month are, from left, treasurer Gary Judkins, president Tommy Foster and vice president Brent Nunley.

Using my keen powers of observation, I’ve noticed people tend to be fascinated by things that are tall. Buildings. Roller coasters. Dogs.
If it’s tall, it will grab attention. It will also lead to bragging rights as kids will stand back-to-back to see who can claim to be tallest in the class.
That being said, the new orange tower that’s been constructed at the front of Walmart was destined to spark conversation. If it’s tall, people want to know about it.
The new tower is to provide convenience for anyone who shops online at Once you place your order online, you’ll be able to pick up your merchandise from the tower in what’s largely an automated system. In some cases, an order will be ready the same day you place it.
To take advantage of this new system, simply go to and conduct your normal shopping, which includes paying for your merchandise. When your order is ready, you’ll receive an email or text message sent to your phone with a code and confirmation number. If all the merchandise you’re buying is already at the Walmart store in McMinnville, the process shouldn’t take long.
To pick up your order, go to the front of the tower, which is located on the grocery side of the store. When you approach the tower, a sliding plastic cover will automatically rise to reveal a computer screen and phone scanning station. You can either scan your phone or manually type your confirmation number and your items will be retrieved from inside the tower and spit out the front.
Walmart officials say the tower should be able to accommodate all the online orders that come through the store. The exception is extremely large items cannot fit inside the tower and will have to be picked up elsewhere.
The tower will allow customers to shop from the comfort of their home, then pick up their merchandise just inside the front door. They won’t have to trample from one end of the store to the next looking for what they want. It will all be right there at the tower.
Also of note, Walmart is adding a customer service location right in front of the tower in the storefront that was once a photo studio and later a pretzel shop. This is being done to keep the tower stocked with merchandise and to answer all your tower questions.
I’m not entirely clear on when customers will be allowed to start using the tower, but I’ve been told it should be very soon. I think it will be a great time saver and a fabulous new way to shop.

New offices are coming

There was once a house on North Chancery Street that was home to Friendship Home Health. That home is now gone, reduced to a pile of rubble and removed. In its place will be offices.
“We just finished tearing it down and now we’ll be filling the hole in,” said property owner Waymon Hale. “We should start construction in the next four months. It’s going to be an office building. There will be four spaces and I already have one of the spaces leased.”
Since that property is narrow at the front, but goes way, way back, Waymon said the office building will be situated similar to the building that’s one door down that’s home to Wink Skincare, H&R Block, Healing Hands, and A2Z Insurance.
When I asked Waymon about general business activity around town, he said things are starting to soar like an eagle.
“There’s a lot of talk and there’s a lot of activity,” said Waymon. “Activity creates more activity.”

Liquor will be everywhere

Speaking of demolition, the old mechanic shop just past Burch Supply has been torn down. In its place, a liquor store will be built.
I think that’s going to be a recurring theme for McMinnville in the coming months. If you see activity and are wondering what’s happening, a liquor store is a safe default guess.
The liquor store to be located at 1603 Smithville Highway will be McMinnville Discount Liquor Store owned by Pareshbhai G. Patel. That’s not to be confused with McMinnville Liquor Store at 419 North Chancery Street to be owned by Parul Patel. Then there’s Tree City Wine and Spirits to be owned by Keval Sheth.
All three of these stores are listed in the latest batch of business licenses which are published on page 4C.
So how many liquor stores can McMinnville support? Cast your vote in our online survey at

Goo goo for new daycare

Amy Steg has always wanted to own a daycare. On Monday that ambition became a reality when she opened Toodle Town Nursery School on Locust Street across from Rite Aid.
“I love kids and this is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Amy. “You only live once so I decided it was time to do this. I’m so thankful for Cherie Martin for giving me this opportunity. She owned this before me.”
Cherie is a longtime daycare owner who decided to concentrate on her other business, Tutor Bug. Cherie's decision to scale back provided Amy with her chance to be around children, which is something she enjoys.
Toodle Town is bursting with toys and items to keep children pacified. Amy doesn’t shy away from getting on the floor and playing with the children or rocking them to sleep at nap time.
“Right now I just have babies, but I can take children to 5 years old,” said Amy.
She has four babies and the ability to take up to seven. If she reaches that capacity, she says she plans to hire an assistant so she can take up to 12.
Breakfast and lunch are provided, as well as snacks. There’s a fenced outside playground that can be used for older children, but Amy says she hasn’t used it yet since her oldest child is 18 months.
Trees and monkeys are painted on the Toodle Town walls and the daycare seems like a relaxing place where children are happy. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Amy can be reached at 474-8696.

Stacked Bistro plans expansion

It’s worked out rather well in the nine months since Stacked Bistro has moved from Main Street to Plaza Shopping Center. With a more expansive menu featuring dinner items and a much larger dining room, Stacked Bistro has tasted success.
Owner Rich Pikarz says growth is on the horizon as he’s currently working on renovating the space next to his restaurant to add more seating, a pool table, darts, and TVs.
“The idea is to give it more of a bar and grill feel,” said Rich.
If you recall, Gondola once had both of those spaces when it was located at Plaza Shopping Center. When Gondola left, the spaces were separated because it was viewed as too big for one business. I guess you could say Rich is going back to the future by expanding into that space again.
“We have a very solid, loyal customer base,” said Rich. “Once people start eating with us, we keep them.”
Stacked Bistro also offers free delivery, which can be a major selling point. It’s great to see this business thriving at its new location and ready to expand. With football season approaching, Rich said he’d like to get his renovations complete as soon as possible.
Stacked Bistro can be reached at 474-2222.

New brass on IDB

During this month’s meeting of the Industrial Development Board, it was time for members to elect new leaders.
One of the leaders stayed the same as members were so pleased with the job president Tommy Foster has been doing, they elected him to a second consecutive term. Some board members even said out loud that Tommy has been a great president before unanimously approving him for a second term.
“I appreciate the confidence you’ve put in me,” said Tommy who appeared flattered by the praise.
I agree Tommy has done a first-rate job as IDB president. And the fact he hasn’t attacked other board members during late-night tweets is a definite plus for any president.
Brent Nunley was elected as IDB vice president and Gary Judkins was elected as treasurer. The way the system works, Brent is supposed to roll to president next year and Gary will become vice president.
In other IDB news of note, director Don Alexander told the board he had recently made a presentation to TVA that featured all the county’s available buildings and building sites. For making this presentation, the IDB received $5,000.
“I think it’s a pretty good trade-off to get $5,000 for one presentation,” said Don. “Plus it keeps TVA up to date on what we have going on.”

That’s all folks

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