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Business Pulse - Our Penney gaining value
JC Penney color
Our local JC Penney store at Three Star Mall has received the companys Founders Award, which honors the top performing stores in the chain. Pictured, from left, are general manager Eddie Daws, Karen Bandy, Patsy Davidson, Benjamin Gamby and Almetia Jones.

What a difference a year makes for our JC Penney.

It was just over a year ago local residents were nervously waiting to see if we would keep our beloved JC Penney at Three Star Mall after the company announced it was closing 138 stores. We survived that scare to shop another day.

Shop we did as our JC Penney is now sparkling in the glow of receiving the company’s cherished Founder’s Award given to the top 10 percent of stores in the chain. The honor was presented to general manager Eddie Daws at a ceremony held in Grapevine, Texas.

Daws said Friday the award is based on several factors, but the main criteria involves overall sales and profits.

“When people shop here instead of driving to Murfreesboro or Nashville, it helps this store,” said Eddie. “When people shop here, it helps keep us here and the community has been great. We could never have gotten this award without our local community supporting this store and without the hard work of the team we have in place here.”

With more than 870 JC Penney stores across America, there were 90 stores recognized at the ceremony earlier this month.

Said Tony Hurt, senior vice president of stores, “The Founder’s Award is the company’s highest honor, recognizing top-performing leaders who significantly contribute to the success of JC Penney and provide customers with an unmatched shopping experience. We look forward to another exceptional year serving the customers in McMinnville.”

Going up on main Street

Downtown McMinnville is experiencing a rarity. Construction is taking place near the heart of the city on East Main Street across from First National Bank.

This construction is like an ice cream cone that never melts. It’s wonderful.

Investment Partners is in the process of building a two-story structure. The second floor will have two condos which have already been sold. The first floor will be for retail space.

I talked to Jewell Hale of Investment Partners on Friday and he told me the building is about 90 to 120 days from completion. He said interest in the retail space has been intense.

“We’ve been in talks with several potential tenants but we haven’t decided which way to go,” said Jewell. “We’ve had quite a bit of interest.”
Jewell said he has been encouraged by the number of potential tenants.

“When we started this we didn’t really have a clue what to expect,” said Jewell.

Jewell said he’s heard from a restaurant owner who is interested in the space, which could be a mouth-watering option. Other possibilities have been offices, which have appeal because they bring people downtown to work every day.

No matter the tenants, the building is two giant steps forward for Main Street McMinnville. It’s a notch in the win column. It’s a victory for the good guys wearing white. It’s marvelous.

Remodel your kitchen and bath

After years of hibernation, new home construction in Warren County has shifted into overdrive. The stout economy has also led to a rush in home remodeling projects, especially for kitchens and bathrooms.

With that in mind, longtime home improvement specialist Kris Pawlak has opened a showroom for his business, RSR Kitchen and Bath. The showroom is located at 1710 Smithville Highway and can be reached at (931) 304-8179.

“I’ve been selling cabinets for about two years and everybody would ask me about my showroom,” said Kris. “So I decided it was time to open a showroom.”

Kris has owned other home improvement businesses over the years and he did a first-rate job installing windows at my house more than six years ago. I thought that little testimonial might come in handy.

RSR offers seven brands of cabinets in dozens of colors and profiles to ensure there’s a product that fits your scheme.
“This is just a fraction of the cost of custom cabinets,” said Kris. “Custom cabinets are so labor intensive because you’re doing it all by hand. This is a much more affordable alternative.”

RSR can offer a complete kitchen remodel, or it can tackle smaller projects like new countertops. Work has been steady and Kris says he has been keeping six crews busy. He says it will likely take two months to get a complete bathroom or kitchen remodeling on the schedule and about two to three weeks for smaller projects.

“We also sell directly to the homeowner if anyone wants to install it themselves,” said Kris. “We sell hardware and have thousands of elements to choose from.”

RSR offers vanities from 24 inches long to 72 inches. If you haven’t seen the latest in kitchen and bathroom lighting, you can stop by the showroom and see all the retro fixtures that are in stock.

If you have a project in mind, Kris says he can provide a free estimate. He says the materials selected can make a big difference in the cost and there are many options that aren’t high-end that still look great.

RSR is open six days a week, Monday thru Saturday. The showroom is located across from Morton’s Horticulture. If you’ve been thinking about remodeling, a trip to RSR is a great place to start.

New location has bite

Furry Tales has scampered to a new location, leaving its side-street spot on Spring Street in favor of a prime-time storefront on Main Street next to Topz and across from Park Theater.

“A lot of people didn’t know we existed,” said Furry Tales employee Tiffany West. “We’ve gotten a whole lot more foot traffic. People will stop in and say, ‘I didn’t know anything about you guys’ and we’ve been open two years. I guess they didn’t see us as much at the other place.”
Dog grooming remains a mainstay of the operation. Tiffany says business has been solid thanks to customers who keep their dogs well-maintained and groomed every five or six weeks. At the new Main Street location, there are three dog grooming tables and two bathtubs.

The most noticeable upgrade is the much larger retail space that allows for more dog-related merchandise. There are clothes, play toys, leashes, tents, collars, umbrellas, homemade treats, and even life jackets for water recreation.

“Anything you can buy for yourself you can also buy for your dog,” said Tiffany.

Furry Tales is co-owned by Angell Boland and her mother, Jill Eckert. If there’s a dog in your life you’d like to see looking better, give the business a call. The new phone number is 506-7331.

That’s all folks

The constant barrage of business activity is refreshing. If you have a business tip to bring to my attention, the number is 473-2191.