Catfish and Other Tasty Eats and More Coming up on the Horizon!

GOLDEN TRIANGLE AREA, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch, and Grant McLaughlin


Ashley Furniture is open for business as the prep work for the renovation begins. Staff photo/Good for Business with Colin Krieger

The Ashley Home Store at 1721 Hwy. 45 N. will be shutting its door temporarily beginning March 5 for a month-long renovation. They will also be offering customers half off of all furniture until then, so strike while the iron is hot!

Slim Chickens at 1923 Hwy. 45 N. – next to Mike’s Liquor – has had a few minor issues getting off the ground, but they’re almost there, contractor Frank Culpepper said. They are currently on schedule to open up their doors in April.

Sol Y Luna, in the former Logan’s Roadhouse location at 589 18th Ave. N., was hoping to open in time for Valentine’s Day, but fate had other plans. The interior looks like it;’s just about ready to rock, but there has not yet been any word about a new opening date.

Barksdale Catfish Lakes at 130 Hillcrest Drive plans to open for business on March 1 and have a grand opening ceremony on March 4. Fishing at the lake will cost you a small entry fee of $2, plus an additional $2.85 for every pound of fish you catch and take home. they also offer a cut and fillet service for $3.85/lb. The lake will be open for eager fishers through November of each year.


El Rodeo, a new Mexican restaurant located in the Triangle Crossing Shopping Center at 665 Hwy. 12 W in Starkville (near ALDI), is ongoing, just a bit slower than originally anticipated. Castle Properties developer Luke Castleberry reports that they plan to be open by the end of March.

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Long Term Tenants a Plus for Potential Buyers

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch, Slim Smith, and Grant McLaughlin

The Gateway Shopping Center, 221 Alabama St., has been put up for sale for $9 million. The center is home to popular stores such as Food Giant and Walgreens.

“There are multiple ways that a new investor can add value to the shopping center by either filling the vacant spaces with more tenants or by converting some of the square footage into additional climate-controlled units for the storage business,” the published listing reads.

Gateway Shopping Center at 221 Alabama St in Columbus. Courtesy of Crexi

The center originally opened up on Sept. 15, 1965. “It wasn’t just the biggest strip mall/shopping center. It was the only one,” said longtime Columbus resident and businessman Jimmy Graham. “The big store there was Woolco, and that was one of the biggest names in retail back in those days. It meant a lot to folks. It was a big deal.”

“We see tons of upside on this transaction for a new buyer to lease vacant units at the shopping center and manage revenue at the storage facility,” Meridian Storage agent Patrick Kidder said. “It’s even priced below replacement cost at $9 million. So we think that there are pretty big advantages here.”

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Swoope-ing into a New Era

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch and Grant McLaughlin

Swoope Insurance Agency over on Bluecutt has been acquired by larger firm Oakbridge Insurance Agency. “Oakbridge is a regional agency and gives us access to a lot of resources that we just did not have access to in the past,” Swoope owner Mark Hardy said. “It also helps with the standpoint of employees. I think every small business out there has had problems finding and recruiting employees, and Oakbridge has a much larger footprint, so they’re able to attract new people. And that’s something that certainly is a big benefit to us.”

The Essle Center for Perceptual Development, an applied behavioral analysis therapy business helping children with autism, will hold its grand opening on Feb. 17 at 2102 Fifth St. N., office manager Kat Grady said. Owner Andrea Morris is a pediatrician with Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle.

In food news: The Jalisco Mexican Grill, 1921 Hwy. 45 N., is becoming the Guadalajara Cantina and Grill, per company secretary Andrea Prang. They plan to carry over much of the old menu, in addition to new offerings such as classical Mexican cuisine.

Foxhole Games and Comics, which opened up shop near City Diner last Fall, has moved to bigger and better digs at 411 Main St, near the Varsity. Owner Daniel Criddle reports that they “went from about roughly around 900 square feet to 2,000 . . . We needed the space for the gaming scene in Columbus that has grown exponentially to a point where we need to go ahead and try to capitalize on it. When they come into a shop, they shouldn’t be crowded and cramped up trying to figure out how to play. . .We have D&D now three nights a week in the store. So even if the groups get too big, we can break them up into other groups and put them in separate rooms.” They also hold game nights for players of games such as Magic: the Gathering nightly and Pokemon on Saturdays.

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Aberdeen to Get Second Grocery Store

ABERDEEN, Miss. – Courtesy of WTVA

Freshley’s Market – WTVA

Freshly’s Market will open for business this Saturday on Hwy 8 in Aberdeen. The facility will include a bakery, deli, and floral shop, along with all of the usual grocery goodness.

Please give them a try!

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Soul Food for the Soul

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of WCBI

Helen Karriem

Helen’s Kitchen and Catering, located on 7th Avenue North & 15th St, is preparing to hold a grand re-opening later this year. 86-year-old Proprietess Helen Jones-Karriem shares her secret to good ol’ soul food cooking: “The love of people. . . I don’t get in there and warm up stuff and order stuff from the truck. I cook. Do you know this morning, we got up and prepared everything that had been cooked? Cook, we’ve been cooking.”

Her business was one of those affected by the tornadoes in 2019, but she hasn’t let that slow her down. She has done all she can to keep on cooking for and giving to the community.

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Long-Delayed Bridge Repair To Commence

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

The city council recently voted to accept a $4+ million settlement in the Negligence lawsuit which was filed against both Max Marine and Cooper Marine and Timberlands, regarding a barge that collided with and damaged a bridge on the Tenn-Tomm Waterway in February 2020. The respondents offered the settlement, which is expected to cover the repair costs in full, so there should be no cost to taxpayers.

Pictured is the eastern support pier of the pedestrian bridge at Riverside Park, which was struck by a runaway barge back in 2020 – Brian Jones, Dispatch Staff

City Attorney Jeff Turnage said that “It’s pretty rare to get a settlement for the whole amount. . . I don’t think there will be any other issue there,” he went on to say. “It will be built back to look just like it does now.”

Work is anticipated to take six months to a year, he said.

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New Tractor Factory to Bring 90 Jobs to Area in 2024

LOWNDES COUNTY, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch and Grant McLaughlin

Taylor Group Companies CEO Lex Taylor speaking at the Communiversity – Grant McLaughlin, Dispatch Staff

Terberg Taylor Americas Group had a ground-breaking ceremony at the Communiversity on Tuesday, about a mile from where they will be building their new manufacturing facility. While the construction has been pushed back a few months, they are back on track to finish by mid-2024: “We had some construction delays and supply chain delays, and we’re kind of putting ourselves in a little grace period to do that,” Taylor Group President Robert Taylor said. “We hope to beat that . . . mid-2024 (estimate). . .To have a facility like this (Communiversity) less than a mile from our facility means everyday training for bringing in employment, recruiting, to be able to have meetings here while we’re building,” Taylor said. “It means everything.”

Terberg Board Chairman Godfried Terberg told a crowd of legislators and business leaders that “We have the opportunities here. . . If you look at the quality of the products, we believe we can conquer this part of the world in this product line.”

They plan to hire 90 employees, paying an average of over $50,000 each.

“I think it really speaks to the kind of people we have in Mississippi,” Gov. Tate Reeves told The Dispatch. “Because Terberg is a family company and Taylor company is here. This is a family-owned and operated company that treats its employees like family. And that’s what we’re going to see with the combination of these two great companies coming together, creating jobs here and really producing a product.”

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Rose Drug Closing; Work Happening on Former Ryan’s Building

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch and Grant McLaughlin


West Point Pharmacy Rose Drug Company at 595 Commerce St., will shut its doors for good as of January 25th. CVS will be taking over the location, as well as any prescriptions still on file there as of that time. “There’s a lot of factors with insurance that is squeezing independents out,” co-owner Connie Hudson said. “You just don’t make as much as you made. It’s really tough, and so it’s a fight. It’s a battle that we didn’t feel like we could continue.”

A new Pizza Hut has opened up shop at 7003 Hwy. 45 Alt. recently.


Amar Alammari, owner of Exotic Smokerz smoke shop at 1920 Hwy. 45 N., recently opened the Cozy Camel, an Arabian soul food truck parked right out front of his other business, this past Saturday. “People actually want to experience something that is not like southern soul food,” Alammari said. “A lot of people want to change. You know, we are in 2023. Let’s see what kind of food there is.”

While they plan to eventually be open with a consistent schedule (11am to 10 pm seven days a week), they are still working out the kinks. If you pass by and the lights are on, please give them a try!

The old Ryan’s restaurant building at 1201 Hwy. 45 N. is undergoing renovation; no new occupant has been announced yet.


Venezuelan cafe Arepas is open once again at 102 Rue Du Grande Fromage, following a brief hiatus to allow the staff and owners to spend time with their families.

ALDI has officially had its Grand Opening, having held a ribbon cutting this morning, complete with gift card giveaways and free goodie bags for customers.

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Starkville, Columbus Sales Tax Collections Looking Bright Year-Over-Year

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch and Grant McLaughlin

Area sales tax projections and collections have improved since this time last year.


Columbus received ~$914K in sales tax diversions from the MS DoR, up ~$43K from December 2021. Sales tax collections are up about 10% so far this fiscal year, or about $300K. Mayor Gaskin said that “There’s a lot of interest in the city again, as far as business and retail is concerned,” Gaskin said. “I think, once you see completed works like at the Leigh Mall that the Hull Group is doing, I truly believe that our numbers are going to continue to go up.”


Starkville received ~$727 in sales tax diversions this month, compared to !$716 in December 2021. Collections are up by about 3.2%, or about $70K. Mayor Spruill commented that “The city of Starkville and all of her residents and visitors love to eat because we have great places to eat,” Spruill said. “We are fortunate that we have as many wonderful restaurants as we do, and we continue to have people who are interested in being out in the community and enjoying our local fare.”

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ALDI is Al Di Way Open

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch and Grant McLaughlin

The new Aldi grocery store at 607 Hwy. 12 opened on Dec. 13 in the Triangle Crossing Shopping Center on the West end of town. They have their trademark fresh produce, imported treats, deli cheeses and meats, and more! This includes, of course, the Aisle of Shame — but they call it the ALDI Finds section, showcasing experimental items that rotate every week or so, as they see what people are looking to buy. Don’t forget a solid quarter for the shopping cart; you’ll need one.

Right next door to them, El Rodeo, a Mexican restaurant, will also be coming to the shopping center. No word yet on a date.

Meanwhile, Stages Solutions, a waste management company, is offering discounts to people who are working on fixing up their homes and businesses after the recent extended freeze. They have deals on dumpster rentals, cleaning services, gravel and dirt hauling and other hauling services for commercial and residential work: “We understand how frustrating busted pipes can be because we are dealing with it too,” owner Brittany Jade Stage says. “Let us make it a little easier for you.” Please contact them via their FB page: Stage’s Solutions LLC

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