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New Places to Get Some Good Grub Moving on in!

GTR REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

COLUMBUS

Having lived up in Portland for a number of years, Jeff Dudley has come back home to the South, and he’s bringing a new kind of food truck with him. Yardbird Bento will specialize in marinated chicken over rice (with your choice of nearly a dozen sauces) as its primary type of dish. He should be ready to roll by the first week of June, and will be serving up some tasty chicken Mondays thru Fridays from 11am~5:30pm: “There are a lot of food carts (in Portland),” Dudley said. “There was one particular one that was there that did this same thing, and they’ve been doing it for 16 years. I frequented the place quite a bit. . .We moved back here and this is what we decided to go with.”

STARKVILLE

Columbus’ Hollydale Health Food Store, first opened in 1976, has expanded into a new location over in Stark Vegas. He found that he had been getting plenty of business from SV residents who drove to Columbus to shop at his store, so expanding was the natural choice. This new, second store can be found at 446 Hwy. 12 Suite B; it is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

GTR AREA


Finally, Chat Phillips, having founded the Inaka Tea Company in 2019, is now bringing his bottled barley teas to the grocery store shelves. Check your local Kroger and give it a shot!


Please click here for the original article: https://cdispatch.com/news/2021-05-06/mary-means-business-new-food-truck-coming-to-columbus/

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Green Energy Making Waves

LOWNDES COUNTY, MS – Courtesy of the GTR LINK

Origis Systems will be bringing a 200MW solar farm to Lowndes County; the go-ahead for the project was recently announced by Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

“This project sends a signal to the world that Mississippi is dedicated to smart renewable energy expansion and energy independence. The investment by Origis is an economic development boom for the Golden Triangle and for the development of Mississippi’s resources. With the addition of battery storage, this project will provide new technology, weatherization and harness Mississippi’s solar energy in a way unseen until now,” said Presley.

Please click here for the full article:
https://gtrlink.org/news/article/222

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Biz iz Buzzin’ in the GTR

GOLDEN TRIANGLE AREA, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

COLUMBUS

Renasant Bank on Main Street officially closed its doors on April 2nd, per their PR VP Liz McIntyre. Their 18th Ave branch remains open.


Family Dollar at 60 Mike Parra Rd near the airbase is getting ready for its Grand Opening this Sunday. They will be open 7 days a week.


Nearby, Friendly City Mini-Warehouse is preparing a site for their location at Hwy 45 and Gatlin Road. They anticipate opening for business in about eight months from now; they will have both regular and climate-controlled units, as well as RV and boat parking. They will also have 24/7 checkin and leasing via a convenient computerized kiosk. https://www.friendlycitymini.com.
In Brickerton Plaza, Beans and Cream has changed its name to Southbound Coffee Co., as we recently reported here on GFB. It has the same owners, same menu, same coffee and same baristas (just with a new name). Mon thru Sat 6-6.


STARKVILLE


Uno Mas has opened up in the Cotton District at the former location of the STAGgerIn Sports Bar at 106 Maxwell St. They will offer Tex-Mex food, margaritas, and more. Mon~Thurs 11-11, Fri~Sat 11-midnight, and Sundays 11-10. This is their third location, joining their shops in Madison and in Oxford.


Please click here for the original article: https://cdispatch.com/news/2021-04-15/mary-means-business-renasant-bank-closes-main-street-branch-in-columbus/

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Businesses New and Old Thriving in Starkville

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

The Power of the Almond held a ribbon-cutting this morning. They’re a new keto/celiac/diabetic-friendly restaurant in the research park near MSU. They offer all sorts of baked goodies, flatbreads, soups, casseroles, and coffee drinks. 60 Technology Blvd (first suite on the right), Lunch is available from 11AM~2PM weekdays and the in-house bakery is open until 5:30PM. — Keep an eye on our page right here in the next day or two for more info about them soon (and pictures!), as we swung by for a visit and a bite (hint: Their food is tasty!) — You can find them on FaceBook at Power of the Almond

Montgomery’s Jewelry is marking its diamond anniversary, having been in business for 75 years! Store Manager Michelle Sharp remarked that they “have weathered all of the fluctuations in this business, including the increase of metal costs . . . You have to move with the times. . . You can’t stay in the past and you can’t go too far into the future.” 218 E. Main St. They offer many types of jewelry, including custom pieces, as well as watch and jewelry repairs. Weekdays 9AM~5PM and Saturdays 9AM~2PM. FB: Montgomery’s Jewelry

Looking to host an event to celebrate a special occasion? Takoya Sherman’s Just For You Events and Visions is now in business and ready to take your calls. They offer planning for events of all kinds, and they also make custom items such as jewelry, car tags, and t-shirts to go along with them. Contact them at justforyoueventsandvision.com or on FB at Just For You Events and Visions

The Starkville Smoothie King has begun work on their new location at 308 Hwy. 12; they anticipate opening in mid-June.

Things are going well in the ‘Ville, and THAT’S Good for Business! Please click here for more business openings and the original article:

https://cdispatch.com/news/2021-04-01/mary-means-business-power-of-the-almond-opens-today-in-starkville/

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MSU Grads Receive Funding to Help Ensure Future Success

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Burgeoning Starkville-based Rocketing Systems, maker of marketing/CRM software “Buzzbassador,” recently received a $100K investment from tech-promoting nonprofit firm Innovate Mississippi. Shelby Baldwin, Rocketing Systems’ Chief Marketing Officer and one of their founders, says that they “discovered that small to medium-sized businesses that use influencer marketing can find it hard to manage this particular kind of marketing. . . You’re managing so many people, trying to keep track of what sales are generating and how campaigns are performing and recruiting the right type of influencers while managing communication with them. It’s like this whole other business inside of your business.”

Starkville's own: Rocketing Systems' Shelby Baldwin, Calvin Waddy. Brandon Johns - Image courtesy of IMS Magazine
Starkville’s own: Rocketing Systems’ Shelby Baldwin, Calvin Waddy. Brandon Johns – Image courtesy of IMS Magazine


Innovate Mississippi Investment Manager Lindsey Benefield spoke of their relationship with Rocketing: “They are fantastic to work with. . . I think Buzzbassadors is an inspiration to all young adults looking to start their own businesses. They came together as three [MSU] college students with one idea and then pivoted to a completely different direction, and now they are having huge success and getting investor attention.”


These local folks are working hard to help other companies spread the word about their products and services to the benefit of all – and THAT’S Good for Business!


Please click here for the original article: https://cdispatch.com/news/2021-03-30/starkville-based-online-retail-company-receives-100k-to-grow-team-expand-marketing/

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Airbus Continues to Go On Strong with a New Manager

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch


Mike Spears, manager of Airbus Columbus, is passing the torch to another Airbus veteran, German-born Johannes Dienemann.
“Now I get the opportunity to spend my time in Columbus and I’m excited about that,” Dienemann said. “It’s exciting what’s happening here and to be a part of it.” He went on to speak of their mission here and of the great workforce from the local community: “We have an almost endless spectrum of work . . . We build some helicopters from scratch, some from parts and pieces, some fully assembled that we do completion work on and maintenance, so it’s a very diverse type of work. We have people in our shops that make wire harnesses, assemble engines, assemble gear boxes, paint on all those different aircraft. We have 60 to 70 aircraft come through here every year. So we have to make sure we cross-train our people for our production lines and completion center. That’s a tribute to the skill and talent of our workforce.”

Outgoing Airbus Columbus manager Mike Spears and his successor, Johannes Dienemann – photo by Slim Smith – The Dispatch


Spears was part of a big push that has borne fruit over the last few years to revitalize production of the Lakota helicopters for the military, which has gone on to become a great success for the facility, and which makes up a large chunk of what they do there: “When I first got here eight years ago, the Army was talking about winding the Lakota down, so we realized we had to do something to stabilize what we were doing . . . While we had always done some maintenance work on the Lakotas for the Army, we’ve doubled, maybe tripled our maintenance work. So now we have two assembly lines, the completion center and maintenance going on.”


Airbus employs 270 people at their local facility, where they work on a good half a dozen different types of the company’s 15 unique aircraft.


Please click here for the original article: https://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=86836

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It’s Snowball Season in Starkville and Seafood Season in Columbus!


GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

STARKVILLE

Starkvegas Snowballs has opened up its shops at 113 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Dr W and 216 Lummus Drive as of today! They will be open daily, serving up ice-cold New Orleans-style goodness from 2 to 6 pm daily.


Recently, Get Yarded Starkville was taken over by Hallee Jourdan, a soon-to-be MSU student, and her family. The shop has been operating in Starkville since 2018 and offers celebratory yard signs for occasions of all sorts, e.g.: birthdays, weddings, pastor week celebrations, business openings, baby showers, and the like.


In sadder news, some local places have closed their doors.
Co-owner Frank Jones has stated that The Veranda, which had been dishing up great food for a good two decades, has shut down. “The Veranda was a sit-down kind of place,” Jones said. “(COVID) just killed places like ours. It made everybody just sick to our stomachs, but we just ran out of money … COVID was just the nail in the coffin. I mean, we were losing money every month. It wasn’t about making a profit; we were just trying to survive.” On the upside, Jones reports that he already has a new tenant on the way, who plans to open a restaurant of his own in the existing building.


Also, local escape room venue Get Out Starkville has also closed for good.


COLUMBUS


Shipp Family Dentistry has moved to its new, larger digs at 2313 Bluecutt Road. Mon~Thurs 8 to 5 and Fridays from 8 to noon.


The Louisiana Shrimp Shack at 6188 Hwy. 45 has re-opened for inside dining, as we recently reported. It originally opened up last year, and they’re ready to serving up some fine fried and boiled seafood in the Southern Louisiana style. Mon~Sat 11 to 8.


Please click here for the original article: https://cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=86721

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Downtown Columbus: New Ownership for the Former Fred’s Neighbor

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Local firm TGV Properties, owned by Tom Velek and his wife Cynthia Buob, recently acquired the structure adjoining the old Fred’s location (which we wrote about recently) at 322 Fifth St. S. This will be the largest project thus far for this veteran development group. Veleks says that the plans are to renovate the space and make available 1,400 sq ft of commercial space on the first floor, a pair of 1-bedropm apartments above it, and to turn the rear section of the building into the business district’s first 2-story apartment. He went on to say that, “We have found that there is a real need for small commercial space . . . There are a lot of small businesses that need an affordable, small office space still in downtown. … We really like the mixed-use model and we feel that our record proves that there is a need for small business in downtown.”

Tom Velek of TGV Properties
(courtesy photo)

TGV will be working with a Jacquelin Lee, a 3rd year university student, in order to properly examine and document the structure for historical purposes, including the possibility of obtaining a historic tax credit from MDAH in exchange for maintaining construction standards in accordance with their historical and architectural requirements. 

“I think it helps us remember where we’ve been as a community and understand that journey that we’ve taken as a community,” MSU architecture professor John Poros said. “By doing this kind of historic renovation, it helps us to keep landmarks that are important to people’s memories of Columbus. So we’re helping to make sure that sort of the character of downtown Columbus, that we have a representation from this period of time in downtown Columbus.”

“For me, it’s because it’s my neighborhood,” Velek commented. “It’s where I live. I live around the corner. My company’s largest investment is around the corner. . . Ultimately, renovation and developments of downtown properties in a city like Columbus is going to come by local people. The city, city council, everybody has to support those local people who do it because there’s no big box retailer coming in to fix one of these properties. . . Local people will have to step up and do this kind of thing or it’s not going to get done.”

Please click here for the original article: https://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=86404

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Former Fred’s Location to get Historically-Friendly Makeover

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch


Local entrepreneur Jim Mauldin recently purchased the old Fred’s location on 5th St South in Columbus. He plans to create a climate-controlled self-storage facility there in order to serve residents and businesses in the area: “There are lots of people who have downtown apartments, who have small houses on North- and Southside,” he said. “… We’re looking for everybody, but that’s the market we’re intending to be able to serve. So having the downtown community was a factor in us deciding to move to service this area, and we want to be part of that community also.”

Jim Mauldin gestures toward the original barrel vault ceiling in the nearly 75-year-old building at 304 Fifth St. S in Columbus – photo by Isabelle Altman

Renovations to the site have already begun, including knocking out interior walls and removing the old drop ceiling, revealing the original barrel-vaulted one that is original to the structure. Mauldin has also explained that, once he can get the hard-to-find materials, he plans to redo the facade with “a black … 1920s vintage-style glass that goes around the outside of the window frames,” he said. His plan is to do work on the site that will conform to the standards set forth by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The building itself will be renamed the “Freeheart Building,” in honor of its original name, the Freeheart Bakery, founded in 1948. “We’re going to restore (the building) back to a really good look that will be a good anchor for this corner and style, and still be able to (run) it as a commercial building,” Mauldin said. “It’ll be nicely lit, it’ll be clean, it’ll be fresh,” he said. “It will have a tilt of the hat, as a commercial building today, to the way it looked when it was really in use back then.”


Please click here for the original article: https://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=86321

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Local Business Builds on Silver Anniversary Success with Plans to Expand Thanks to the MDA

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Husband and wife team George (an engineer) and Judy East (accountant) founded East Systems, Inc., a local electronic components company just over a quarter-century ago, quickly moving from their own garage to a facility out on Hwy 69. Now, thanks to the LINK and The Mississippi Development Authority, they have been expanding their facilities in order to accommodate bigger and better projects in order to keep up with the demand for their goods. The LINK was instrumental in helping them to obtain an $89,800 grant which allowed them to start construction. The company produces items such as control panels and wiring for large mining operations, and the expansion will make it possible for them to handle larger jobs, and more of them, for bigger clients.

Judy and George East, owners of East Systems Inc. on Highway 69 in East Columbus, are eager for work to begin on an 11,500 square-foot expansion.
Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff


As with many entrepreneurs, the couple has had to work hard in order to get this far: “I’m an accountant and I’m very conservative,” Judy said. “(George) has been saying for the past two or three years that we really need to add on and I’ve been putting it off. Every time, I talked him out of it because it hasn’t always been a glorious ride. We’ve had to use up a lot of our savings just to keep our doors open and our employees paid over the years…He kept telling me, ‘If we are going to move forward and get this other work, we’re going to have to add on.'”


The company currently has ten employees, but they are looking to hire more as the expansion progresses. The grant has already begun paying off, as they have now landed a contract with a client company that they would not have been able to properly accommodate as little as a year ago: George remarked that, “You grow as the jobs grow. But this really gives us a chance to get those jobs…We’re looking for workers right now.” Their workers typically earn from about $39~$62 thousand a year.


“These are local people with good-paying jobs,” Joe Max Higgins of the LINK said. “That’s something we want to promote. It’s not always about these big industries. Folks like the Easts are very important, too.”


Please click here for the original article: https://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=86125

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