Veteran franchise owner Jason Ellis of Saltillo has announced that he will be opening a Little Caesars pizza store at the former location of Daylight Donuts on Hwy 278: “I opened my first Little Caesars store in 2013 in Booneville after working for Little Caesars for six years. Since then, I have expanded to Fulton, Ripley and Hamilton, Alabama. I have been wanting to build a store in Amory for several years but was unable to find a suitable location until now. I am excited to finally bring our brand to Amory,” he said.
He plans to open up shop in late March/Early April, with 2 full-time employees and about 40 part-timers.
“We look forward to serving the citizens of Amory and surrounding communities. Look for our mailer coming to a mailbox near you in March, which will have our menu and offers attached,” Ellis said.
77-year-old “Miss Ann” Wozniak serves the public as Kroger’s friendly store greeter, and has been doing this sort of thing for a remarkably long time – since she was 11 years old. She has more friends than she can count because of this, and she’s beloved by many. The cheerful grandma doesn’t see herself giving up her position anytime soon.
“All the customers love her,” said Ty Sanders, one of the store’s assistant managers. “All the associates love her, too. She has a history with Kroger. She’s worked here before. That’s one of the reasons we decided to hire her back.”
“I play with kids and help customers,” Wozniak said. “When I’m working on the other end of the store, next to the pharmacy, I look out for the old people, even though I’m an old person myself. So many older people come to get their medicines and I’m always watching out for them, to see if they need help.”
Wozniak grew up on the South side of Columbus, and struggled to get by, as many still do. However, she had help: “My little grandmother was just the sweetest person. She worked like a dog to take care of all of us,” Wozniak said. “She had six sons that gave her a whole lot of trouble. . .It was just a hard life.”
“She’s become kind of a morale-builder for the store,” Sanders went on to say. “She’s a very positive influence. She always comes in with a smile on her face and ready to work.”
“I’ve had a good life,” she said. “I can’t say but what I’ve had to do in my life has helped me learn to appreciate what I have. Maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated things if I hadn’t grown up so hard.
“That’s what I want young people to know,” she added. “Maybe I can show them. I walked to work when I was 11 years old. I believe young people need to work and make their own money and not have to depend on anybody. At the end of the day, you can’t blame the kind of life you have on anybody else. It’s up to you.”
Former employees Debbie Putt and Janis Kertsetter are now the new owners of The Purple Elephant on Wilkins Wise Road in Columbus. The shop had been closed briefly after the prior owner, Marca Glenn, retired.
“We hated to see another store close in Columbus,” Putt said. “We just felt like jumping in and doing it. Everything comes full circle.”
Putt went on to say that the shop will be the same as always, though they are open to carrying new and interesting items for their clientele to buy; also, they have retained the crew that worked under Ms. Glenn. The gift shop is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, next to CJ’s in Columbus, has announced that they are closing their doors after being in business for six years.
Construction work has officially begun at Grand Junction condos, 509 University Drive. They are hoping to open Phase I for new homeowners in late August of this year. Tabor Development’s VP of development, Kay Regimbal, says that about one third of the condos have already been purchased.
The units vary in size from 1~3 bedrooms & 750~1,500 square feet, and in price from about $200,000 to $445,000.
MSU’s Colvard Student Union had a couple of changes quite recently:
State Fountain Bakery, which is now across the union, has penlty of goodies on offer just in time for Valentine’s Day. Mediterranean restaurant Olilo is now open in the student union.
Popular downtown yoga studio Firefly on S Lafayette St has shut its doors, and appears to be on the market.
Mossy Oak recently signed a multi-year deal with the NRA to offer a new camo design called “Overwatch,” to be used as the NRA’s official camoflage pattern.
The People’s Cup MicroRoastery is has opened its doors in Starkville. The shop, located at 12-1/2 Lummus Dr. near the Cotton District, roasts, brews, and serves its own hot, fresh coffee on weekdays from 7 AM to 2 PM.
The Greater Starkville Development will be holding its annual “SOUPerbowl” soup competition Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Main Street. Hungry visitors seeking a variety of nice, hot soups may do so for $15 in advance of the event, or $20 at the door. At the end, patrons get to vote on whose soup is the cream of the crop!
Huntsville, Alabama-based Hometown Lenders is preparing to open up shop in Columbus, making it their third Mississippi location. Their office will be located at Second Ave. N. They have nearly 80 locations nationwide. Appointments only, please.
John and his crew have been providing us with the best sandwiches in town for over a decade. They keep us fed and happy, and ready to face whatever may come at work. Even the Mayor says so — and we thank His Honor for going around and supporting our local shops, restaurants, and entrepreneurs of all types…’cuz that’s Good for Business!
PRESS RELEASE – COLUMBUS MAYOR’S OFFICE United Deli and Grocery in Columbus is Mayor Robert Smith’s Business of the Week. The business is located at 212 Tuscaloosa Road on the corner of Tuscaloosa Rd and Gardner Blvd. “It’s an honor to recognize United Deli as our Business of the Week,” said Mayor Smith. “John and his staff serve amazing food and work hard to take care of their customers every day. I enjoy every meal here.”John Musa is the owner. He opened United Deli in 2006. In the past 12 years, he has found the key to success in the food business. “Listen to the customers,” John said. “The best ideas for our sandwiches have come from the customers. We have changed our menu with feedback from our customers, and we are always listening.” John learned the restaurant business from his uncle in Washington state. “I worked with my Uncle for about eight years before coming here. He taught me a lot, and I use his lessons every day.” The deli serves a large variety of sandwiches on bread that is made in the store. “We cook our bread twice a day,” John said. “We also slice and prepare our meats. That is what keeps everything fresh.” When asked what his favorite sandwich was, John was quick to answer. “Our cheeseburger is amazing,” he said. “Everything here is good, but the cheeseburger is my favorite.” United Deli does catering for group meals too. They are open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. They serve breakfast too. “There is great satisfaction in cooking a great meal for others,” John added. “We love to do that here.”
Ida Smith starts preparing hundreds of fresh biscuits at Hardee’s every day an hour and a half before the store even opens, and has been doing so for nearly thirty years. She needs no recipe, she needs no help, she just does it all by heart.
“I like to be back there alone,” she said. “When there’s somebody else back there, they just get in my way. I know how I like to do things.”
Hardee’s assistant manager Bessie Allen interjected. “We all know better than to interrupt the process.”
Smith is an avid cook, and she credits her mother as the inspiration for many of her recipes. “We all cooked in my family,” she said. “My mom had 11 kids. We all were cooking.”
She is popular with customers and co-workers alike: “We love her here,” Allen went on to say. “Everybody loves Miss Ida.”
Smith loves them all right back: “I like working with people I like,” she said. “It makes the time go quick if you like who you’re spending time with.”
Will Kline, project manager for The Retail Coach of Tupelo, reports that a number of developers have expressed buying Leigh Mall. Kline’s firm has a contract with the city to assist with retail development.
The mall will be going up for auction Tuesday evening, along with a number of other properties owned by Security National Properties; the interested developers may have to wait for the results of that auction before they can proceed.
While new ownership may not have an immediate effect on the mall, Kline said, “Ideally … a new owner comes to the table and breathes new life into the mall.” Many of the mall’s tenants have been lost in the past two years alone, including such stores as JCPenney, Sears, Payless, and Kirkland’s.
Joe Max Higgins, CEO for the Golden Triangle Development LINK, has stated in the past that there has been interest in purchasing and revitalization of the mall for some time.
The mall property’s assessed value is $12.1 million, according to the Lowndes County Tax Assessor’s Office.
As Lowndes County’s somewhat controversial 30-year-old restaurant sales tax expired back in June, a replacement tax has been proposed which seems to have near-universal support in the Legislature. Should it be approved, this previously-expired tax will bring back the 2% restaurant tax for the area. Note that this would only affect Columbus eateries whose total food & beverage sales exceed $100 thousand per year.
$400K of the expected revenue has been earmarked for the City, another $300K has been reserved for the County for use in “tourism, special events, recreation and entertainment,” and a further $250K for the GTR LINK’s economic development services. The remainder will go to the CVB.
“When it gets down here, it may very well have a direct referendum added (which would require a citizen vote before the tax could be enacted),” said Rep. Gary Chism (R-Lowndes County), who serves on the House Local and Private Committee that handles such sales tax legislation. “This is the way I drafted the bill because that is what the city and county wanted (in their resolutions), and I support it.”
Mayor Robert Smith reports that the City intends to use its share of the projected revenues to help pay for an estimated $1.6 million in ball field improvements at Propst Park, as well as building the second phase of the Sen. Terry Brown Amphitheater at The Island.
Supervisors’ President Harry Sanders stated that the County is considering using its share to make a “regional” sports complex.
Pizza and buffet chain Godfather’s Pizza is opening a local store in Midtown at 301 University Drive, Suite 2. They plan to open their doors sometime this spring. The chain has been in business since 1978, and currently has more than 600 locations in 40 states. More options for tasty food in this burgeoning town are always good to have!
Starkville’s Cadence Bank main branch building, located at 301 E. Main St., is back on the market. The Board of Aldermen considered buying the property in 2014, but the project was eventually voted down. The 30 thousand sq ft building is currently listed at $2.5 million.
Ceco Building Systems, which makes materials needs to construct pre-fab homes, will be moving to a new location a few blocks down Hwy 45 N, according to Human Resources Director Tim Lamm.
Nails and Spa, located at 1726 Hwy 45, has put up an “opening soon” sign, but no date has yet been announced. The nail salon will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
K-Mart has officially closed its doors here as of late November. Future plans for the retail space, if any, have not yet been announced.
Penny Ridge Grocery, located at 2003 Ridge Road between Caledonia and Columbus, is on the market. Owners Deanna Jordan and John Wooten have said that they are in the process of finding a buyer, but that they would close for business by the end of the week.
GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch
Hungry for some fresh, piping hot cinnamon buns? Then head on over to Big Buns and More, a cinnamon roll bakery at 332 Hwy 12 W in Starkville. The bakery just held a Grand Opening lately, and is already bringing in rave reviews from locals. Hours: Tue~Thu 7:30am – 5:30pm, Fri 7:30am – 10pm, Sat 8 – 4.
Once you’ve had your fill, work off some of those delicious calories at Orange Theory Fitness. The new gym had its own Grand Opening recently; they’re located at 401 University Dr, and they offer one-hour fitness classes every day from 5 a.m.-6:45 p.m. Better yet, your first class is free to new members!
Head Over Heels clothing shop and boutique’s newest location at 450 Hwy 12, Ste B, has just opened for business. They’re open Mon~Sat from 11 to 6.
The Flower Company plans to open up shop at its new, bigger location at 401 E Lampkin St in the next few days. They plan to be open from 9 to 5 Mon~Fri, and Sat from 9 to 1, starting this Monday.
423 Main St now plays host to Faith Salon and Faith Fabulous Boutique! They are in business and ready to go; they currently offer mainly women’s clothes and services, but they will be adding both men’s clothing and new employees soon! Open Tues~Sat from 9 to 6.
Party and Paper has closed its doors, but owner Susan Mackay will hold the Grand Opening of her new shop, Impressions by Susan this evening (Thursday, Nov 1) from 4 to 7 pm. It is located at 424 Main St. The shop will be open for business Tues~Fri from 10 to 5.
The former location of Front Door/Back Door and Old 82 Restaurant at the corner or Catfish Alley and Main St is up for sale.