Business Pulse – Prepare yourself for a better fitness

If you can’t wait to lose some weight, I have great news today. Honk the horns and open the doors. Planet Fitness is set to open in McMinnville this week.

Speaking to Planet Fitness officials, there were already 300 people signed up to join the gym before the first piece of equipment was put in place.

Friday was the beginning of moving equipment and these guys know what they’re doing. I think there is a reason why there are more than 2,000 Planet Fitness locations spread all over the world.

The forklift would haul exercise equipment to the front door, and from there workers would drag it in the door, position it and finish the final setup. All equipment is brand new. There is no telling how much all that new equipment costs.

There is a 100 foot wall of TVs in place and there will be a spacious cardio area. There are also free weights and machines.

Speaking from personal experience, there is nothing better that you can do with your life than to get in better shape. Regular exercise works wonders for the body and mind.

Just last Wednesday, I was in a bad mood. But after visiting the gym, I was able to shed a good sweat and left feeling like $20. With today’s ballooning, I have to say I felt like $40.

Better fitness is a plus for Warren County. Planet Fitness is here to help you. From what I understand, the business is heading towards opening on Monday, but if that deadline is not reached, it will open on Thursday.

Ryan Mason joins

Memory Gardens

Memory Gardens has landed a seasoned veteran of funeral work to direct her work on North Chancery Boulevard.

Ryan Mason has been appointed Director of Memory Gardens, bringing 23 years of experience to the local facility.

“I started working at High Funeral Home when I was still in high school,” Ryan said. “I was working as a freelance embalmer for seven funeral homes when Gardens of Memory approached me to take over as director. It was a very good opportunity to miss.”

I feel old when I say I remember taking pictures of Ryan when he was a basketball star at Boyd Christian Bronco. He started working for High’s back in 1999 and graduated in 2000.

Ryan went on to pursue a career in the industry when he graduated from John A. College.

“It’s a really great honor to be working with families at a very emotional time in their lives,” Ryan said. “It is definitely a very difficult time and we want to make sure that we are carrying out the wishes of every family in handling their arrangements.”

Ryan says that every year more families are choosing to cremate, and he believes affordability is one reason for this. He says big plans are in the works at Memory Gardens and there may be an announcement in the future.

Ryan did funeral-related work before he officially began work on his first funeral home. His mother is Pam Wilson, the proud owner of All O-K’sions, and Ryan has played a role in running this floral business.

Ryan and his wife Shay got married on Halloween in a costume wedding, and they recently celebrated the birth of their first child, Aspen Mason, who is just 6 weeks old.

Ryan is a board member with Kids of the Community and was a volunteer last year at the Lions Club food booth at the show. He is a member of the Jet Baptist Church.

I think this is a great move for memory gardens. I know Ryan would do a first class job.

Celebrate on Tuesday

with Bob Jones

A festive event is expected this Tuesday, July 19, from 4-6 p.m. at First National Bank on Main Street when Bob Jones’ retirement celebration is held.

Mr. Jones has 62 years of experience with the Bank, climbing the ladder to President and CEO from 1980 to 1995. He first started working for First National in 1960 and will continue to be an honorary member of the First National Board of Directors.

“I was in the Air Force for four years and was a lot younger when I first joined the bank,” said Jones, now 93. It allowed me to be associated with many great people.”

Jones recalls the high interest rates of the late 1970s and early 1980s that approached 20%. As you might expect, the mortgage market has dried up completely and construction has stalled with these high interest rates. Unemployment is at its highest level since the Great Depression.

“A lot of people wanted to blame the banks,” Jones said, although Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has had his share of criticism.

When he began lending money to homes, Jones said most loans did not exceed $50,000.

“At that time we could not lend more than two-thirds of the value of the house,” Jones said. “That changed today and it probably isn’t a good idea. I also noticed that a house was recently sold for $450,000 in one of our new subdivisions. I don’t think the house is worth that much money.”

In these volatile times as the market begins to fluctuate sharply, Jones says, “a bank CD is as safe an investment as you can get during these times.”

Jones said it wasn’t long before people did most of their banking in person. He adds that there is now a radical shift in online banking.

“It’s cheaper to do it online and the results are faster,” Jones said.

Jones hopes to catch up with many old friends this Tuesday. He has not worked at the bank since 1995, and spent 27 years on the board of directors.

Current Bank President and CEO Peter van Vuuren said, “We cannot say enough thanks to Bob for his contributions to First National Bank over the years. He has been instrumental in our success and growth. He cares about everyone he comes into contact with and has influenced and helped many in our community. A true role model for all of us. Thank you Bob!”

Greek station

calls to finish

It was four years ago in May 2018 when Mark and Theresa Dinwiddy brought a unique food trailer to McMinnville called The Greek Station.

Unlike most food trailers around these parts serving barbecue and Mexican food, The Greek Station offered a new take on Greek bread, hummus, and baklava for dessert.

The Greek leg of the famous Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree was built earlier this month, but this was its last event. Mark is currently working at another restaurant, Teresa is back in the medical field and The Greek Station trailer is for sale.

“I knew making that menu here in a rural area would be a challenge, but we wanted to try something different,” Mark said.

He said sales have been largely flat during most of his four years in the business, although they have declined in recent months. Besides rising fuel costs and food costs, Mark said he decided it was time to try something different.

Food trucks and food trailers have gained immense popularity in recent years, and Mark says he thinks it’s a massive business opportunity and is completely ready to work with all the kitchen equipment needed to get started right away.

“I was fortunate to have been able to meet so many wonderful people at the local daily and many event venues,” Mark said. “I will greatly miss seeing people and getting new food people try for the first time.”

Mark has been cooking since the days he worked at the City Drug lunch counter on Main Street as a teenager. Theresa worked around the corner at Dinty Moore.

City Drug burned down years ago and is now a cobbled car park. Dente Moore seems to have always been closed.

I’d like to thank Mark and Teresa Dinwiddy for bringing this new food option to McMinnville. It may not have been as widely adopted as they had hoped, but it was a welcome change of pace.

If you would like to learn more about purchasing a The Green Station food trailer, call Mark at (931) 607-1762.

Farmers Market

Open Tuesday nights

I love great ideas and the Tuesday night hours at the farmers market seem to fit in that category of great ideas.

With so many delicious vegetables in season and ready for sale, the farmers market is now open on Tuesday nights from 5-8pm through the end of August.

“A lot of people leave work at 5 p.m. and it’s really convenient to swing,” said Farmer’s Market Director Ginger Wanamaker. “We were really busy on our first Tuesday from 5 to about 6:30 and then it slowed down a bit.”

Ginger said 20 sellers showed up for their first Tuesday night sale last week.

Now is a great time for corn and the farmers market has plenty for sale. Corn Day with free boiled corn complete with salt, pepper, and butter, is Saturday, July 30.

Other farmer’s markets hours are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

looks Volkswagen

to hire 1000

It’s not Warren County jobs news, but I found it noteworthy that VW in Chattanooga is in the process of hiring 1,000 new production workers.

Inflation is worrying and interest rates are not ideal, but our financial shape can only be so bad if we have 1,000 jobs available that pay very well.

As you’d expect, hiring 1,000 wasn’t a quick process. I’m afraid I’ll find a new employee so the people at Volkswagen must be ready to scream.

To sweeten the deal, Volkswagen added a $3,000 signing bonus. The bonus comes in two payments of $1,500 after 90 days and another $1,500 after 180 days.

The addition of workers comes as Volkswagen is expanding its facilities in Tennessee as the company’s North American hub for manufacturing electric vehicles and assembling battery packs.

Production positions will be mainly in the second, third and fourth shifts. The fourth shift is basically weekend work plus one day during the week.

Pay will start at $24.40, including shift premiums and quarterly bonuses, and pay will start at $33 an hour.

MapQuest lists the trip from McMinnville to the VW plant in Chattanooga as taking 1 hour, 28 minutes, and 75 miles. It sure takes a long time to navigate.

The VW Chattanooga plant began production in April 2011 and currently employs more than 4,000 people. An application can be easily found online by searching Google for Volkswagen jobs in Chattanooga.

That’s all I have folks

I see a trip to New Orleans in the future. But wherever I go and whatever I do, your business tips are important to me. Email me at [email protected] for the news you’d like to see in this column.

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