Archive for July 2013

CarMax used car giant to open Tupelo dealership

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It’s been a busy day in Tupelo tracking down new business openings. carmax_logo

The latest news – on top of Five Guys looking to open soon – is that used car giant CarMax is planning to open a dealership in Tupelo.

The city’s Department of Development Services has received an application from a representative of CarMax to open a location on Tom Watson Drive. It would be located south of the Fairfield Inn on property now owned by BNA Bank of New Albany. The city’s Development Code requires a Major Conditional Use to locate a used car dealership in what is called the Barnes Crossing Overlay District.

In addition, CarMax has asked for a variance to allow the company to have 56 employee and customer parking spaces instead of the required 45 spaces.

CarMax expects to employ 20-25 people at the dealership.

CarMax has more than 100 locations across the country and has sold more than 4 million used vehicles. It’s only other Mississippi dealership is in Jacksn.

We’ll post more details on Biz Buzz as we get them.


Written by Dennis Seid

July 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm

UPDATE: Five Guys ‘pressing hard’ to open in Tupelo

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UPDATE: We got confirmation from the company opening the Five Guys restaurant in Tupelo, and this is what they said:


We don’t have a set in stone opening date at this point but are pressing hard to get this store open. We plan on having an initial staff of about 45 team members but will probably level off to closer to 20 or so.”
So, there you have it. And as soon as we hear about an opening date, we’ll pass it on.
What we posted earlier this week:

The rumors have been swirling for some time, and Biz Buzz can confirm that Five Guys Burgers and Fries is opening a location in Tupelo.

We’ve put in a request for more information from the franchise owner, Eat Here Brands, which is based in Jackson. The company said earlier this year it had plans to expand in Oxford, Tupelo and the Golden Triangle and other locations in the state. Looks like Tupelo is that first foray into the region.

Eat Here has posted an online job posting for a manager in Tupelo, so that ‘s confirmation enough. As we get more details, we’ll be updating on Biz Buzz.

And where will the location be, you ask? It’ll be in the King’s Crossing shopping center – where Kohl’s is. Five Guys is looking at one of the corner slots on one of the outparcel buildings at the front of the development.

Written by Dennis Seid

July 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Toyota Mississippi rolling out new Corolla

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Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi has begun production of the 2014 Corolla.

The all-new Toyota Corolla is now being produced at the Blue Springs plant.  Photo courtesy Toyota Motor Corp.

The all-new Toyota Corolla is now being produced at the Blue Springs plant. Photo courtesy Toyota Motor Corp.

The first 11th-generation Corolla rolled off the line last Wednesday at the automaker’s plant in Blue Springs, and should be hitting dealers’ lots in the next few weeks.

TMMMS says the plant has reduced production time from 86 seconds per vehicle to 78 seconds per vehicle. That gives the plant production capacity of 160,000 vehicles a year, about 10,000 more than originally designed.

Also, TMMMS has built more than 224,000 Corollas since it began production in October 2011.

In launching the new design in June, Toyota said the new Corolla is “sleeker” and “more advanced.”

The compact car, Toyota said, “features chiseled, modern character lines, a more premium interior, improved fuel economy and an enhanced driving performance. Each trim level (L, LE, LE Eco, and S) will offer a range of popular features designed to delight current Toyota customers and attract new, youthful buyers.”

Production of the newest-generation Corolla moves it closer to the 40 million mark. The car was first launched in 1966 and in 1997 it officially became the best-selling car in the world (in terms of total sold).

Toyota is expected to produce 10.1 million vehicles this year, the first automaker to build more than 10 million vehicles in a year.

Written by Dennis Seid

July 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Tupelo’s first food truck to open soon

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You might have heard about it, and likely seen something on Facebook: Tupelo’s first food truck will be opening localmobilelogosoon.

It’s called Local Mobile, with the tagline “It’s a food truck, y’all.”  The brains behind the operation is Curt McLellan.

Don’t know what a food truck is? Pretty much what it sounds – it’s a big truck with a mobile kitchen inside that serves food. If your Food Network fan, you’ve probably seen “The Great Food Truck Race” with chef Tyler Florence.

McLellan will offer sliders, po-boys and a special, all made from local ingredients.

The truck has been painted and is getting its logos put on. Then McLellan will need to do some work on the interior of the truck to get it ready.

Here’s what he said about his food truck concept:

I think Tupelo is starving for something new that larger cities have, a nice food truck that uses fresh mostly local ingredients with a self proclaimed foodie on the flattop. I am still not sure if everyone will know exactly what it is until they try it. That’s why we put ‘it’s a food truck y’all’ in the logo. I plan to set up in several areas of town depending on business. Probably, downtown a couple of days a week, down by the hospital a couple of times a week and probably have a day that I just go wherever.

Keep up with him on Facebook. We’ll also be doing an extended interview with him soon. Can’t wait!

Written by Dennis Seid

July 30, 2013 at 11:52 am

Trustmark completes purchase of Oxford SouthBank offices

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Trustmark National Bank said it has completed its purchase of the two Oxford branches of SouthBank FSB as of Trustmark logoFriday.

The agreement, first announced in March, sees Trustmark assume some $11.7 million in deposit accounts, as well as both physical locations of the offices.

Said Trustmark in a news release:

Gerard R. Host, president and CEO of Trustmark, said, “This transaction enables Trustmark to establish new customer relationships and provides existing Oxford customers with the added convenience of well-positioned banking offices on the Courthouse Square and Jackson Avenue. We are delighted to serve the students and alumni of Ole Miss through these additional offices and look forward to providing an expanded line of financial services in the Oxford market.”

System changes and operational conversion to Trustmark’s banking platform were completed over the weekend, the Jackson-based bank said.

Written by Dennis Seid

July 29, 2013 at 10:27 am

New retailer to open in Barnes Crossing Plaza

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The Barnes Crossing Plaza in Tupelo – the shopping center where OfficeMax, Toys R Us, Hobby Lobby and Hut No. 8 logoothers are located near the mall – won’t have any empty space left soon.

Hut No. 8, a Florida-based retailer, is opening a 3,500-square-foot store adjacent to Office Max.

So who is Hut No. 8? From its website we have this description:

Hut no. 8 buys and sells brand name clothes, shoes, and accessories for teens and young adults. When you walk through the doors in one of our stores, the high energy music and rustic beach hut atmosphere create the feel of a mini vacation getaway. Our high quality new & gently loved products enable our customers to wear only the best at 70 – 80% off mall prices, while Hut No. 8 photoshopping in a mall-like environment.

We are able to do this by constantly turning over and rotating our inventory with the use of customer buy-backs and high-volume vendors. Real-time buy-backs also allow our customers to shop for the newest “finds” while in our stores.

Biz Buzz spoke briefly to Rebecca McKinley, who is opening the franchise here. Hours for the store will be Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m to 8 p.m. and will be closed on Sunday (at least initially).

“We’ll initially open with some stock, from Abercrombie to Coach, with clothes, handbags, accessories and shoes for men and women,” she said. “We’ll have items from teens and up. The quality of the clothes will make the difference.”

We’ll keep you posted about the store’s opening. Meanwhile, you can also check the Tupelo store out on Facebook.

Written by Dennis Seid

July 29, 2013 at 9:48 am

Inspections: Creative Cakes, Agnew’s, Mt. Fuji, Two Stick, more

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The state Department of Health regularly inspects restaurants and food facilities.The facilities are graded from A to C.

“A” is the best. “C” is the equivalent of failing, but the inspection isn’t bad enough to merit the closure of the restaurant.
The following Northeast Mississippi facilities were inspected between July 19-26.
The facilities are listed as they are in the MSDH system, even if there are typos.
McDougal Center (2434 S. Eason, Tupelo)
Baskin Robbins Ice (1011 W. Main St., Tupelo)
Baymont Inn & Suites (Tupelo)
Creative Cakes (Tupelo)
Captain D’s (South Gloster, Tupelo)
Region III Mental Health (Tupelo)
Sonic Drive Inn (Saltilo)
Abner’s (Tupelo)
Good Time Charlie’s (Tupelo)
Agnews (Baldwyn)
Newk’s Express Cafe (Tupelo)
Mt. Fuji (Tupelo)
Don Julio (Tupelo)
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

July 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm