Archive for October 2013

JP’s Funky Little Shack now open in Tupelo

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We mentioned a few weeks ago that  JP’s was opening in the former Fusion 205/Gloster 205 location, and we can tell you that it is

The fried cheese donut. Sweet, savory. Yummy.

The fried cheese donut. Sweet, savory. Yummy.

indeed open.

It’s official name is JP’s Funky LIttle Shack.

There’s a $6 lunch special available that includes a grilled cheese on white or wheat, plus chips or homemade tomato soup and a fried cheese donut (yes, you read that right). You can add a burger patty, ham, fried green tomato and other items to the sandwich for an additional charge.

There’s a menu of appetizers and sandwiches, plus entrees, salads, kids menu and desserts

It’s open for lunch Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., then reopens for diner Monday-Thursday for dinner from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight. On Saturday, it’s open from 4 p.m. to midnight.

The phone number is (662) 842-7205.

Written by Dennis Seid

October 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Natchez Trace Parkway names new superintendent

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The Natchez Trace Parkway has named Mary Risser as its new superintendent.NATR Mary Risser

Here’s a press release from the National Park Service:

Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin announces the selection of Mary Risser, a 32-year career employee of the National Park Service (NPS), to serve as superintendent of Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444-mile long scenic byway crossing three states and headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi. Risser is currently on assignment as Acting Deputy Regional Director and Chief of Staff for the Intermountain Region of the NPS until the end of November. She has served as the superintendent of Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah for the last nine years. Risser will start her duties the middle of December.

“Mary has an extensive resume with a wide range of planning and management experiences that have resulted in high performing teams and successful community and interagency partnerships. I know she will dive into the complexities of managing such a vast resource with the same enthusiasm shown at Dinosaur,” said Regional Director Austin. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

October 31, 2013 at 10:11 am

A big ‘thank you’ to Biz Buzz readers

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I wanted to send a big “Thank You” to all you Biz Buzz readers and commenters who have helped turned this business blog into one of the most popular sites to visit at the Daily Journal. While not unique statewide, I’d like to think we keep y’all up-to-date with the latest business news in and around Northeast Mississippi – and other info – that you won’t find anywhere else.Thank you sign

Today, Biz Buzz hit a significant milestone: 300,000 total views since last September, when we switched to our current platform. While that’s not a lot of views compared to others in the blogosphere, it’s not bad for what it is.

Biz Buzz is a one-person show these days, so I do what I can to keep you informed. That being said, I welcome your ideas and suggestions on what else you’d like to see.

You can post a comment, email me at or call me at (662) 678-1578.

And of course, feel free to pass along those story ideas, questions, etc.

Thanks again for keeping Biz Buzz buzzing!


Written by Dennis Seid

October 31, 2013 at 8:36 am

Toyota Mississippi VP to retire in January

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Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi Vice President of Production Control and Administration Doug Formby has 12041251 Doug Fornbyannounced his retirement, effective Jan. 31.

Formby said he was retiring after nearly 33 years of service with Toyota to spend more time with his family in Southern California.

“I will leave behind many good friendships established in Mississippi and across North America over the past 33 years. I feel truly honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to finish my career here in NE Mississippi.  It’s been wonderful to be ‘back in the South’ – only two hours away from my birthplace and extended family in Birmingham. Toyota really saved the best for last! ” he said in an email.

Formby, who officially took the reins at TMMMS in December, said he is “committed to finish the job strong,”

He replaced David Copenhaver, the first VP of administration at the plant, which produced its first car in October 2011. Copenhaver retired and lives in Tupelo with his wife.

Formby oversaw TMMMS’ transition to the new 11th-generation Corolla. The plant is on track to build 160,000 vehicles this year.

We spoke to Formby, who reiterated it was a bittersweet decision to move from a place he had grown to like very much.

“I would have loved to have stayed a few more years, but there comes a time when you have to sit back and look at what’s ahead of you,” he said.

Moving closer to their kids and grandkids in sunny SoCal was the overwhelming reason to move, he said.

After such a long career with Toyota and in the auto industry, Formby said he’s ready to take some time off, especially having spent some 1,800 days on the road during his career.

“I might ease back into something down the road,” he said, indicating consulting work as a distinct possibility.

Toyota has not officially announced a replacement for Formby.

Written by Dennis Seid

October 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm

McDonald’s celebrates grand reopening in Pontotoc

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After 27 years and 10 million meals, the McDonald’s restaurant in Pontotoc needed a little facelift.IMG_7915

Well, make that a total makeover.

The restaurant officially reopened today after a 70-day project that demolished the old building and built a new one.

“This is something the people of Pontotoc deserved, something that was needed,” said Demetris Patterson, the store’s general manager.

The restaurant is owned by Hudson Management Corp. the Tupelo-based McDonald’s franchisee that owns three restaurants in Tupelo and one each in Pontotoc, New Albany and Saltillo.

HMC employs about 600 people company-wide.

The Pontotoc location employs 85. When it opened in 1986, it employed 40.IMG_1291

The new restaurant features double drive-thru lanes, a new contemporary interior, digital menu boards, interior seating for 75 and a new expanded and efficient kitchen.

It is Hudson’s third new restaurant since 2008. The Saltillo location was opened that year. In 2010, the company’s first Tupelo location on South Gloster near Crosstown, which opened in 1973 was closed. A new 50′s-style location opened at the intersection of President and South Gloster. In 2011, the old location on South Gloster in front of Kilgore’s was replaced by a  new location on Eason Boulevard.

Hudson said the remaining three restaurants have all been renovated/refurbished in recant years to meet new McDonald’s standards, but eventually, they’ll give way to total redesigns.


Written by Dennis Seid

October 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Restaurants targeted by Tupelo Water and Light credit card scam

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Earlier this month, Tupelo Water & Light  warned customers about a scam in which a caller claiming to represent TWL asked for credit card information. Turns out, the scam hasn’t gone away. This time, restaurants are getting hit.Tupelo sign

From the city:

These scam calls have apparently started up again and seem to be targeting businesses, particularly restaurants.  Anyone who receives a call should be advised to never give credit card info over the phone.  They should contact the Tupelo Police Department or TW&L with any information.

“Several customers have reported receiving calls recently from someone posing as a Tupelo Water & Light employee, asking for credit card information over the phone. Customers have apparently been told if they do not give a credit card number their power service will be interrupted. These calls are NOT being made by TW&L. If you receive a call like this, please report it to the Tupelo Police Department. If you have questions about your service, bill or payment options, please contact TW&L at 841-6460.”


Written by Dennis Seid

October 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Thai Garden now open in Tupelo Commons

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Remember that second Thai restaurant we told you about a few weeks ago? It’s now open in Tupelo Commons.

The restaurant, Thai Garden, is in the retail center next to Best Buy, housing Ashley Furniture HomeStore, Hancock Fabrics and others.

Thai Garden is located between Ageless Men’s Health and ERA 1932, just a couple of doors down from Kyoto.

Today was its second day to be open.

Click here for its website.

The restaurant is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for dinner; and Friday-Sunsay  from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The phone number is (662) 350-3609.


Written by Dennis Seid

October 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm