Archive for February 2014

Inspections 2.28.14: Schools, Steele’s, Beacon, Atkinson’s, 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 faciliaties were inspected between Feb. 21-28. MS Food Inspection
The facilities are listed as they are in the MSDH system, even if there are typos.

• Tupelo: Carver School, Skate Zone, Shipley Donuts (Cliff Gookin), Lawndale Elementary, Parkway Elementary, Sanctuary Hospice House, Rita’s Catering, Mary McGuire’s Cakes, Sweet Tea & Biscuits, Steele’s Restaurant
• Belden: Valley Services
• Guntown: Guntown School
• Saltillo: Saltillo School, Saltillo Elementary, Saltillo Primary, Tiger House Cafe

• Oxford – Beacon Restaurant, Taco Bell, Central Elementary, MS State Veterans Home, Baptist Memorial Hospital – North MS – Morrison, Della Davidson Elementary, FNC Park Soccer Fields, FNC Park Quad A, FNC Park Quad B, FNC Park Quad C, South Depot Taco Shop Bar, South Depot Taco Shop Restaurant, Jimmy Johns Gourmet Sandwiches, 6 N Tubbs, Buffalo Wild Wings, Country Club of Oxford, Jinsei Sushi Bar and Lounge, Tre Amici Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

February 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm

NOleput festival to debut on April 5

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We told you about the return of the popular Oleput festival in Tupelo earlier this week, and now, it’s official – the festival is back.

Well, sort of.

The name has been tweaked – it’s now “NOleput” NOleput

Here’s what organizers announced moments ago on its Facebook page:

We are happy to announce that NOleput will be held in the streets of Downtown Tupelo on Saturday, April 5, 2014….. This is so exciting and it will be here very soon! The event is free and open to the public. Music starts at 11am showcasing local musicians throughout the day on 2 separate stages.

Crawfish boil, food vendors and beverages will be available for purchase. The event will be held in the the vicinity of Clark Street, South Broadway, and Spring Street (North of the railroad tracks) with the VIP area held at The Historical Silver Moon Club (The Ice House).

Details will continue to follow. GREAT BIG THANKS to Sue Scruggs who came up with the name – NOleput (New Orleans style festival original to Tupelo, Mississippi; Great music, food and fun! – Artwork by Sue will follow soon. This event is made possible by a partnership between the City of Tupelo, Tupelo Sports Council’s All America City Picnic in the Park 4th of July Committee, Charlie Watson and a group of community volunteers.


NOleput will happen the same day as the Color Vibe run will be held downtown.

So why the name change?

We spoke to Oleput founder and president Monty Fletcher, who said while he supports the attempt at bringing it back, it won’t be the same. Fletcher and the original organizers invested thousands of dollars during Oleput’s 10-year run that ended in 1999, and the name was trademarked. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

February 28, 2014 at 10:26 am

Discuss: Who should fill Atlanta Bread spot in Tupelo?

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Now that Atlanta Bread Co. has met its unfortunate demise in Tupelo, who would you like to go in its place?

There’s a discussion going on on the Daily Journal’s Facebook page, and here are some of the suggestions:  restaurant icon

  • Mugshots
  • Five Guys
  • Joe’s Crab Shack
  • Panera Bread
  • Cheddar’s
  • TGIFriday’s
  • Red Robin
  • Steak n Shake

Another restaurant we’ve reported about on Biz Buzz that/s  looking, but hasn’t committed to a site is Jimmy John’s.

Also, there have been whispers of some time that Krispy Kreme has been looking for a site n the All-America City.

Any others out there you’d like to see?


Written by Dennis Seid

February 27, 2014 at 10:44 am

Exclusive: Cooper Tire looking to upgrade Tupelo plant

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is seeking $20 million in state money, plus another $18 million from Tupelo and Lee County to upgrade its plant in Tupelo.

As reported today by the Daily Journal’s Bobby Harrison, Cooper promises to keep at least 1,300 jobs for 10 years.

The company, which has been in Tupelo since 1984, currently employs 1,600 with an annual payroll of $80 million.

Cooper is looking at investing $140 million worldwide for a modernization plan that would include Tupelo. Cooper Tire logo

An excerpt from the story:

David Rumbarger, CEO of the Lee County-based Community Development Foundation, said the hope is to lure Cooper to spend those modernization funds at the Tupelo plant. Rumbarger and Cooper officials met with Gov. Phil Bryant and legislative leaders about the possibility of passing legislation during the ongoing session to commit the funds to the Cooper project.

Cooper CEO Roy Armes said the goal is “to modernize our facility to make it more globally competitive.” Cooper also has plants in Mexico and China that Tupelo is in competition with for the company’s planned $140 million investment.

Read more of Bobby’s story by clicking here.

ICYMI: Atlanta Bread in Tupelo closes doors Wednesday

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Atlanta Bread Company in Tupelo closed unexpectedly Wednesday afternoon, and Robbie Ward reported in the Daily Journal that customers and employees were caught off guard. Atlanta Bread Tupelo

An excerpt from the story:

According to employees, they were told to display a closed sign around 3:30 p.m. Remaining customers finished their meal and left as shocked employees learned they no longer had jobs.

Workers not on duty arrived as usual at 4 p.m. to pick up the week’s paychecks and learned they were jobless.

Atlanta Bread first opened in Tupelo in 2008 by franchise owners Brett Hildenbrand and Hugh “Kip” D. Tigrett III. Their company, T & H Restaurants, legally dissolved in October 2013. Hildenbrand said through email late Wednesday night that he no longer had any ownership in the franchise. Tigrett has ownership in another company, K and N Enterprises, Mississippi Secretary of State records show.

Written by Dennis Seid

February 27, 2014 at 8:27 am

Mississippi Senate passes sales tax holiday for sportsmen

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Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves announced that the Mississippi Senate has passed a sales tax holiday to encourage sportsmen to purchase firearms and hunting supplies in Mississippimississippi-state-seal

Senate Bill 2425 gives sports enthusiasts a sales tax break on firearms, ammunition, hunting supplies and fishing supplies purchased the first weekend of September. Louisiana has a similar holiday.

“This tax break is for Mississippians who enjoy outdoor sports and encourages more citizens to participate in outdoor shooting sports,” Reeves said. “I’m thankful for the support of the National Rifle Association on this bill and so many other strong Second Amendment protections we’ve passed this year.”

Written by Dennis Seid

February 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Hopeful laid-off Lane employees attend job fair

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Last month, the parent company of Lane Furniture Industries stunned the employees at Lane’s Saltillo plant, announcing it would be closed by March 21. Heritage Home Group said “business circumstances” forced it to make the decision.

The decision meant 480 people would be laid off. Lane job fair

Many of them are looking for jobs, and on Wednesday, a job fair at Itawamba Community College’s Belden campus  provided hope for some of them. About a dozen companies, including several furniture manufacturers, attended.

“I worked at Lane for 28 1/2 years – it’s all I’ve ever known,” said Gladys Clark. “It’s harder to get a job when you’re older, but I’m going to get a job wherever I can find it.”

Clark, like most of her colleagues at Lane, thought they had been given s second chance when private equity firm KPS Capital bought the assets of the former Furniture Brands International, which had gone bankrupt. The company said late last year that it would offer jobs to most of the 4,000 employees of Furniture Brands, whose companies included Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage and others.

So the announcement in January that Lane’s Saltillo plant would close caught many, including Clark, off guard.

“It was a slap in the face,” she said. “Some were transferred to Belden, and I thought I’d go, but I wasn’t. My last day was Feb. 13.” Read the rest of this entry »