A look at what made Western Tidewater business news in 2012

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, December 26, 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE: The year 2012 was a time of economic recovery. Enviva is establishing a wood pellet manufacturing plant that will employ 72. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Windsor held a job fair that attracted 1,000 people for an initial 85 jobs and International Paper’s Franklin Mill began operating again in mid-summer. Here’s a look at what made business news in 2012.

• Jan. 4: Enviva, which is developing a wood pellet manufacturing plant in Courtland, on Saturday made its first shipment from its new port in Chesapeake. Enviva plans to build a $75 million plant that will employ 72 workers.

• Jan. 11: After following her dream for 25 years, Nettie Boyce has hung up her shears. The co-owner of Salon on Fifth in downtown Franklin has left the business to partners Janie Church and Robin Edwards.

• Jan. 25: Katie Gilroy, manager of corporate communications for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, said the Windsor facility is hiring for 45 positions and plans to add 20 over the next month.

• Feb. 1: Dominion Virginia Power by late March expects to hear whether or not the State Corporation Commission will approve converting its coal-fueled plant in Southampton County to wood-fueled.

• Feb. 15: Paul D. Camp Community College has received $10,000 to expand its Warehouse and Distribution Operations Career Studies Certificate.

• Feb. 22: An Ivor man’s love of baseball and coaching led him to quit his job and buy Line Drive Hitting batting cages in Courtland. Sean Wade took over ownership on Feb. 4 from Andy Vann.

• Feb. 29: The Applebee’s in Franklin will undergo a three-day redesign project. The Armory Drive restaurant closed March 11-15 for the project.

Courtland native Dr. April Burgess has returned home after almost three years on the West Coast to help start up a large animal business at Southampton Veterinary Clinic.

• March 7: A Courtland heating, air conditioning and ventilation contractor has relocated from Courtland to Franklin. Tim Parrish, owner of Air Mechanix, recently purchased the former Taylor Parker building at 1550 Carrsville Highway. Air Mechanix spent $60,000 to renovate the building.

Mary’z Café has opened on General Thomas Highway in Newsoms across from Drake’s Shopping Mart.

Farmers Bank will make a second trip to Newsoms to discuss the possibility of expanding to the Franklin-Southampton County area.

• March 14: Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen was chosen as Business of the Year by the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce.

• March 21: Gov. Bob McDonnell has appointed Elizabeth Creamer, the former academic program coordinator for Paul D. Camp Community College, to oversee Virginia’s Workforce Development and Career Pathways System.

RepairTech, an industrial contractor with 35 employees, has purchased the former Caraustar building at 1601 Carrsville Highway.

• March 28: Joel and Unha Bradshaw, owners of Bradshaw’s Country Store in Carrsville, bought the nearby former Hawkins Grocery and are considering a consignment store or gift shop.

• April 4: The owners of an online, home-based tractor and mower parts business has expanded to a storefront in Hunterdale. Ed Griggs, 35, and his wife, Christina, 33, of Franklin recently opened Griggs Lawn & Tractor at 111 Delaware Road, next to the former Hunterdale Service Station.

• April 11: Plans are under way for building a family restaurant on U.S. 58 east of Drewry Road near Drewryville. Partners William Kemp of Virginia Beach and Ramona Rich of Drewryville will need permission to rezone six acres from agriculture to commercial, said Beth Lewis, community development director for Southampton County.

• April 18: Franklin and Southampton County will participate in the 2012 Motorcycle Annual Tour of Virginia thanks to a collaborative effort by Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc., Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Franklin Association.

• April 25: The Camp Family Foundations of Franklin have earned the 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. They were nominated for the award by Paul D. Camp Community College.

• May 2: International Paper’s Franklin Mill this week is expected to begin operating equipment in preparation for the planned June start-up of the mill. Residents can expect to notice activity similar to when the mill had previously been in operation, said mill Manager Allison Magness.

• May 16: A new cleaning supply and vacuum sales and service company has opened at 115 N. Main St., Franklin. The store owned by Abdul Parker will handle new and used vacuum sales, vacuum repairs and sell cleaning supplies.

• May 23: Isle of Wight and Southampton counties ranked in the top five in the state for capital investments from economic development in 2011, according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Isle of Wight ranked third with $263 million and Southampton fifth with $146 million.

• June 6: Collin Pulley, who started making deliveries for his parents’ business and worked his way up to general manger, this year marks his 30th anniversary with Nottoway House Furniture near Courtland.

Texas Nails & Spa has opened at 121 S. Main St. in downtown Franklin near Fred’s restaurant. “Business has been very good,” said owner Vincent Nguyen, 34. Nguyen and his wife, Tina Lieu, are the only employees and have 10 years experience.

• June 13: Southampton County supervisors voted 6-0 to recommend rezoning six acres for a family restaurant on U.S. 58 east of Drewry Road near Drewryville.

n June 20: JoAnne Russell, executive administrative assistant to the president at Paul D. Camp Community College, will retire on Friday, June 22. The Franklin woman has worked for the college for 35 years.

• June 27: State officials updated residents on proposed improvements to U.S. Route 460 and economic development expected from the Port of Virginia’s growth. Del. Rick Morris, R-Carrollton, hosted the public forum.

Downtown Clearance furniture store opened at 115 E. Second Ave. in Franklin, at the former location for Angie’s Anything and Everything next to Hardee’s.

A Wakefield couple has purchased the historic Pace House Bed and Breakfast for $200,000, said Realtor Dan Lawson with Shaffer Realty in Chesapeake.

• July 4:The Alcoholic Beverage Control stores in Franklin and Windsor will now be open from 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. Store hours will be re-evaluated after six months to determine whether or not customers are going to the stores on Sundays.

Chartway Federal Credit Union on Saturday will close its branch inside Farm Fresh on Armory Drive in Franklin.

An Ivor family will open three new businesses in town. Charly Clark, owner of All American Auto Sales and Cycles on Route 460 outside Ivor, recently purchased the former S.S. Kea and Sons, Ivor Supply and several connecting shops on General Mahone Boulevard between Ivor Furniture and Felts Packing. Clark plans to convert the $300,000, two-acre property into a motorcycle shop, motorcycle showroom and a hardware/general merchandise store.

• July 11: Heather and Danny Thornton are renovating a building on Route 460 across from Domino’s Pizza in Windsor for Country Boy’s Barbecue. The couple anticipates opening the restaurant in September.

• July 18: A new funeral home in Windsor is the retirement project of a couple that has always wanted to open a funeral home. Sterling Brook Funeral Home has been open since March.

Southampton Public Schools teacher Debbie Crowder has opened a boutique and gift shop in downtown Franklin. After doing craft shows for 10 years, Crowder on Saturday opened The Cat’s Meow at 109 N. Main St.

• July 25: Simply Distributing vacuum sales has opened at 115 N. High St. in downtown Franklin at the previous location for New Life Resale Boutique. .

• Aug. 1: The Old and New Consignment Shop has opened at 28252 Southampton Parkway outside Courtland.

• Aug. 8: Sharon Telle has opened Barb’s Place Thrift Store and Coffee Shop, or commonly referred to as “the yard sale store.” The store, located at 5495 Windsor Blvd., sells mostly donated items at “yard sale” prices.

Jim’s Pawn Shop has opened at 202 N. Main St. in Franklin.

• Aug. 15: A South Carolina company has paid $1.3 million for a Newsoms plant that finishes telephone poles and pilings. Cox Wood Industries bought Atlantic Wood along with a plant in Georgia, where workers peel the bark away from the wood to make the poles and pilings.

• Aug. 29: A Franklin car dealership is moving to the former Blake Auto Sales building at 27444 Southampton Parkway outside Courtland. Cars & Credit expects to double its workforce and increase its inventory from 65 vehicles to 100 vehicles after it opens on Labor Day.

• Sept. 5: A Franklin contractor is asking permission to operate a sand mine west of Delaware Road and south of General Thomas Highway outside Franklin.

• Sept. 12: Real Country 101.7 WLQM has added Dan Preston to the on-air lineup at Western Tidewater’s country station. He will host the “Dan Preston Morning Show” from 6 to 10 a.m. on weekdays beginning Monday, Sept. 17. Preston also will serve as the station’s new program director.

• Sept. 26: The Downtown Franklin Association will dedicate its 17th annual keepsake ornament to S.W. Rawls, a company that turned 100 years old as it was being sold to Modern Oil Co. earlier this year. Founded in 1912 by S.W. Rawls Sr., the company was later run by S.W. “Sol” Rawls Jr.

• Oct. 3: Jan Aleshire, longtime trainer and manager for Curves at 1384 Armory Drive, Franklin, recently purchased the franchise. Curves features a 30-minute workout and weight management program.

A Virginia Beach man has purchased the Super 8 on Armory Drive in Franklin. Manan Shah and his group took ownership on Sept. 26 and plans to upgrade the 52-room motel.

• Oct. 10: Hair stylists Liz Mullins and Heather Holland have opened Shear Madness at 105 Third Ave. in downtown Franklin. Both formerly worked with Pleasure Island on Armory Drive in Franklin.

The Hampton Roads Community Foundation has awarded Paul D. Camp Community College grants of $189,186 to launch a practical nursing program and for one year of planning for a GED program.

• Oct. 17: Real estate broker Candace Saunders recently opened Saunders Real Estate Professionals at 222 Middle St. in downtown Franklin. A 2000 graduate of Windsor High School, she has worked for William E. Wood and Associates Realtors in Franklin since obtaining her real estate license in March 2007.

• Oct. 24: Southampton County supervisors on Monday unanimously agreed to rezone 20 acres for a $4 million to $6 million concrete and asphalt plant on Route 460 west of Ivor.

Southampton County supervisors on Monday unanimously agreed to give a Franklin contractor permission to operate a sand mine behind the Hercules/Ashland plant. Crowder & White plans to mine sand for commercial use.

• Nov. 7: The price of shares in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has taken a beating in the year since it announced plans for a facility in Windsor, but its commitment to the area is unchanged, according to the company and Isle of Wight County officials.

• Nov. 14: County Line Tavern has opened on Route 460 east of Ivor. The 3,000-square-foot tavern features home-cooked meals, a bar, game room, and live music and dancing. Business has been steady since opening in late summer, said Jeanette Watkins, co-owner and general manager.

• Nov. 21: After Hostess announced it was closing, the few Twinkies at the Food Lion in Courtland were quickly bought. “Everybody came in and bought them, though we didn’t have that many, maybe a dozen,” said employee Sally Violet, noting only Ho-Hos remained on Monday. “We’re not getting any more that I know of.”

• Dec. 5: Connie and Gene Whitehead recently opened The Hungry Rooster on North Main Street in Boykins.

• Dec. 12: The Duck Thru at 807 Hunterdale Road opened on Dec. 12. .

Paul D. Camp Community has opened a Career Development Center at its Franklin campus. The center will help students find career options and jobs.