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Browning on Business: Columbus business open in new location on Tuscaloosa Road following tornadoes


William Browning

William Browning



William Browning



The only locally-owned retail office supply business in Columbus has changed locations. 


One of the five tornados that came through Lowndes County on April 28 tore the roof off of CJ's Office and School Supply. The business had been located at 114 Alabama Street since it opened in 2005. 


Carolyn Johnson, the owner, said that when she went to check on her business after the storms she found water standing on the floor. She called McConnell Brothers Transfer & Storage immediately and they helped get her inventory moved out. 


In mid-May, CJ's Office and School Supply opened at its new permanent location: 930 Tuscaloosa Road. That's the building that until earlier this year housed a Dollar General. 


Johnson is happy in the new spot. The Alabama Street location was 5,000 square feet. The Tuscaloosa Road location is 7.500 square feet.  


"It suited us to a T," she said. 


CJ's Office and School Supply is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visit the business Facebook page at 


Over in Starkville, Starbucks has opened. 


Ann Hooven, director of operations with RMR Investment Company, confirmed that the coffee shop served its first customer Friday. It is located inside a 1,975 square foot structure at University Crossing Shopping Center and has a drive-through window. RMR Investment Company, which is based in Memphis, owns the center. 


Just across Hwy. 12 from the Starbucks is Strange Brew Coffee House, a locally owned business. 


Before we leave Starkville, here's an interesting note. 


In Wednesday's Dispatch, on page 4A, there was an Associated Press story about the top 10 highest-paid CEOs in the United States. Number three on the list was Richard Adkerson, CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, which is based in Arizona and one of the world's largest producers of copper and gold. 


Adkerson graduated from Mississippi State University in 1969. In 2007, he established a $5 million endowment for the MSU School of Accountancy that created an endowed faculty position and an operating fund for the school, which is known as the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy. 


Adkerson has a home in Starkville. 


Lastly, some Monroe County news. 


NauticStar, a recreational boat manufacturer, announced Wednesday that it is expanding its facility in Amory. The expansion is to accommodate the production of boats larger than 28 feet. The project represents a company investment of $460,000-plus and will create 30 new jobs, according to a media release from Gov. Phil Bryant's office. The expansion will add 20,000 square feet to NauticStar's existing 160,000 square foot manufacturing space. 


The business was created in 2002 and covers 18 acres in Amory. They manufacture bay boats, deck boats and offshore boats. 


NauticStar president Phil Faulkner said that since the economy went south in 2009, the boat business has rebounded. Two years ago, he said, the company surpassed its peak volume mark in 2007 and has grown steadily since. 


"This expansion is driven by the market demand from the saltwater offshore fishing boat sector," Faulkner said.


William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.



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