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Browning on Business: Hobby Lobby, Fashion Apparel set for openings




William Browning



Hobby Lobby will be open for business in Columbus on Monday, August 11. 


The doors will open at 9 a.m. that day, according to Vincent Parker, the retail chain store's spokesperson. The craft and home decor store occupies 59,000 square feet on the south end of Leigh Mall. 


The Columbus site is the seventh Hobby Lobby location in Mississippi. It will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. 


Parker said each Hobby Lobby -- there are over 600 in the U.S. -- usually hires between 30 and 50 local employees, while managers and co-managers "come with the store." Pay for full-time Hobby Lobby employees starts at $15 per hour. Part-time workers' pay starts at $10 per hour, according to Parker. 


Fashion Apparel, a 30-year-old Columbus business, will open at its new location this evening. Since its beginning in 1984, the store, which sells high-end boutique-brand clothing at discount prices, was on Gardner Boulevard. Owner Kerry Blalock, however, moved his business to 18th Avenue North in Town Square earlier this year for better visibility. 


The business is open seasonally, typically February, March and April, and August, September and October. 


It will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at the Town Square location, directly across from Chick-fil-A. 


Over in Starkville, the owners of The Cake Box, a family-owned pastry and catering business on Louisville Street, will open The Cake Box Eatery on Aug. 18. The eatery will be in the incubator building in the Thad Cochran Research Park. 


The Cake Box opened in the spring of 2009. Carol Taylor is the principle owner and operator. She offers cakes, cupcakes, cookies, eclairs and cream puffs, as wells as casseroles, dips, chicken salad, etc. The new eatery will have the same items, plus breakfast and lunch. Mark Taylor, who handles the company's marketing, said a blue plate special and soup and salad bar will be part of the menu, which will mix southern flavor, a New Orleans taste and French bistro-type items, according to Taylor. 


It will be open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Private, after-hours events will be offered to groups, Taylor said. 


The Cake Box employs six people. The plan is to add 10 more at the new eatery. 


One note: The Cake Box on Louisville Street will be closed the last two weeks of August as Carol Taylor focuses on the eatery. But the Louisville Street will then re-open. 


The Dispatch reported this week that the Bojangles Chicken n' Biscuits located at 500 Hwy. 12 closed its doors Friday. When it opened for business in 2010, it was the first Bojangles in Mississippi. With its closing, there is no Bojangles in the state. 


Its former owner said another chain restaurant is moving into the location but declined to name it. A rumor was that a Jack's fast food restaurant was going in. Contacted earlier this week, a Jack's spokesperson said that the Birmingham, Alabama-based chain is not opening a location in Starkville at this time. 


Lastly, Three Little Pigs, a barbecue spot at 106 Avenue of Patriots St., appears to have closed. I tried calling the restaurant this week. The number, according to a recording, was "temporarily unavailable."


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



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