• It's TOMATO season

    You Say Tomato owners Darian Barnett and Jimmy Adkins have certainly gotten a lot of milage from their store’s name.

    Decorative tomatoes large and small fill many of the Rockwood store’s nooks and crannies, along with paintings, posters and even a back wall display of the shop’s name accentuated with whimsical hot-pink stuffed animal heads.

    Adkins says that touch of eclectic fun was the idea behind the moniker, which is a line from the old George and Ira Gershwin song, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”

  • What’s the SCORE? Fight fair in business, but never pick a fair fight

    By Dana Peterka

    We discuss improving your competitive strategy in the Roane County Chamber of Commerce’s “How to Grow Your Business and Enhance Your Competitive Position” workshop.

    The concept is to identify and target niche market segments where your business can prosper.

    A target niche market is a small but specific and well-defined segment where you can address customer needs, wants and requirements more effectively than your competitors.


    Editor’s note: This is part of a series of stories on the winners of the 19th Annual Roane County News Reader’s Choice Awards. Griffin Insurance was named Best Insurance Agency in the poll.

    Johnny Griffin knows the secret to success is really no secret.

    “It is good employees,” said the president of Griffin Insurance in Kingston. “And mine are the best.”

    Griffin opened his business in Harriman in 1980. He moved it to Kingston permanently in the late 1990s.

  • Patient, Family Council new at hospital

    Harriman’s Roane Medical Center is beginning a new initiative that invites former patients and family members to provide feedback and suggestions related to various aspects of a hospital experience.

    Roane Medical Center Patient and Family Partnership Council will consist of volunteer members from the community and representatives from the hospital staff.

    The council will meet on a regular basis and work together on projects to enhance quality, service and safety at the hospital.

  • OUT to LUNCH: Be sure to take a big appetite to the Meat House

    Are you a longtime fan of hamburgers from the recently closed Bob’s Burgers in Midtown?

    Well, you’re in for a treat when you visit the new occupant of Bob’s former location, Meat House BBQ & More.

    “From a home recipe, we hand pat a half pound of fresh ground beef for every hamburger patty,” owner Navardo “Tony” Exparza told me.

    On this “Out to Lunch” adventure to Meat House BBQ & More in Midtown, our longtime friends, Wayne and Sydney Woodlee, joined my wife, Carol, and me.

  • Brookdale makes residents feel right at home

    Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of stories on businesses that were voted No. 1 in the 19th annual Roane County News Reader’s Choice Awards. Brookdale Kingston was voted the top Assisted Living Facility in the contest.

    From staff reports
    Brookdale Kingston offers a homey environment for its residents who find themselves needing a little help with everyday activities.

    The facility, in Bradford Way, currently has 39 residents who live in comfortable, roomy and secure apartment-like settings.

  • What’s the SCORE? The unexpected could destroy your financial stability

    By Dana Peterka

    When I mention “disaster planning” in the Strategic Planning workshop I conduct for rural nonprofits in the greater Knoxville area, I get puzzled looks from the participants.

    I have found that the best way to make the concept understandable is by use of an example.

    I have a friend — and SCORE client — who operates a massage therapy business in Knoxville. A few years ago, he moved to a larger facility.

  • Midway groups recipients of VECustomers Share grants

    Volunteer Energy Cooperative’s VECustomers Share program awarded $3,000 in combined grants to Roane and Loudon county organizations in July.

    Groups receiving grants include Midway High Class of 2018 Prom Committee ($250), Lady Waves Soccer Club ($300), Midway Middle School Support and Outreach Committee ($450),  Midway Youth Cheerleading Organization ($550), Midway Quarterback Club ($600) and Midway Middle School Football Boosters ($850).

  • Y-12 FCU hires new coordinator

    Y-12 Federal Credit Union has hired Betsy Cunningham as its new community and business development coordinator.

    In this role, Cunningham will be responsible for ensuring the credit union delivers on its mission to enrich the communities in which it serves, as well as working to develop relationships with its corporate partners.

    Y-12 Federal Credit Union serves Roane County customers from its offices at 1715 Roane State Hwy., Midtown.
    Cunningham previously served as communications coordinator for the Blount County school system.

  • The Bridge wants folks to feel at home

    Editor’s note: This is one of a series of features based on winners of this year’s Roane County News Reader’s Choice Awards.

    The Bridge at Rockwood is one nursing home where residents have asked to return.

    “We have had residents here who have come four or five times, perhaps for therapy, then go home, but may have to return,” said marketing director Kathy Parks. “Because they had a pleasant experience here, they choose to come back.”