Two businesses in Columbia County recently decided to provide customers with new services.
Lucky Lady Pecans, Gifts and More, the retail shop of the Tracy-Luckey Co., celebrated a grand opening May 3 in a new location.
The retail store, formerly housed in the plant's in-shell buying department, moved to 140 North Louisville St. in Harlem.
"We wanted to put the new retail shop down the street, so people wouldn't get confused and try to come in our production facility," said Ruth Tracy Blackburn, the company's CEO and vice president.
Blackburn said many people would come to the plant asking to buy a bag of pecans, but she had to turn them away because they sell only truckloads to food manufactures.
"It was so disappointing," she said. "I probably spent, over the past 10 years, more time fighting off business. Having the retail shop, though, will be nice for the community."
The building that houses the Lucky Lady store recently became vacant and is owned by Harlem native Larry Prather, who also is majority owner of Tracy-Luckey. The business is also owned by investors Ed Wicker and Bud Luckey.
Blackburn said the store's decorative theme, Americana country, was chosen to mesh with the historical touches of Harlem's streetscape project.
"We didn't want it to feel like a convenience store or a country store," Blackburn said. "When I walk in, I feel relaxed and not like I'm in a store where somebody's going to bother me."
The store will carry bags and tins of angel honey, praline, chocolate, cinnamon spice and roasted salted pecan halves. Southern cheese straws, produced by a Thomson resident, will also be for sale.
Blackburn said the pecan plant will experiment with new types of candy-coated flavors and hopes to have three new flavors developed by fall.
Blackburn said she expects to keep the store open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with extended hours in the fall.
For more information about the retail store, call (706) 556-0068, or call the plant's main number at (706) 556-6216.
Cindy's Catering is also adding to its services.
The Martinez caterer re-opened May 5 in Ashley Square on Washington Road.
The cafe closed in October and offered take-out meals, but Cindy Crawford, owner of the catering business and cafe, said she knew she wanted to open the restaurant again, but waited to do so until after Masters Week.
The cafe will be open for lunch only, from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"We're going to do the same menu that we did before, which is soups and salads, sandwiches and wraps," Crawford said. "We offer one hot meal each day."
Crawford said she originally closed the cafe for medical reasons and because the catering business, in which about 200 corporate lunches are delivered each day, kept her busy.
"Catering is our bread and butter," she said. "The cafe is the fun part."
Crawford said she received many requests about reopening the restaurant from her customers, and the cafe is "back by popular demand."
She said she is excited about opening the restaurant and having the chance to socialize again with her customers.
"I hope all the people who came before come back," Crawford said.
For more information, call the cafe at (706) 860-1601.
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