Groundbreaking ceremonies were held last week for the latest business in the West Franklin Industrial Park, this time for an existing city business looking to grow.
Denisha and Lex Tiffin will be moving Southeast Sales into a brand-new facility across the street from Red Bay Acres.
“With a new facility and through conversations with Lex and Denisha I feel confident in saying that Southeast Sales will introduce new products and new services that we haven’t had in Red Bay,” Mayor Charlene Fancher said. “That is very exciting, especially when you think about attracting new customers and a lot of traffic to the industrial park. I don’t think it was hard for Lex to be convinced that this was an attractive standalone tract. It’s perfect for the new location of Southeast Sales with plenty of room for future expansion.”
Southeast Sales is currently operated out of buildings along Fifth Avenue in Red Bay, but they are not ideal for the kind of growth the Tiffins have in mind. The building will have approximately 45,000 square feet and will have two floors. The second floor will encompass 15,000 square feet. It is expected to employ about 25 people once it is opened.
The new location of Southeast Sales will open up retail opportunities not currently seen in the area. Plans include for a full array of hunting and sporting goods as well as a gun and ammunition shop, which will be housed on the second floor. Lex Tiffin said there are also plans to house a firing range inside the facility.
“We’re going to have a lot more inventory and more to offer,” Tiffin said.
The company will be expanding its ad specialty and embroidery services and will be looking to become a supplier to area schools and youth leagues for athletic supplies, uniforms and gear.
Don Ross, general manager of Southeast Sales, will be overseeing the construction.
“Lex and I talked about this project quite a long time,” Ross said. “We actually started talking back in June or July of last year and we’ve gone and looked at a lot of things throughout that time and kind of decided on what we wanted to do to bring something to Red Bay that’s kind of unique to this area that you don’t normally see. So, once we get this going I think everyone will be pleased.”
Construction is expected to begin this month, with a grand opening set later this summer.
“We’re hoping to get started within the next three weeks with the construction and hopefully we’ll get it done as soon as possible if the weather cooperates,” Ross said. “The building will be a nice addition to this community, to the town, and I personally would like to thank the Mayor and Board for helping us through this process. I’ve worked with them closely for several months and they’ve been very helpful, and I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done to help us get this project going.”
Fancher and others remarked during the ceremony on the historical significance of a Tiffin expanding a business in the community, with Lex being the fourth-generation of business owners from his family in the community.
During the ceremony Fancher commented on how much it means to her to see the first major tenants of the industrial park be women-owned industries. She presented Denisha Tiffin with a Key to the City to mark the occasion.
“This was amazing,” Denisha Tiffin said. “I didn’t know it was going to be this big. I think that shows how much community support there is.”