More businesses set up shop in area

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Chris Croom cleans a ceiling tile after installing a recessed light Friday at the new Which Wich sandwich shop at the EP Mart on North Old Carriage Road.


Staff Writer

Monday, June 25, 2018

Several new retail businesses have recently opened or are in the process of becoming operational in the Twin Counties.

A new national chain sandwich shop is coming to the area as Which Wich Superior Sandwiches will be opening its first local shop on July 2 at 130 N. Old Carriage Road. Which Wich will take the place of the former Mario’s Pizza and Grill adjacent to the EP Mart near Nash Community College.

Which Wich was founded in Dallas in 2003 and has more than 400 locations. It’s known for its toasted subs, sandwiches, wraps and salads. 

The local Which Wich franchisee will be owned and operated by Eastern Petroleum Corp. Yvonne Jones, vice president of Eastern Petroleum Corp., said the company will also open a Which Wich restaurant in the fall adjacent to the EP Mart at 701 Western Blvd.in Tarboro.

She said the Which Wichwill have 42 seats in its dining room  and a drive-thru window. Customers also will have the option of downloading the restaurant’s app and ordering online. Which Wich will employ 25 workers at both locations once they become operational, with most of the hires being teenagers in high school, Jones.

“There are Which Wich sandwich shops all over the country and there are ones in Greenville and Raleigh,” Jones said. “We wanted to bring something new here and keep people in our area or bring some traffic into our area. This is an upcoming brand that’s very family-oriented and attracts young adults. We feel it’s a win-win for the people of Rocky Mount, Nashville and us as well.”

The 23-acre Nash Crossing off U.S. 64 at N.C. 58 in Nashville will soon have its third chain business open as construction remains ongoing for a new Burger King that will open at the end of next month, according to franchise owner Rick Bentz.

Burger King will join Zaxby’s Chicken, which became the first tenant in Nash Crossing in 2016, and Sheetz, which opened last year on the property. Bentz said the Burger King will hire between 25 to 30 employees.

“That area was recognized by the Burger King corporation as a possible location,” he said. “I looked at it a couple years then later put in a deal about 10 weeks ago, and we’re finally under construction. We feel it’s going to be a good spot for a Burger King and for the local people. We anticipate getting traffic off the (U.S.) 64 highway.”

While some chain businesses are preparing to launch operations in the area, others have recently opened. The Seattle-based Starbucks recently opened in a newly built location at 550 N. Wesleyan Blvd. and will employ 30 workers. The longtime Starbucks in Target in Rocky Mount will continue to run as usual, company officials said. 

Adjacent to Starbucks is Kay Jewelers, which operates in a 2,470-square-foot newly built building at 540 N. Wesleyan Blvd. Frank Cirillo, director of public relations at SignetJewelers, which owns Kay Jewelers, said the company has closed its longtime location at Golden East Crossing mall.

“We’re very pleased to continue to serve the Rocky Mount community and excited about the opportunities this new location will offer us in providing the excellent customer service and wide selection of the most popular jewelry collections that customers have come to expect from Kay,” he said.

Alan Matthews, director of business recruitment at the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the city of Rocky Mount, said development will continue this year and next around the perimeter of Sam’s Club, with four to five more retailers planning to locate along U.S. 301 or Sunset Avenue. But Matthews said at this time, he can’t reveal the names of the new businesses.

Matthews added that many existing businesses along the U.S. 301 corridor recently have made new investments to upgrade their facilities, including Wendy’s, which made the decision to rebuild from the ground up, and Krispy Kreme and Waffle House.

He added Dunkin Donuts made facade improvements and local car dealerships rebuilt facilities and also made facade improvements. In addition, Golden Corral and Red Lobster contributed to increase capital investment, he said.

In the past few years, Lidl Grocery, Buffalo Wild Wings and a new San Jose Tacos & Tequila restaurant located on U.S. 301, Matthews added.

“All this activity with store re-investment has exceeded over $135 million in new capital investment in our community and has ensured the long-term development for that corridor,” Matthews said.