New store to open in Pinetops


Staff Writer

Monday, June 17, 2019

After having lost a Hardee’s Restaurant to a fire nearly 3½ years ago, Pinetops is going to have a new Duck Thru convenience store at the same site, the chief executive of the Edgecombe County town said.

“In this day and time, small towns struggle to start with,” Mayor Steve Burress told the Telegram. “And anything that you can do to get new jobs, generate more tax revenue, more revenues, period, for the town, is certainly a plus.”

Attempts to reach a representative of the Duck Thru chain were unsuccessful, but Burress told the Telegram, “We sat down and talked to ‘em — and they told us what they had in mind. Of course, we were very pleased to hear it because it would be new property on the tax book.”

The Hardee’s had been at the southwest corner of East Hamlet and South Martin Luther King streets.

The Hardee’s had been a popular gathering place in Pinetops, but an electrical fire broke out in early February 2016 and the building ended up being a total loss.

The building had been owned by Rocky Mount-based Boddie-Noell Enterprises, which is the nation’s largest Hardee’s franchisee. Burress said Boddie-Noell decided not to rebuild the Pinetops location and the town received the land.

“And we had been, since then, of course trying to recruit somebody that was interested in putting in a new facility or a new business,” Burress said. “And it finally came along.”

Burress said the town earlier last week closed the deal on the land for a $50,000 sale price.

Pinetops’ population is at slightly more than 1,250 people. The town only has one convenience store, which is located along West Hamlet Street.

Ahoskie-based Jernigan Oil Co. is the parent company of the Duck Thru chain.

Jernigan Oil’s website states the company is a family-owned business founded in 1948 by L.S. Jernigan Sr. and his son L.S. Jernigan Jr.

The Duck Thru name is a reference to James “Duck” Harrell, who along with his wife, Jerri, owned and operated Jernigan Oil from 1982-2006.

Jernigan Oil’s website states the business has through the years grown to more than 50 locations throughout northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.

Burress, 64, has lived in Pinetops since 1957 and is retired from long having been a hardware store operator. Burress was elected mayor in 2015.