CLEAR FORK VALLEY — Energy in the Clear Fork Valley was at as very high level Thursday with the official ribboncutting ceremonies at two new establishments.
The Love’s Real Estate service facility and its Subway Restaurant had officials snipping green and red ribbons to mark the event.
Both businesses had “soft openings” earlier in December.
The Subway is owned by Jason and Stephanie Wendland. They were joined in the ribbon cutting by Bellville Mayor Teri Brenkus, and Richland County Commissioners Marilyn John, Darrell Banks and Tony Vero. Banks is the former mayor of Bellville.
The rooms housing the Subway and Love’s store were full of travelers, and interested local observers.
Special deals were offered at the Subway, where people ordering a six-inch sub and a drink could get a second, free.
Stephanie Wendland said they were “excited to provide service to the community.” They own a second Subway in Bellville.
Their restaurant will be open 24 hours a day. She said it will be a spot where people can take a break, get refueled, and move on. The restaurant has automated kiosks where people can punch in their own orders, and swipe a card for payment. Their name will be called when their order is complete.
Samples of special X2 energy drinks were given out by Matthew Munneke, a regional sales manager. People could taste one of three flavors, and take away t-shirts and arm bands declaring “dominate today, every day.”
Brenkus and Banks both gave their thanks. Brenkus said the Wendlands have given twice to the community with their two restaurants. Banks said the history of this Subway is that the Wendlands were going to build a stand alone facility, but the Love’s project came to be, and their idea was incorporated into that.
At the Love’s opening, Eric Copeland, manager, said Love’s was started by Tom and Judy Love, of Oklahoma. There are now 440 locations in 41 states. The Love’s businesses believe in providing “clean places and friendly faces.”
The business also gives back to a community in a different way, Copeland said. They believe in helping local non-profit entities.
He presented a check for $2,000 to Janice Wyckoff, superintendent of the Clear Fork Valley School District.
Wyckoff said she thinks businesses such as Love’s are important because they provide an “opportunity for kids to learn about business.”
The event at the Subway was streamed live.
Banks mentioned at both ribbon cutting ceremonies the importance of such businesses outside Bellville.
He said the village found Love’s would be interested in coming to the area, and a rewording of zoning laws would be necessary. The area at the intersection of I-71 and State Route 97 was rezoned, and as a result several new businesses are arriving.
In addition to the Love’s, Avita health care is building an office facility, which will hold two doctors and related business space.