Food trucks, postal service, fraternal organization and restaurant make business headlines | Latest titles


BY MILLIE ROTHROCK | Staff

A new postal service, a food truck that serves Korean-Asian fusion dishes, and a new fraternal organization are all in the business news this week. Across the region, a new food truck is opening in Marion. In Bastian, a new restaurant has opened its doors.

The Wytheville Mailbox

Those who miss the recently closed UPS store will be happy to know that a new postal service is set to open soon. The Wytheville Mail Box Store hopes to open at the end of this month or early March. The store will be located in the mall at 800 E. Main St., where Roses plans to open this spring,

Wytheville owners and natives Richard and Danita Johnson recently returned to Wytheville from Newport News. Richard Johnson said the store’s name was tentative and subject to change.

The store will offer shipping and packaging, as well as shipping for FedEx, UPS, DHL, and USPS. In addition, there will be a notary at the store. The store will also have shipping supplies available should customers wish to self-pack their items.

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The Johnsons will also offer U-Haul rentals.

Wytheville resident Leanne Creger prepares Korean-Asian fusion dishes at her food truck, located behind the Seven Sisters Brewery. The menu includes bulgogi beef and bulgogi tacos. Beef bulgogi is prepared with soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, and other ingredients. She uses grass-fed beef from local farmers.

Tacos come with your choice of two types of salsa. The Tiger taco is served with a salsa that combines mango, peach, pineapple, red onion, chili and lime. It is topped with gochujang cream, green onions and sesame seeds. The Turtle taco is served with a salsa made from cucumber, avocado, red onion-lime salsa. The taco is topped with honey wasabi sauce, green onions and sesame seeds.

There are also Korean Fried Wings, Friendly Mushrooms, and Friendly Onion Petals. Creger also offers a Korean corn dog.

Creger’s tacos are a mix of Korean and Asian influences.

“You go to Koreatown and you won’t find these tacos; I created them,” she said, adding that tacos aren’t spicy like chicken wings.

“There’s a lot of gentle heat, but it’s not overwhelming,” she said.

Creger said she’s always enjoyed cooking for her family and friends, so when the opportunity arose to cook for the food truck that supports the brewery, she jumped at the chance.

“It’s nice to have something different in Wytheville, different food profiles,” she said.

Heart & Seoul is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Prices are $12 for three tacos and $14 for the Bulgogi Beef (served with rice). Entrees range from $6 to $9.

Fraternal Order of Eagles

The former King’s Produce location has a new tenant. Members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles are repairing the store for use as a meeting place. The Wytheville chapter is new; founding members were initiated on Saturday. The closest chapter to Wytheville is at Smith Mountain Lake.

Secretary Timothy Gill said money raised by the group complements local first responders. The group also makes donations to charities for Alzheimer’s disease.

“Every dollar goes to charity, nationwide,” Gill said.

The new pavilion, called aerie, will serve food and drink to members. An aerie is the nest of a large bird of prey, such as an eagle.

The Order of Eagles is an international non-profit organization founded in 1898 in Seattle, Washington. The original name was “The Order of Good Things”. As more people joined, the members chose the bald eagle as their official emblem and changed the name to “The Fraternal Order of Eagles”. There are over 800,000 members across the United States and Canada.

Famous members include Babe Ruth, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lee Greenwood and Tony Orlando.

For more information on the Order of Eagles, call Gill at 276-389-8424.

After years of dreaming of having her own kitchen, Teri Owens’ dream is coming true. On February 12, she will unveil her Just Good Food truck. Her southern comfort food menu will change daily, and she will post a menu every week, starting with some of her best dishes.

The food truck will be located next to the Pike Garage, 422 N. Main St., which Owens owns with her husband. On the 16-foot trailer equipped with a kitchen, it will serve menu items like beans and cornbread, chicken and dumplings, spaghetti, chili, casseroles, mashed potatoes, pork chops and green beans. Every other Saturday, she will prepare a breakfast of homemade cookies and gravy, eggs, French toast, bacon and more.

Desserts like cobbler and apple pie will also be on the menu.

On opening day, Owens will serve breakfast and possibly a lunch of beans and cornbread. Her hours are weekdays and every other Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until she sells out. The price range is $5 to $9.

Owens is excited to share her southern comfort food with the community.

“It’s my therapy,” she says, adding that her company has a slogan: In the south, sweet tea goes with everything and no one eats until you say Amen.

Bland County has a new restaurant. The DownShift Diner, 45 Indian Village Trail, Bastian, opened on January 25. For the next few weeks, the restaurant will only serve dinner until more employees are hired.

Owner TJ Hicks had hoped to open last summer, but health department inspections took longer than expected because the department is also understaffed.

“There’s only one detective in the entire district, and she’s out of Galax,” he said.

The dinner menu includes burgers, pastas, entrees, sandwiches, desserts and more. The restaurant has a limited menu until it is open full time. Hicks said burgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and Fettucine Alfredo are the most popular dishes, along with fried pickles and friendly mushrooms.

“We’ll be open half days with a smaller menu until we have enough staff and are comfortable with what we’re doing,” Hicks said. “It will probably be in a few weeks.”

Current hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Hicks said he was excited about the dinner and looked forward to having more people on board and expanding service with longer hours.

The restaurant is named after Hicks’ love of racing cars. He races at Wythe Raceway and even named his first business in Bland after his #81 race car. Located in Bland Square, 81 Solutions offers everything from great stickers and custom t-shirts to oddities and antiques.

The restaurant and store aren’t Hicks’ only jobs. By day, he is a manufacturing engineer at Somic America. A 2015 graduate of Bland County High School, he holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology and an associate’s degree in electrical engineering from Bluefield State College.

For more information about the DownShift Diner, visit its Facebook page.

To reach journalist Millie Rothrock, call 276-228-6611, ext. 573, or email [email protected]


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