Along with many Greater Waco-area residents, Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the popular “Fixer Upper” reality show on HGTV, were impressed with the Waco Police Department’s efforts in calming the storm that began May 17, when biker gangs and law enforcement officers engaged in a bloody shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant.
To show their appreciation, they decided to donate to the department’s personnel 300 coffee cups bearing the Magnolia logo.
The porcelain cups are priced at $14 online and are available at Magnolia Market, 3801 Bosque Blvd., said Anthony Aleman, the company’s shipping coordinator.
Aleman said he suggested the donation and the Gaineses thought it was a great idea.
The Gaineses also will give to the department two 23-inch by 24-inch metal signs that say, “Today is a good day to have a good day.”
Aleman said the signs sell for about $75 and have proven popular with online customers. He said he could envision the department placing them near an entrance or two at its headquarters.
Waco’s new Haverty’s furniture store opened on Thursday at Central Texas Marketplace.
Manager Lance Ralston said Friday the store has enjoyed “great traffic” despite the challenges of tossing open the doors in the wake the May 17 shootout at nearby Twin Peaks.
“With all the things happening, and with limited advertising up until now, traffic has been good,” Ralston said.
Haverty’s, founded 130 years ago this month in Atlanta, now numbers more than 100 outlets in 16 states.
Ralston, a 14-year company veteran, said the middle- to high-end store offers design services in addition to furniture for living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, media rooms and home offices. It also sells mattresses, accessories and rugs, according to its website.
“We’ve been in Texas more than 100 years, and Dallas and Austin are major markets for us,” Ralston said. “Waco is a growing community and the housing market is very strong, and we wanted to be a part of what is going on here.
“We’ve had our eye on Waco for quite some time.”
A grand -opening event for Haverty’s, which employs 25, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m.
Skeeter Brush Trucks will relocate from the San Antonio area to the Hillsboro Industrial Park, the city’s economic development corporation reports.
The manufacturer is a subsidiary of Siddons-Martin Emergency Group, which is co-owned by Hillsboro native Pat Siddons.
Plans call for the construction of a 6,000-square-foot fabrication building and a 12,000-square-foot facility for assembling the trucks.
“The move to Hillsboro was put together with the cooperation and assistance of City of Hillsboro and the Hillsboro Economic Development Corp.
“The warm welcome of the city and its residents was the largest factor in making this move possible,” Siddons said in a statement.
Skeeter Brush Trucks makes fire equipment used by firefighters in remote areas, first responders and emergency personnel involved in light rescue.
The company, formed in 2008, switched to all-aluminum bodies in 2012, which allows it to carry more equipment and manpower on smaller trucks. Its equipment is marketed through nine U.S. dealers who serve 20 states, mostly west of the Mississippi River. It also exports to Australia.
Several of the company’s 15 employees may make the move to Hillsboro.
A job fair is scheduled for June to fill the remaining positions.
Help for veterans
The Dwyer Group, which serves as a holding company for eight franchise businesses, has been ranked among the top 10 franchise brands for veterans.
The ranking was released by David Nilssen, co-founder and CEO of Guidant Financial, which works with veterans to secure financing for franchise investments.
He praised Don Dwyer, the late founder of The Dwyer Group, for starting VetFran in 1991 to honor men and women of the military and offer them assistance in starting their own franchises.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the International Franchise Association relaunched VetFran and invited member franchisors to support the program.
Since then, VetFran has helped 5,600 veterans become franchise owners and has assisted 204,000 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors find employment, according to The Dwyer Group.
Dwyer’s franchises include Aire Serv, Glass Doctor, The Grounds Guys, Five Star Painting, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric, Mr. Rooter and Rainbow International.
For more information about VetFran and The Dwyer Group, visit www.dwyergroup.com/vetfran.