Local businesses shortlisted for Alabama Business of the Year
Posted Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 11:00 AM
Andalusia’s Town and Country Boutique and Taylor Linen Services were each shortlisted for Alabama Small Business of the Year.
Finalists were selected from nominations from the local Alabama Chamber of Commerce. The Alabama Chamber of Commerce has the opportunity to nominate a member small business for each award category. Awards will be awarded in the following categories: Emerging Business (business less than 5 years old), Small Business with 1-10 employees, Small Business with 11-50 employees, or Small Business with 51-100 employees.
In 1951, Merle Jones opened Town and Country in a square in Andalusia. About a decade later, they moved along South Three Notch Street to the former Foreman Funeral Home, known as the “greenhouse.” Mrs. Jones’ daughter Pat Thompson continued to own and manage the store until about 2010 when it was purchased by a second owner. She eventually moved to the West Bypass and formed Trio Mall with two other local merchants.
Terri Proctor purchased the store in the summer of 2020 and immediately worked with the city of Andalusia in an effort to bring the town and countryside back to the Andalusian city center. In early 2023, the store will open in the Prestwood building, a short walk from the original 1951 site.
“We were nominated by the Andalusian Regional Chamber of Commerce to represent Andalusia in the Small Business category with 1 to 10 employees. I currently have four employees working for me in the store. I worked with Laura Wells from the Chamber of Commerce ) together to compile a list of projects I’ve been involved with in our community. The awards are based on civic engagement,” Proctor said.
Presented annually by the Alabama Chamber of Commerce Association (CCAA) and the Alabama Business Council (BCA), the award recognizes outstanding businesses based on a variety of civic efforts, business success and community engagement.
Paige Hutto contacted Proctor with the CCAA regarding Town and Country’s selection as a finalist.
“I am excited to represent my hometown and this amazing and supportive community. We have something special in Andalusia and I look forward to bringing some corners of our state to the awards ceremony in November,” she says.
Taylor Linen Services, 51-100 finalist employee category, first opened in Andalusia in 1997.
“It started with a promise to be the best supplier of linens and uniforms on our market, and a business with a safe and desirable working environment. Andalusia has a strong pro-business municipality. We also have top-notch public schools that can help Attract employees with young families to the city,” said office manager Kathryn Jones. “We look forward to representing our employees and our town at the State Hall Banquet.”
Jones added that the recognition is exciting for the entire team at the company.
“What we do every day is long, hard, hot, and often not the first industry that comes to mind. While we strive every day to provide exceptional products and service to each of our customers, we also The same effort is made to make Taylor Linen Services a business that people are proud to say they work for.”
According to Jones, working in a family business has several benefits.
“It’s easier for all employees to be teammates on the field, not just substitutes. We all know each other and when your employer sees you as a friend, they don’t call it quits and put you there. They stay to help You get the job done. While the company name represents a family on our team, we have many families with multiple family members working here. At one point, we counted as many as 8 families with 2 to 2 of their individual households Five members currently work at Taylor Linen Services,” she said.
All award finalists will be recognized at the BCA/CCAA Partners Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 11th. 30, in Birmingham. Three winners (gold, silver and bronze) will be awarded in each of the four categories. Each category will be represented by 10 finalists from across the state.