Category: Business

Memphis company awarded $1 million health-related grant

Memphis-based Translational Sciences Inc. has been awarded a $1 million federal grant via the National Institutes of Health’s Small Business Innovation Research awards.

The grant is intended to be used for the company to study “Novel Methods for Dissolving Blood Clots.” Translational Sciences will attempt to treat dangerous blood clots while still in the body by dissolving them through molecular engineering.

The project’s goals include reducing death, disability, and cost of service.

Indie Memphis executive director steps down

After seven years of service, Indie Memphis executive director Erik Jambor is stepping down.

Indie Memphis board president Ryan Watt announced Jambor’s resignation in an email to members, saying that the organization thanks Jambor for his service “building an excellent slate of programming and growth. Our organization is fully committed to continuing our first-class festival and year-round events. Erik will always part of the Indie Memphis family.”

Watt went on to say the organization is beginning the search for a new executive director, with the volunteer board running events in the meantime.

“I will be at our upcoming events, and I look forward to speaking with each of you,” Watt concluded. “I can confirm we will be having our festival this year and some exciting announcements are coming soon.”

Relevant Roasters available at Whole Foods

Relevant Roasters, Memphis’ newest specialty coffee brand, is now available on the shelves of Whole Foods in Memphis.
Owned by Jimmy Lewis, Relevant Roasters ( opened on the corner of Broad Avenue and Tillman Street in mid-September. The first order of Relevant Roasters landed on the shelves of local Whole Foods stores last week.
Since completing his first batches of coffee, Lewis has hosted open houses for sampling and distributed to wholesalers and retailers, including Tart Coffee Shop & Bakery and Miss Cordelia’s on Mud Island.

More on the Cheesecake Factory and Memphis

Shawn Massey, partner with The Shopping Center Group LLC, which previously worked to bring The Cheesecake Factory to the Ridgeway Trace development at Poplar Avenue and Interstate 240, said the restaurant chain’s location inside Wolfchase Galleria makes perfect  sense.

“Wolfchase is the strongest regional trade area in the Memphis MSA,” Massey said.  “This is evident by the fact that Ikea recently chose the area for its first Tennessee store.”

“Cheesecake Factory has traditionally been a part of many malls and with Simon being the largest mall owner in the world the relationship between the two companies is quite strong,” said Massey.

“Cheesecake Factory knows the mall is successful in attracting visitors from the greater MSA and beyond,” he said.  “A store in East Memphis or Germantown may not be as far reaching.  That is open for debate. ”

Cheesecake Factory is a high performing retailer and would be considered a catalyst-type retailer that attracts people from a greater distance than the typical restaurant.  It will appeal to out of Towner’s in the city as well as draw locals from 20- 50 miles or greater, Massey said.

“I think the location was a safe location,” Massey said.

“I have told many restaurants and retailers that Wolfchase area is a guarantee success and potentially a home run location,” he said.  “There is no pioneering going on in the Wolfchase area and it is a consistent top performer for many restaurants and retailers.”

People who shop at malls are loyal to chain type stores and restaurants, Massey said, and  they understand what they are getting and seek out these chain restaurants and retailers.

“Personally, I would like to have seen it in East Memphis where I  trade on a more frequent basis, but I am not their core customer,” Massey said.   “I think the Wolfchase location will be very successful and continue the success or Northeast Shelby County.”

It’s official – the Commercial Appeal has a new owner

It’s now official – the Commercial Appeal has a new owner, based in Wisconsin.

As we and others have reported for months, the CA’s longtime owner – the E.W. Scripps Co. – has decided to spin off all its newspaper properties, combining them with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s owner Journal Communications to form a new public company, Journal Media Group.

Shareholders of both companies today approved that transaction, a related piece of which includes Scripps and Journal also merging their broadcast and digital properties, separate from the newspaper company. Those transactions are expected to close early in the second quarter.

The new newspaper company will have about 3,600 employees, operate in 14 markets and be headquartered in Milwaukee.

Scripps shareholders didn’t have to reach too much to vote “yes” on the deal. The company is giving them a $60 million special dividend. The newspaper division has also been an albatross on Scripps’s neck for some time now.

In the fourth quarter, Scripps’ newspaper unit saw its profit tumble to almost half of what it was a year earlier. Things were worse in the third quarter, when the division reported a profit margin of less than 1 percent.