Category: Public Interest

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.”

Upcoming tribute concerts for Memphis music legends

A few tribute concerts to late Memphis music icons are in the works.

Coming up April 22 is “Press/Play: A celebration of John Fry and John Hampton,” happening April 22 at the Levitt Shell in honor of Fry, the founder of Ardent Studios, and Ardent engineer and producer Hampton.

They died within days of each other in December.

Exactly one month later, meanwhile, on May 22 at the Hi-Tone, a Chris Bell tribute concert will be held. Bell was the guitarist and songsmith, along with Alex Chilton, who helped launch the legendary power pop act Big Star.

For that, a band led by Ardent’s Adam Hill will perform songs from Bell’s solo record “I am the cosmos” plus Big Star’s first record “#1 record.” Guests will include Van Duren, Richard Rosebrough and more.

231,440 Tennesseans enroll in health coverage through health insurance marketplace

According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 231,440 Tennesseans enrolled in or renewed coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace as of February 22.

The agency also says that even though open enrollment has ended, there’s a new time-limited special enrollment period for this year’s tax-filing season.

Between March 15 and April 30, uninsured Tennesseans who are subject to the fine for not having health coverage because they didn’t understand how it would affect them have another chance to enroll in a plan for 2015. Families or individuals who meet certain income requirements or other circumstances may also qualify for low cost coverage through Tennessee’s TennCare program, which has year-round enrollment.

For question about health coverage or to schedule a free appointment with an enrollment assister, visit or call the hotline at (844) 644-5443.

Memphis International Airport Operations Return to Normal

Operations at Memphis International Airport have largely returned to normal, although crews will have some minor clean-up work today as the snow and ice that turned the Memphis area into a winter wonderland on Thursday continue to melt.

As of 9:30 this morning only six flights at Memphis International were cancelled and four flights were delayed, according to flight tracking firm FlightAware. FlightAware said airborne aircraft are experiencing average delays of 39 minutes at Memphis International.

Friday conditions at Memphis International were a vast improvement over Thursday, when 35 flights had been cancelled by midday.

Airport officials said flyers should check with their airlines for flight information.