Cotton industry could use revenue insurance program

The U.S. cotton industry is interested in the possibility of a revenue insurance program to supplement existing insurance products.

In testimony earlier this month to a U.S. Senate committee, Chuck Coley, chairman of the Memphis-based National Cotton Council, recalled the prolonged drought in Texas and Oklahoma in 2010, this year’s drought and the severe flooding in several states.

“We have to have access to crop insurance, risk management tools and even emergency assistance programs to survive and recover from these natural disasters,” Coley said.

He added that “the availability of effective risk management tools like crop insurance is important even in so-called normal years because cotton producers need to recover a portion of lost revenues if their crop is damaged after they have invested in the inputs, technology and equipment necessary to produce and market a crop.”


Kooky Canuck joins stiQRd family of businesses

Downtown Memphis burger joint Kooky Canuck has joined the family of businesses using stiQRd, the program from a Memphis-based startup that aims to replace paper-based loyalty cards with a QR code-based system.

Kooky Canuck, at 97 South Second St., is rewarding its customers with $10 gift cards on their 10th visit to the restaurant.

To earn the $10 gift card, customers need to download the free stiQRd app with their iPhone or Android phone. Then, using the app, they scan the unique bar code at Kooky Canuck every time they come in. After the 10th scan, the app alerts the customer they’ve earned the gift card, which they will get after showing restaurant staff the message.

Fifteen other businesses besides Kooky Canuck now use the stiQRd loyalty program.

More on Vets Cover Story

Our thanks to several people for the cover story in the current edition of The Memphis News on veterans of Iran and Afghanistan wars.
First to Willie Logan, communications direction for the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, for putting us in contact with three of those veterans without whom we wouldn’t have been able to tell a story that needs to be told.
And thanks to those three veterans Tephanie Rainey, Patrick Crowder and Robert Littlepage for sharing their stories with us. They are not easy stories to share because anyone’s experience in war and returning from war is going to be about as personal a story as anyone can tell. None of them even so much as flinched or hesitated in any way to share with us.
They did it because they hope that others will realize what they are going through is something others have experienced and that others have survived.
The cover story grew from an earlier story we did in the daily in which we talked with Dr. John Whirley, a Vietnam veteran and a clinical psychologist.
Anyone who remembers the times in which Vietnam veterans began returning in large numbers to American society probably has some inner desire to see that future veterans returned to something better than those veterans did. Decades later, it is hard to exaggerate just how much so many of us wanted that war to go away. That included some of those returning to discover that as much as they wanted it go away, it wouldn’t. Nothing would ever be the same.
And the mythology of the World War II veterans was that soldiers returned from fighting wars and got on with the rest of their lives as if the war had been a momentary interruption. At the same time, another mythology arose — the crazy Vietnam vet. Those four words sealed themselves together. They unjustly defined the majority of veterans who rapidly adjusted back to civilian life. They also put a convenient social diagnosis on a number of specific problems.
Forty years after Vietnam, we know more including that post traumatic stress disorder is not something made up or all in the mind. Research has documented changes in brains as a result of the disorder. And there is a way out — a way to heal.

Fuel Cafe and ‘The Hunger Games’

Today’s premiere of “The Hunger Games” may have caused sleep deprivation for thousands of fanatics camping out for the midnight screening, but it wasn’t long ago that local restauranteur Erik Proveaux was likely losing his own fair share of sleep over the post-apocalyptic fiction trilogy.

Long before Proveaux purchased the old gas station at 1761 Madison Ave. for his eclectic Fuel Café concept, he catered for the cast and crews of various movie and television sets, including the extras for The Hunger Games in North Carolina last year.

“Definitely, since we’ve opened, the movie catering has really been like a shot in the arm,” Proveaux told The Daily News recently for its story on the advent of food trucks. “The Hunger Games was huge, that was through a friend of mine that I’ve known out of LA who has a catering company. That was like 1,000 people a day. Total, we probably did 20 shooting days. Things like that have really been great, I make good money on that, and then it also helps supplement (my restaurant).”

Other “on location catering” productions Fuel has been involved with include events for Tyler Perry, “The Great American Food Truck Race,” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” “America’s Most Wanted,” FEMA and the U. S. Coast Guard.

South Main Fever

South Main is seemingly becoming more vibrant by the day.

Grawemeyer’s, a full-service restaurant and bakery at 520 S. Main St., had its soft opening Thursday, March 22. It’s a work in progress since the restaurant is still waiting on its liquor license, but Grawemeyer’s is anticipating an early April grand opening.

In addition to homemade scones, cupcakes and muffins, the eatery will feature affordably priced food and drinks like salads, soups, sandwiches, baked goods and pizza. It also will have free wireless Internet access.

Michael Patrick, head chef around the corner at Rizzo’s Diner, will be assisting Grawemeyer’s sous and head chefs in formulating the menu, which will change daily.

Rizzo’s opened late last year at 106 G.E. Patterson Ave. Both Rizzo’s and Grawemeyer’s are owned by South Main developers and investors Mark and Cynthia Grawemeyer. Read more here.

The couple also owns women’s fashion boutique Everleah’s, which opened at 524 S. Main in December. Run by the Grawemeyer’s four daughters, the store is currently undergoing renovations to add a dressing room and four separate closets where each daughter will showcase their personal style.

Everleah’s theme is “timeless,” according to Emily Friddle, one of the daughters, and has vintage-style knick-knacks like books, mirrors and globes sprinkled in between its selection of apparel, jewelry and shoes.

Friddle said Everleah’s brother store, Sir Samuel’s, is slated to open by next month. That space, also owned by the Grawemeyer’s at 522 S. Main, will sell men’s clothing and accessories.

The Grawemeyer’s aren’t the only ones investing in Downtown Memphis’ historic arts district. Obsidian Public Relations recently relocated from a 1,700-square-foot space it was renting off Tennessee Street to an owner-occupied bay nearly twice as large at 493 S. Main. The firm had its sixth anniversary party and open house Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, Double J Smokehouse & Saloon opened earlier this month in the space formerly occupied by Beignet Café and Blues Bar at 124 G.E. Patterson. The eatery, owned by John Harris and Jeff Stamm, features a variety of steaks, ribs, barbecue and homemade Italian sausage.

What’s more, a celebrated barbecue restaurant is expected to open near South Main in the coming months, if all goes as planned with building permits, the owner told The Daily News recently.