Family helps with remodeling

Monday, April 9, 2007

The building at 225 E. Main St. in Jackson has been through many changes in 70 years, but none quite this drastic.

It was home to a liquor store, a grocery store, a bar, two dog-grooming shops and a gun shop before Ria Friedrich turned it into a hair salon.

Friedrich and her helpers took three months to destroy and rebuild, before she opened N'Style With Ria in late January.

First Friedrich had the entire building gutted, including the electric and the plumbing, until it was nothing more than a 1,000-square-foot structure. Then they redid the outside -- the siding, the roof, the Western storefront and even the concrete.

"If someone didn't have all the family that I had help, it would have taken much longer and been really expensive," Friedrich said. She didn't want to specify how much money she put in but said the business has been doing well so far.

Friedrich's dad owns Friedrich Sheet Metal-Heating-Plumbing-Air in Jackson, and her boyfriend works at a concrete company in St. Louis. Together they put in a lot of hours redoing the building, with help from their carpenter and electrician friends.

The handicapped-accessible salon has three stations and Friedrich is looking to rent out space to another hairstylist soon. "There's plenty of room to feel comfortable," she said. "It's been a blessing."

* Unity Pro, a business that specializes in audio, video and lighting for churches, opened at 1402 Old Cape Road this month.

"We try to focus our business on things that help the community and are positive assets to the area," said Steve Caldwell, project manager at Unity Pro. "Our mission is to use this as a way to help people have a means to experience the message of Christ."

The company, which formerly contracted out the same services in Cape Girardeau for two-and-a-half years, is based in Jackson but does work nationally.

Before speaking to Caldwell, I was unaware churches were so progressive. He said the concept has really taken off in Southeast Missouri. They've worked with churches in Cape Girardeau, Scott City, Jackson and Perryville.

Unity Pro brings entire technical teams and worship teams to the site to train clients with new equipment. An audio engineer pinpoints trouble spots and comes up with an acoustics strategy specifically tailored for the facility.

* U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, will hold an agriculture roundtable Friday at 684 W. Jackson Trail in Jackson to hear from Southeast Missouri producers about issues Congress will confront during the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

Last week I attended a small business roundtable with Emerson at the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce.

Emerson and people representing small businesses, large corporations and insurance companies discussed the "Healthy Americans Act," with the state representative. The health-care plan is still in preliminary stages, but Emerson said she is open to feedback from the business community so she could help come up with something that factors in all aspects of the cost of health care for employers.

* Dan Cook took over ownership of Pizza Pro at 117 S. Hope St. in Jackson on Feb. 1.

Tim Krakowiak is the business editor at the Southeast Missourian. Contact him at 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63702-0699. tkrakowiak@semissourian.com or 335-6611, extension 137

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