Business Briefs

Perry County Memorial Hospital board chooses Mercy

The Perry County Memorial Hospital board of trustees has chosen Mercy Health Care System over SoutheastHEALTH for a potential partnership. In a March 23 release, PCMH’s board directs hospital officials to begin negotiations for a non-binding letter of intent with Mercy as both parties work toward a final agreement. Mercy and SoutheastHEALTH emerged as the final two contenders for a partnership with the Perryville, Missouri, hospital.

ALDI appears headed to Jackson

Batavia, Illinois-based grocery chain ALDI has begun the permitting process with the city of Jackson for a future 21,682-square-foot store at 2502 E. Jackson Boulevard, sources with both the city and Cape Girardeau County have confirmed.

No timeline has been announced for construction and ALDI officials have declined comment to-date.

ALDI, with 2,100 stores in 38 states, has 86 Missouri locations — including outlets in Cape Girardeau, Sikeston and Poplar Bluff.

The location for a future Jackson ALDI is planned for a currently vacant lot between Alliance Bank and Heartland Veterinary Care.

Cape Chamber names Gilligan as new chief

Robert “Rob” Gilligan of Emporia, Kansas, became the new president & CEO of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce April 11, following a search process conducted by Waverly Partners. Gilligan, 44, was the director of Ignite Emporia and was the no. 2 executive with Emporia’s Chamber of Commerce. Gilligan succeeds John Mehner, who retired in December after 28 years in the post.

SEMO’s Vargas announces new plan to replace Houck

Southeast Missouri State University president Carlos Vargas announced March 24 the school plans to build a $60 million “vital, dual role, multi-use complex” to replace the now-razed Houck Stadium, built in 1930.

The new facility will be used for athletic and academic purposes “with laboratories and classrooms and with a stadium incorporated inside it,” Vargas said, adding more details will be shared with the public as the plan firms up.

The revisioned concept comes after two construction bids for just the first phase of the project to replace Houck as a venue for the university’s football and soccer contests came in at more than double the $7.4 million estimate.

Ice cream shop returns to Cape, hiring

Baskin Robbins, famous for its “31 flavors” branding, will open a store at 1704 Broadway, Suite 106, in Cape Girardeau — and a banner proclaims the shop is hiring.

A Poplar Bluff firm is responsible for the facility’s build-out and has faced equipment supply chain delays.

BR had said it had hoped to be open by Valentine’s Day but there is no current word about an opening date.

The company had a store in Cape Girardeau’s Town Plaza Shopping Center from 1978 to 2002 before leaving the market.

OTC gives annual awards

With the theme, “Revitalization is not trivial,” Old Town Cape handed out March 3 its most prestigious recognition, Charles L. Hutson Visionary Award, to Scott and Lisa Blank, co-owners of Bi-State Oil Company and local developers. The couple was feted for repurposing two buildings along South Frederick and Morgan Oak streets, with a third structure connecting them, creating a centralized art complex for SEMO students studying ceramics, woodworking metal sculpture, painting and 3D printing.

Other recognitions: Volunteer of the Year Awards — Kaitlyn Kraus, Tasha Schusler and Jennifer Redinger; Business Excellence Award — Port Cape Girardeau Restaurant; John Boardman Excellence in Historic Preservation Award — The Forge; Preservation of Heritage Awards — City of Cape Girardeau, Penzel Construction, TreanorHL, for the new Cape Girardeau City Hall project; Excellence in Preservation Award — James Reynolds House; Resiliency Award — Glenn House.

Fueled by grant, Grace Coffee & Café to open

Beneficiaries of $350,000 in funding from SB40 (Senate Bill 40) board, Samuel Duer and Susan Stone will open Grace Coffee and Café in Cape Girardeau. SB40’s board oversees services for those with developmental disabilities and awarded the grant. Duer and Stone will serve coffee and snacks and will provide the disabled community with gainful employment inside the small location at 1865 Broadway. The site is the former home of Zoi’s Gyros.

Enterprise Truck Rental comes to Cape

Enterprise Truck Rental has leased a building on a three-acre site at 2080 Rusmar St. in Cape Girardeau.

Enterprise Truck Rental has not made a spokesperson available for comment.

Matt Seyer, owner/operator of Seyer’s Garage in Cape, told the Southeast Missourian he put up the structure originally as a speculative building and will maintain ownership.

In addition to Cape Girardeau, Enterprise Truck Rental has eight other locations in Missouri, with a cumulative 395 venues in 47 states and Puerto Rico.

Building supply giant Huttig sold

Huttig Building Products, based in St. Louis County and with local offices at 4072 Nash Road in Cape Girardeau, is being sold to Idaho-based Woodgrain Inc. for $350 million, including the assumption of debt, both companies announced March 23.

Huttig, in its 138th year of business, is one of the largest domestic distributors of millwork, building materials and wood products used in new residential construction and for home improvement, remodeling and repair.

Woodgrain, in a statement, said Huttig’s acquisition will significantly increase its distribution network.

Huttig has 25 distribution centers serving 41 states.

Roto Rooter establishes footprint in Cape

Roto Rooter has leased office and warehouse space at 822 Enterprise St. in Cape Girardeau.

The full-service plumbing repair and maintenance company, using the slogan “If water touches it, we can fix it,” moved into the 3,688-square-foot facility in February.

The local franchise, serving Cape Girardeau and Scott counties, has a three-year lease on the property and employs six people full time, according to manager and licensed plumber Will Grubbs.

Home care company with new local owners

Mark and Melody Harpur are the new owners of Comfort Keepers — At Home Help, with offices at 1918 N. Kingshighway, Suite 109, in Cape Girardeau.

Mark is employed by Genesis Transportation while Melody recently left her position as director of marketing and community development for the Lutheran Home.

The Harpurs have advertised on social media the availability of part-time and full-time caregiving jobs.

Those interested may also call (573) 339-1777.

Circle Fiber partner leases Cape office

On Trac, a vendor in the fiber-to-the-home industry, leased office space earlier this year at 4014 Nash Road.

Morristown, Tennessee-based On Trac will handle “curb-to-premise fiber drops” for its sole client in the area, Cape Girardeau-headquartered Circle Fiber, a broadband company.

Rick McDowell, On Trac’s western director of operations, said Friday that four employees are working out of its local office as Circle Fiber continues build-out work in Jackson, Cape Girardeau and Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

McDowell said On Trac works with service providers across the U.S. and notes the “Trac” in the company’s name is an acronym for trust, reward, accountability and consistency.

Legendary eatery celebrates 80th anniversary

Lambert’s Cafe, fabled “home of throwed rolls,” currently located at 2305 E. Malone Ave. in Sikeston, Missouri, first opened in March 1942.

The tradition of tossing hot rolls to diners began in 1976 when, because of the size of the crowd one day, it became difficult for Norman Lambert to reach individual tables.

Lambert’s, in addition to its Scott County location, also has cafes in Ozark, Missouri, and Foley, Alabama.