Openings and closings are customary for businesses in cities experiencing growth, and Greenwood is no exception.
Andre and Andrea Gregory are franchisees opening a Smoothie King in the Publix Pavilion in May. Jayn and Warren Langley plan to open Langley Automotive LLC behind U-Haul Moving and Storage of Greenwood on Bypass 72 NW by June or July 1. ImmunoTek Bio Center will replace the Rite-Aid at 311 Hampton Ave. and Tony Salad Bowl and Catering recently opened beside Ollie’s Bargain Outlet on Bypass 72.
Andre Gregory, owner operator of Smoothie King’s Greenwood location, had looked at franchising for a while.
Before becoming a franchisee, he owned a company that worked in international education and would host culture camps for incoming international students. Two years later, his four business partners decided to part ways with the company, leaving it unviable.
Gregory moved on with the bug to start another business. His wife, Andrea, thought starting another business using the franchise model would be more comfortable because there would be more structure, support and less of an obligation to do everything from the ground up.
Andre Gregory looked at two markets to possibly franchise in — doughnuts and smoothies. Greenwood already had Crispy Yummy Donuts — now Big Apple Bakery & Restaurant — so he picked smoothies. He and Andrea looked at all the top smoothie franchises, including Smoothie King, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Planet Smoothie and Jamba Juice.
The couple decided on Smoothie King because it offers something for people on their individual fitness journeys. They liked the feel and professionalism from Smoothie King’s CEO and corporate office and “their stuff tasted good.”
Becoming franchisees was a two-year process. They did research, took ample time to feel comfortable working with Smoothie King and signed a franchise agreement that required them to open the establishment in 18 months. Finding a location also took time, because they were trying to find a spot to lease to keep costs down.
To pick a location for a franchise, both the franchisee and company have to mutually agree on the spot and if the area would be good for the brand.
“That’s been a learning curve, dealing with landlords, who owns what (and) working through your broker to negotiate stuff,” Gregory said.
The Gregorys wound up picking the space in Publix Pavilion — beside Red Bowl Asian Bistro — and the two are happy with the location.
Gregory said Greenwood did not offer many healthy food options.
“With Smoothie King, their goal is to help you live a fit and healthy lifestyle,” he said.
With a selection of 60-plus smoothies, Gregory is confident anyone should be able to find a smoothie they will like.
Jayn and Warren Langley are closing Hyde Park Auto Sales to open Langley Automotive LLC.
Jayn Warren’s mother used to own the property where the Langleys are building their new car lot. The lot will be much larger and operate on a different plan, she said.
Hyde Park Auto currently offers “buy here, pay here” financing, but Langley Automotive will offer off-lot financing and another line of cars that don’t require financing.
“We want to be able to service all people of different financial backgrounds,” Jayn Langley said.
Their daughter, Kelli Machain, a former market leader at BB&T in Columbia, will be the company’s general manager.
Machain decided to return to Greenwood to start a family with her husband, Quinn.
Tony Salad Bowl and Catering owner Tony Morton owned Smokehouse Barbecue and Home Cooking, but decided to try something new and rebrand the barbecue establishment to offer healthier alternatives — salads.
Tony Salad Bowl’s menu includes iceberg lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, banana peppers, carrots and a “big variety” of other vegetables.
“It’s something different ain’t nobody else doing, really,” Morton said.
Two other reasons Morton decided to move away from barbecue is that he noticed people becoming more health conscious and the overhead costs aren’t as high when dealing with vegetables compared to meat.
Smokehouse Barbecue and Home Cooking’s sign remains up, but that’s because Morton is in the process of changing the name.
Tommy Carroll, an employee of West Electric Contractors of Newberry, said ImmunoTek Bio Center will be replacing Rite-Aid on Hampton Avenue.
ImmunoTek collects human blood plasma, a raw material used in a wide range of medicines.
There’s no indication when the center will open, but the Greenwood location is visible on the company’s website.
Greenwood businesses closing include Pier 1 Imports at 525 Bypass 72, Skins Hotdogs at 532 Bypass 72 and Save-A-Lot at 1344 SC-72.
Pier 1 Imports closed numerous locations across the country because of a recent downsizing attempt by corporate heads in response to the underwhelming home furnishing business.
Index-Journal reported in January that Greenwood’s Pier 1 Import location might be in danger of closing and now “store closing” signs are plastered on the store’s windows.
Anderson franchise Skins’ Hotdogs has permanently closed its Greenwood location. A sign is taped inside the entrance that thanks customers for their business during the last nine years.
Private equity firm Onex Corp. owns Save-A-Lot Ltd. the firm began seeking a buyer for, or investor in, Save-A-Lot in 2019 because of debt and the ongoing competition from German discounters Lidl and Aldi — both currently located in Greenwood — expanding throughout the country. A sign thanking customers for their business is on the storefront’s windows.
UPDATE: Rite Aid located on South Main Street has closed and a Stop-A-Minit is being built in its place, an employee of Progressive Builders Inc. said.
An AutoZone will be opening beside the 7-Eleven at 1015 Montague Ave., and a coming soon sign is placed at the automotive retailers new location.