The owners of Smith Farms Smoked Meat of Cullman, Rodger and Lori Turner, said they were looking for a spot along Interstate 20 when David Hewitt approached them about moving to some of his property at the 205 Improvement District.
“I just felt like it would work,” Rodger Turner said. “Now that I’ve met everybody…everyone’s so nice. I think it will be a good fit.”
The store, which sells smoked meat, stone ground grain products, Wisconsin and Amish cheeses, jams, jellies and preserves along with a selection of wines, was founded in 1955.
According to a news release, the store was originally founded in Cullman by Ed Smith as a road-side stand. It has grown to be recognized for its unique and Southern tasting products, the release states.
This will be the second location for the store. It is scheduled to open in October 2013, according to the company’s Facebook page.
City Clerk Shane Smith said the business was recruited without any incentives from the city of Heflin. However, most of the sales tax will go to Hewitt, the developer of the site, to reimburse him for the infrastructure he put in on the site, he said. The school tax will still go to the schools, Smith added. It’s part of the deal the city struck with Hewitt years ago for him to develop the site. Smith is unsure how long the sales tax will be going to Hewitt.
Attempts to reach Hewitt for comment were unsuccessful.
The city sees it as a business that will bring travelers on the interstate into Heflin, Smith said.
“We’re already seeing that with the ABC store,” Smith said. “It brings in a lot of people who don’t live here.”
He also believes the other businesses in that area, such as the ABC store and the gas stations will benefit from added customers. In addition, the area may see more development as more businesses settle there.
“We are going to see more traffic. We are going to see more business,” Smith said. “It makes us more marketable.”
Turner said the store would eventually hire six to 10 people for the Heflin location. They would be a mixture of full and part time employees, he added.
Staff writer Laura Camper 463-2872. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.