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Donut Factory coming to Ledo

Albany is getting a new donut shop. Actually it's getting a full service bakery.

The Donut Factory will be opening in about two months in the shopping center at Ledo Road and Nottingham Way.

The deal for the 1,600-square-foot property was put together by Mary Carter of Murray Webb and Associates and Kristy Wingate of Albany Realty. The location is the shopping center across from Mellow Mushroom on the Dougherty side of Ledo.

Friday, I talked with Dick Bowers who was busy getting the property ready for business.

"I'm trying to get equipment in but the weather up north is holding us up a little," Bowers said. "We've bought a lot of equipment."

Bowers, who is Wingate's father, is partnering with Wendell Grace to operate the bakery. He's no stranger to the food business after operating restaurants and bakeries earlier in his career. Originally from Ohio, Bowers came south because his daughter lives here.

"We'd been coming here for years," he said. "We've had restaurants and bakeries before and previously opened a shop in Leesburg (Sweet Bunz)," he said.

The Donut Factory is not a franchise, but an independently-owned business. Bowers said he plans to have a full line of products including muffins and pastries. He'll also offer breakfast sandwiches in the mornings.

Bowers said the shop likely will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Depending on the volume of business, Bowers said he anticipates hiring 10 to 20 workers. The shop, located on the north end of the shopping center, will have a drive-thru window.

The landlord in the deal is Southeastern Investment Partners of Albany, which is owned by a group of five Atlanta investors.

WAITERS: There's a group in Georgia, the Georgia Minimum Wage Coalition, that wants you to think about your server if you take your sweetheart out to dine today on Valentine's Day.

The group is leading an effort to get the minimum wage for waiters raised from $2.13 an hour. They point out it's been frozen at that level since 1991.

You'll be hearing more about this effort.

MCLB EXPANSION: Officials at the Marine Corps Logistics Base are preparing for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new 70,000-square-foot warehouse on Feb. 24.

Lt. Caleb Eames, public affairs officer at MCLB, says the main function of the Combat Vehicle Storage Warehouse is to provide humidity controlled storage space for light armored and armored vehicles. The controlled environment for the vehicles will extend their life and serviceability, Eames says.

SHORT & PAULK: Tifton-based Short & Paulk Supply Co. will enter the Albany market in mid-April when they open in the former Giles Builders Supply facility at Pine and Cleveland.

Short & Paulk has been around since 1941. What's even older is the tin roof on the Giles Builders Supply building that dates back to the time when the building was a peach packing shed for Haley Farmers in the 1930s.

Jay Short, president of Short & Paulk, says the roof is being replaced by a red metal roof that will be in keeping with the charm of the historic building.

Short has already removed several old sheds on the property and soon will erect new lumber racks, new fencing and a new warehouse. Also planned is new siding and a renovated interior.

Short & Paulk's entry into the local market will create about 12 new jobs in sales and materials handling.

In addition to Tifton and Albany, Short & Paulk has lumberyards in Sylvester and Crisp County.

HOSPITAL'S FUTURE: The headline in the local paper raised the question about what the future holds for Early Memorial Hospital in Blakely.

I would not be surprised at some point if Phoebe doesn't have something to do with its future. It certainly seems to fit in the type property Pheobe would want to obtain.

Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville recently announced that it would end its agreement to manage Early Memorial Hospital and Early Memorial Nursing Home on Sept. 30.