Jeff Steers, editor
Crazy Daisies owner Annette Watson said the secret to operating a successful restaurant and catering business is to work half days.
Eight a.m. to 8 p.m. or noon to midnight are good examples.
The Manchester Chamber of Commerce named the restaurant as the Small Business of the Year during the Chamber Gala last Thursday at the Manchester/Coffee County Conference Center.
The business was started two years ago by Watson and her son, Dustin Beets.
“I didn’t think we would last two days,” Watson said after the Chamber award was presented. “We are always busy at the restaurant, catering or delivering.”
Watson left her job as a paralegal after more than 20 years to return to Manchester.
“I left when I was 17 and came back at 40,” Watson said.
Chamber presenter Brett Chaffin said Watson and Beets deliver a lot of pre-game meals to local high school teams, sponsor a lot of athletic events, and reward a Coffee County High School Player of the Week during football season.
“It means a lot for our company to be honored tonight,” Watson said. “We just got off work at 8 p.m. and I was not sure we were going to make it here tonight.”
The Exchange Media Group was chosen as the Business of the Year by the Chamber. The business was started in 1979 as a direct-mailed shopper. Since then it has transformed from a print centric organization into a diverse technology publishing company helping thousands of residents and businesses connect each year.
The Exchange was the presenting sponsor of the first-ever Young Professional Summit in 2017.
“This means a lot to our company,” Will Thomas said. “Tourism is important in Coffee County and we help drive tourism dollars.”
The company has 35 employees in its group, according to Thomas.
The Industry of the Year was Fischer Stainless Steel Tubing. Plant Manager Joe Franks said he was the 20th employee hired by Fischer four years ago.
Currently the company is up to 169 employees and expects to hire another 40 to 60 this summer, according to Franks.
“Our dedicated employees have driven us to new heights,” Franks said. “We just added a 100,000 square feet addition in 2017 after adding the same amount the year before.
“We are proud to be in Manchester.”
Fischer USA in Manchester was launched by Hans Peter Fischer in 1998. Tom Prell was named as the vice president of North American operations a couple of years ago and Fischer has tripled in employees, tons produced, and sales. Fischer has recently invested almost $30 million in the building, machinery and infrastructure.
The company sponsors various high school athletic programs, grade school archery teams, summer baseball leagues, soccer leagues, youth football and supplying stainless steel tube to the American Legion to use as flag poles on the gravesites of veterans.