• Papa Murphy's Take ‘N' Bake Pizza has opened at 528 Brannen Street in the same building as Firehouse Subs and Apple Care. The franchise began in the Midwest in 1981 and has started penetrating the East Coast. The local franchise is owned by Patrick Patton, a native of Richmond Hill and now a resident of Bulloch County. It is a different concept from the traditional pizza chains. You purchase the pizza, hand made to order with fresh ingredients and take it home to cook yourself. They hand make the dough daily, all of the vegetables are fresh and hand cut daily. They even hand shred the cheese daily as well. Call ahead to order at (912) 243-9441 or visit their website to learn more about their difference: www.papamurphys.com
• The Averitt Center for the Arts is partnering with the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Arts to present "All Fired Up" holiday exhibition and sale which will be held this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 4-6, in the Main Gallery of the Averitt. The sale includes local, one of a kind gifts made by local artisans which will include ceramics, jewelry and fine art items. Contact the Averitt at (912) 212-2787 for more information.
For the month of December, in celebration of the Christmas season, I am devoting my columns to honor businesses in our community that are known as much for their heart for giving as they are for their business success.
Sir Winston Churchill said, "You make a living from what you get, you make a life from what you give."
There is no better day to kick this off than today, which has been set aside as a national day of giving or Giving Tuesday.
If you have met Roy and Deborah Thompson, then you know Churchill was describing them. The Thompson's are second generation owners of Statesboro Floor Covering. Their grandson Chase has recently joined their son Tyler and daughter Jennifer in the business, making four generations of Thompson's involvement in the business.
Roy began working in the store when he was 6. His parents, LeRoy and Nita, opened the business in 1952. Roy took over the business in 1986 when his father died of cancer at 62.
"In the early days, dad and I did it all," Roy Thompson said. "We purchased it, stocked it, sold it and installed It. Now we have nine full time employees that include another husband and wife team Tim and Connie Robbins, three brothers Jerel, Joel and Jim Scott, a father and son team, Jimmy and Mike Canty and our children and grandson. Our employees are like family and we feel our customers are just one more extension of our family."
In addition to great employees and wonderful customers, he attributes their success to a commitment to honesty and integrity.
"We pride ourselves on selling a service that goes along with the product not just a product," he said. "We stand behind our work and our products. If you have a problem we will take care of it."
This commitment to the customer has contributed to extremely high customer satisfaction levels.
"Nothing pleases me more than to have a customer return to our store with their child, neighbor or friend which they have shared their experience with and want them to experience the same," Thompson said.
Roy, who is 68, married his high school sweetheart, Deborah, in 1968. They both graduated from Statesboro High School, where Roy lettered in football and basketball. Roy is a real sports fan.
"When I was younger, I dreamed of being a pro baseball coach but I wouldn't change one step in my life's journey," he said. "God has been very good to me and my family."
Roy's father, LeRoy, had a second-grade education and his mother Nita only a fifth-grade education. That was not uncommon for families who lived through the depression era. Like most of their peers, they had to quit school and start working. Because of this, they instilled in Roy a strong work ethic and demanded that he get a great education. As a graduate of Georgia Southern and one of the hardest working men I personally know, he has heeded his dad's advice.
When Roy and Deborah received the Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Humanitarian of the Year award a few years ago, they were the first couple to receive the award.
Ten years ago, because of their love for Christmas and interest in giving back to the community, they started an annual Christmas celebration along with their children Jennifer and Jeff McCranie and Tyler and Chrisee Thompson, at their home near Rocky Ford. This showcase of Christmas has become a must-see destination for the community.
What began with one Christmas tree and a pair of deer has turned into an indescribable Christmas wonderland that attracted more than 17,000 cars and nearly 150,000 people during the Christmas season last year.
The approximately one mile drive through their property takes you through an array of Christmas decorations surrounded by classic cars, fire engines and a western town. Roy and Deborah have even recreated the iconic Snooky's restaurant as part of the experience.
Admission is limited to what you can give. For some, it is a can of food others it is a new toy for a child. Thanks to the generous contributions of so many last year they gave tons of food and hundreds of toys to needy families throughout the county, which exemplifies the true meaning of the season.
"I have always heard that you don't get the full benefit of a blessing until you share it with others," Deborah Thompson said. "We have been blessed. We know it and thank God for our blessings every day. Hopefully, we can pass a little of our blessings on to someone else every day."
The drive-through Christmas extravaganza is open nightly through Dec. 28. You can learn more about event on their Facebook page, TMT Farms Christmas Lights Display.
Please email DeWayne at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at (912) 489-9499.