Tag Archives: where to start a business

Happenings in the Florence Parks and Recreation Department

readyRegistrations for Ready, Set, Run are going on right now for kids ages 8-13 to participate in this uplifting, goal setting, exercise program that we are excited to bring to the shoals area. The Ready, Set, Run program was designed by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and we are excited as the Florence Parks & Recreation Dept. will be teaching this fun program to kids all over the shoals. Registration fee is only $40 and the fee will ensure that each child will receive a Ready, Set, Run T-Shirt, a manual, and the 12 week program. To register- call or come by the Florence Coliseum. The number to call is (256) 718-5088.

Coming up on October 3rd, we will have one more “Music in the Park” for the fall season. The music in the parkBrowns will entertain us with the hits from the 50’s-80’s, they will also throw in some great country tunes, along with some southern gospel. Come on out and to this fun event at Wilson Park. The music will start at 5:30 and will end around 7:30. No admission, Food will be available to purchase inside Wilson Park. The weather will be great and the music even better!

fall festivalOn October 19th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. the annual Family Fall Festival will take place at McFarland Park. Come out and enjoy Fall Festival Games, try your luck with the pirate treasure hunt on the beach at McFarland Park. Jump on the bounce-a-rounds, participate in the cupcake walk, build a scarecrow or watch the pet fashion show! If you would like to register for the Pet Fashion Show, you can do so by going to Pet Depot in Florence and registering to have your pet enter the contest and maybe be this year’s best in show at the fashion show! Concessions will be available for purchase, everything else will be free! So come on out on October 19th- We look forward to seeing you!

Florence Parks & Recreation Department Junior Golf Clinic

Junior Golf Clinic will take place August 5th-8th at Blackberry Trail. The time will be from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and it will be for youth age 6-16. The fee is only $65 for the entire clinic. For more information contact Blackberry Trail at (256) 740-8825. Congratulations to the Florence Swim Team (F.A.S.T.) they were recently crowned regional champs. 47 swimmers from Florence made the trip to the State Swim Meet in Birmingham, Al – where the team finished 5th in the state. The Florence 8-U baseball team recently played in the Cal Ripken Regional Tournament that was held at the Florence Sports Complex. The team made it all the way to the semi-finals game before losing in a very close game. Youth Football, Flag Football, Soccer, and Cheerleading registration is currently underway. For more information visit FPRD.com to register or contact the Florence Sports Complex at (256) 760-6628.

Rising Atlanta Ice Cream Company Finds Temporary Home in Florence

High Road Craft Ice CreamFLORENCE, AL, Monday, June 23:  Keith Schroeder, owner of the Atlanta-based ice cream company High Road Craft Ice Cream, had what anyone might call a good problem. Demand for his chef-designed, hand-crafted ice cream got a boost from coverage in national publications such as Real Simple magazine and The New York Times. Orders were coming in from customers, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, and major airlines. Good! The problem? His four-year-old ice cream company was homeless—at the beginning of the summer ice cream season.

The facility where High Road started four years ago in Chamblee, Georgia, was scheduled for demolition at the beginning of May, so Schroeder and his crew moved out. Construction on a new factory for High Road in Marietta was already in the works, and Schroeder anticipated the transition from the old to the new facilities would be fairly smooth, with only a few bumps as his staff got used to the new factory and equipment. Schroeder and his team of chefs tried to stockpile and freeze enough ice cream and sorbet to last until the company finished its transition into the new factory.

High Road Craft Ice Cream provides ice cream mainly for food service—Delta Airlines, and Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas are among High Road’s clients. High Road Craft Ice Cream is also sold by the pint in retail venues such as Whole Foods, Dean & Deluca, Fairway Market, and Rouse’s. Signature flavors include Bourbon Burnt Sugar, Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Brown Butter Pecan, and Strawberry Vanilla. Schroeder uses regionally-sourced ingredients, such as strawberries from South Carolina, sorghum syrup from Tennessee, and honey produced in Atlanta.

Coverage in national media and in food service trade publications for restaurant and hotel chefs created a demand for High Road Craft Ice Cream that quickly topped what Schroeder anticipated. Construction delays put off the transition into High Road’s factory. Schroeder needed to make ice cream, and he had no place to do it.

Schroeder’s team of employees—whom he calls rock stars (traditionally, the door to High Road’s kitchen has had a sign saying “Rock Star Entrance”)—all started looking for solutions, and learned about the Culinary Complex at the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center. Through calls and several trips between Atlanta and Florence, and with the assistance of the team at the Shoals Entrepreneurial Complex, the local and state health inspectors, and relationships with Georgia inspectors, things were moving. Schroeder and his team moved a skeleton crew, one small-batch ice cream machine, a hardening cabinet, and hundreds of pounds of dry ice to Florence. Within two weeks of their first call to Giles McDaniel at the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center Culinary Complex, ice cream was flowing from the kitchen in Florence.

It couldn’t have been sweeter.

“The welcome we’ve had is warm, even right down to the state ag folks that came in to help their neighbor, basically,” Schroeder said. “That was the cool thing about it. They sent people to the rescue immediately to make sure we were up and running.”

Schroeder, who has been a chef for 20 years and has an MBA from Georgia’s Kennesaw State University, hopes he can help other entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in return while High Road is in Florence. “It really inspires us,” he said. “It brings us back to our beginnings and inspires us to be mentors and help other emerging entrepreneurs that we meet in the center and share the experiences that we’ve had in the past four or five years.”

Schroeder hopes High Road’s new factory will be complete in late July or early August. Until then, he and his staff of chefs will continue making ice cream in Florence, and hope to give back and enjoy the local culture. “There’s good food, and the downtown area’s cool for us,” he said.

Parks and Recreation this week

Golf Clinic 6.10.14Coming up June 10th-13th will be the Junior Golf Clinic at Blackberry Trail Golf Course. The time will be from 9:00-11:00 a.m. each day. The price is only $65.00 per participant. The instructor will be Joel Gafford, PGA Pro. For more information on this exciting clinic, please call (256) 740-8825.

In other news with the Parks & Recreation Dept, The Royal Ave and Handy Pools will open on Friday, May 30th from 1:00-5:00. The pools will remain open each day during those times. The admission for the pools are: Royal Ave- $2.00 and Handy- $1.00. For more information on the pools, please call (256) 760-6425. 

2013 Liberty Mutual Insurance National Firemark Nominee

Marine Corps Veteran Dustin Simmons is a young firefighter from Florence, Alabama who has worked tirelessly to serve his community. In only three-years as a firefighter, Dustin has been an active instructor at the recruit school, coached and mentored up and coming firefighters and risked his life to save others. Because of his hard work and dedication, he received Florence’s Firefighter of the Year Award.

Dustin’s passion for the firefighter community encouraged him to coordinate an event to honor firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. Inspired by a commemoration for the 9/11 firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice, he started the Florence Memorial Stair Climb. Participants, including firefighters and members of the community, climbed 110 flights of stairs to truly never forget the courageous actions of the FDNY on that day, with all proceeds benefiting the National Firefighters Foundation. 

For his passion towards his fellow firefighters and community, 
Dustin Simmons is a proud nominee of the 2013 National Firemark Award.

To nominate a firefighter for the 2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance National Firemark Award visit: http://www.befiresmart.com/protect-your-community/celebrating-firefighters/national-firemark-award-winners/nominate-a-firefighter/

Article courtesy of Liberty Mutual Insurance

Special announcement: Come to Florence in May!

We are hugely pleased to have been asked to come to Alabama and participate in Florence Restaurant Week next month from May 9 – 17. The event is organized by Florence Main Street, who explain, “Historic downtown Florence, Alabama, is a unique and wonderful place. Florence Main Street is a non-profit organization designed to keep it that way! Main Street’s mission is to bring attention to the unique character of Florence’s historic commercial district while promoting progressive marketing and retail management techniques.

I first visited Florence and its neighboring cities Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia last year while on my third “circumnavigation” and came home raving about the place. Florence has an absolutely adorable little downtown, full of independently-owned restaurants and shops. Home of the University of North Alabama, it doesn’t quite have a classic “college town” feel – Pegasus Records looks like it goes a little way toward rectifying that and I can’t wait to browse – but it’s sleepy and busy at the same time, with wonderful architecture and good people. Sam Phillips and W.C. Handy were both born here. This town has music in its roots. Across the river – and a downright gorgeous truss bridge – is Muscle Shoals, home of the legendary FAME Recording Studios. (Confusingly, the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, where the Black Keys’ excellent album Brothers was recorded, is not actually in the town of that name, but next door in Sheffield…) Plus, you’ve got a children’s museum that we can’t wait to check out, and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia. You know how that terrific Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon shut down? They didn’t let that happen here.

Anyway, I like what I’ve seen of this corner of northwest Alabama a lot, and had some very good meals here, and so I’m absolutely thrilled and pleased that we’ve been invited to town along with a few other southeastern bloggers for Florence Restaurant Week, and I sure would appreciate it if you’d click on that link and read a little more about it. It’s a terrific way to support local charities by eating out at locally-owned restaurants, and through the end of April, they’re taking nominations for charities to get a chance to win $5000, courtesy of McDaniel Window & Door Company. Some details continue in the press release below.

We’re taking this opportunity now to spread the word and to encourage our readers to think about visiting the Shoals area next month. During the nine days of Florence Restaurant Week, you’ll be able to enjoy good meals at the fifteen participating restaurants and cast a vote for the charity of your choice each time that you dine. The more times that you eat, the more times you can cast a ballot. And we certainly like to eat. We’ll be there for a couple of days, digging into a few good meals and getting material for what should be quite a few stories to share. And we sure would love to see you there, too! Whether you’re one of our readers, looking for something different to do and a road trip to a new destination, or if you’re one of our fellow bloggers, looking for a new patch of ground to write about, this is a great place to visit, and one that has been overlooked in our hobby for long enough. There is some terrific barbecue here, and lots of interesting restaurants, old and new. We can’t wait to dig in!

So next month, plan to see us tweeting and making Facebook updates as we visit the city and spend a bit more time in one place than we typically do on a trip. I expect that we’ll have a nice bit of content for the end of May to share with you all. I really hope that you’ll think about joining us! Be sure to visit the site for Florence Restaurant Week to see which other bloggers from Alabama and Tennessee will be writing about the Quad Cities, and check them out, too!

Article courtesy of Marie, Let’s Eat!

Florence Park and Rec Kids Fest

Kids Fest is just around the corner, May 3rd from 11:00-2:00 at Cox Creek Park. This is always a fun festival for kids in the shoals area, there will be games, an obstacle course, mud pit, bounce-a-rounds, food and fun. Kids Fest Idol will also take place on this date, however if you are interested and are the age of 6-15, you will have to audition and make it to the finals. Preliminary rounds will be on April 12th  (Junior Division- 6-11)  and April 26th (Senior Division- 12-15) at Royal Ave Recreation Center from 2:00-5:00 p.m. To enter you must have your music on a cd, or you can play it acoustically with a guitar if you wish. The fee to enter is only $5. For more details, call (256) 760-6389. Also coming up at Blackberry Trail Golf Course- Ladies Golf Clinic, March 24th-27th. 5:00-6:00 p.m. $65.00 per person, for more details call the Golf Shop at (256) 740-8825.

Shoals SHRM Upcoming Events


Developing a Team Member Marriage: Creating an Engagement Culture the Daxko Way!
Presented by Dawn Burke. PHR
Thursday March 13, 2014
8:30a.m.-11:30 am

Registration and Breakfast begins at 8:00a.m.
Workshop begins at 8:30a.m.
UNA East Campus, Room 104
1640 Tune Avenue: Florence, AL 35630

Cost: $30 for members, $40 for non-members, Free for members who purchase the 2014 package deal
(Cost includes program & breakfast)

Membership information or more details Contact Crystal Wilson at 256-740-5762 email crystal.wilson@timesdaily.com

RSVP: Please RSVP by emailing mmfike@una.edu by phone (256) 765-4289 or www.una.edu/continuing-studies

SHRM April Meeting

Thursday April 10, 2014 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
City of Muscle Shoals Golf and Tennis (Cypress Lakes) 1131 East Sixth Street, Muscle Shoals, AL

Cost: $12 for members, $15 for non-members (Cost includes meeting and meal)
Free for members who purchase the 2014 package deal
Membership information or more details Contact Crystal Wilson at 256-740-5762 email crystal.wilson@timesdaily.com

Florence Parks & Recreation Department

On February 22nd at Broadway Recreation Center, there will be a Community Job Interview Skills Seminar for ages 16 and up. No registration fee- Absolutely FREE and the knowledge you will obtain will be priceless! Speakers Alanna Sullivan, Human Resources Director for the City of Florence and Tina Kitchens, Director for the Florence Parks & Recreation will share their tips on how to prepare for an interview, fill out applications, answer those tough questions, and much more. The time for this seminar will be from 10:00-11:30. When you leave this seminar, you will be equipped and ready for your next interview. For more information and to register please call the Broadway Recreation Center at (256) 760-6418. On another note, the sound of the crack of the bat on the baseball will soon be filling the air at The Florence Sports Complex. Registration is still underway, but winding down- Don’t delay register Today! You can register by going on line at www.fprd.com. For more information on baseball or any sports please call the Sports Complex at (256) 760-6628!