Photo above courtesy of Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.
Food, travel, gratitude and high expectations fill the festivities
Cookeville – The suitcases are strategically packed in the back of the SUV. Who said all that Tetris wouldn’t pay off? You made it fit. Everyone is strapped in, and the family heads down I-40 on the trip of a lifetime.
Fuel is a key component to that passage, for both the family and the vehicle, and now the TA Travel Center at 1750 Salem Road just off 111 in Cookeville is open and humming. It officially opened its doors Feb. 22, but this morning TA officials, County and City officials, friends, family and community celebrated the long journey from vision to the reality of a grand opening.
“We have a great team together here,” David McCormick, TA general manager told the crowd. “We have been very, very fortunate to have the team that we have together. I’d like to thank our business partners and our partner owners. They have been great to work with and given us a beautiful facility.”
Decked out – The TA decorated for the occasion.
McCormick told the Upper Cumberland Business Journal the process hasn’t been smooth, but it went well.
“One of the things the development partners wanted to do was to develop this side of town and this exit and get things growing over here with more businesses,” said McCormick. “Hopefully, that is what we are doing.”
The TA has three restaurants and and open dining concept with a Hardees, Sbarro and El Tapatio.
“We had some suppliers running behind on things,” said McCormick. “One of the big things was electrical panels,” said McCormick. “Other than that, everything else was pretty smooth.”
The facility offers a TA truck center and parking for 59 trucks, reserve parking (online), six showers with a handicapped shower, a truckers lounge and on-site laundry. But, in the travel center business, location is key.
“We are right here on the interstate,” said McCormick, “and we have got signs going up on the interstate. We are in a good location. Right here where they put the new traffic lights up, and we are hoping it’s going to grow.”
McCormick said the Upper Cumberland community played a role in the success of the build.
Roll on – Huff and Puff driver fuels up for the road ahead.
“I’d like to thank everyone,” said McCormick. “My employees and my partners invested in the building. They made all this happen. We pulled together a good group of employees. We have been competitive on pay wages. In a time when it is hard to hire people, we’ve not had a hard time hiring people. We have been very fortunate to get good people.”
TA – The long building process is complete and drivers are welcome.
Hinal Tanwar, Co-Owner of the facility, said the reception has been overwhelming.
“It’s super exciting,” said Tanwar. “We had the vision to develop this exit and give a reason for the other side of town to come here. That was the vision, and I think it is happening.”
She said supply chain issues were a struggle that are “here to stay for a while,” but they worked through those issues and have hired up to 91 employees.
“But, I think we are down to 60 or 70 employees right now,” said Tanwar.
As the road stretches in front of you on the next family trek and you need fuel for the journey, Tanwar has some advice.
“Come and check us out,” she said.
For more information visit them at https://www.ta-petro.com or call 931-559-8239.