While business has been buzzing for awhile, the new Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts had its official ribbon-cutting on Thursday morning.
Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles was present and said afterward: “I could do these all day long! We have become a retail hub. This is what regionalism is all about.”
Charles smiled as he looked over the nearly 100 customers waiting in line — most who came for a free gift card from the new business worth between $25 and $100.
However, many have been excited Jo-Ann has a presence in the area again.
Ron Beach, a district team leader from Jo-Ann’s, said he was pleased with the work force they have been able to put together.
“We’ve got some talented people in there and they are learning,” he said. “I’d have preferred we could have opened a little earlier to practice before next week.”
The Christmas shopping season begins in earnest around the Thanksgiving holiday. Jo-Ann’s and its new 18,000-square-foot store in the Ashland Town Center will be waiting with open doors, he said.
“We like this location and we like the people here,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a good store for us.”
Charles said he was pleased to hear the work force assembled in the Ashland area supplied Jo-Ann’s with what it needed.
“One of the things he talked about was the quality of employee they have here,” Charles said. “That speaks well for Ashland. He told me two-thirds of them are such great quality they’re already looking at promoting some of them.”
Jo-Ann’s also presented a $2,000 check to Crabbe Elementary for its After-School Program.
Principal Brad Greene and Ashland district coordinator Geri Willis were on hand for the presentation.
Willis said the program includes a sewing class.
“We want to keep the tradition (of sewing and making clothes) going,” she said. “Some of the kids have no idea how clothes are even made.”
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2648.