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Hydroponic plant growing and book store among new offerings

©2013 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL
Dave Bublitz grew these large red pepper plants at his new business off Asheville Highway
just east of Newport. Nutrient Works is unique to our area and features custom built
hydroponic gardening kits.
Published: 9:35 PM, 09/13/2013 Last updated: 9:35 PM, 09/13/2013
 

Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

Early September forecasts of more rain this year have proven true for our hometown treated to an electrical storm and cooler rains at Carson Springs and across Thursday night dark skies.

 

 

Franklin Williams of Gameknights

 

I must admit I have only played computer/electronic games a few times since they were invented with the advent of Atari around the 1970s. Yes, Franklin still has such players and games plus the old 1980s Nintendo games at his new business in the Bryant Town Center. The modern game consoles are Play Station 3 and Xbox 360 and zillions of games none of which I’m familiar. I found it most interesting that there’s a big card game going on at the Gameknights on Friday nights. Recently 28 to 30 competitors showed up to play Magic, a card game. Franklin is 26 and a 2004 CCHS grad, hence a mighty young entrepreneur and the only child of the Williamses. He said another popular pastime there is playing the table top game “War Hammer” on Saturday nights. You probably missed the big Mortal Combat tournament but watch for another. While traveling back to the Plain Talk I also noticed the new laundry near Aaron’s Rental. Hometowne Laundry must have opened in August and I am sorry to say I don’t know who opened the business, and maybe they will give me a call to let you know soon. We had noticed some changes at property adjacent to the Plain Talk. The Goddard “for sale” sign was gone for one thing. The back door of the long block building was open airing it out. I stopped by for a few minutes and went into what was formerly the Blackwell’s Tax Service at 113 Jefferson Avenue. Two men cleaning and doing repairs told me that attorney Bill Leibrock had purchased the building. I suspect it will be rented for office space and will let you know later what happens. Last week, Bill told me he has no immediate plans for the building but expects to be readying it for future rental. He was clear that he did not intend to be living in the building.

 

Found these two businesses

 

Came across two other new businesses in a vigorous summer crop of business openings that seems to bode well for Cocke County. Nutrient Works opened to the public last month off Highway 25/70 east of Newport on property owned by Tip Brown. You recall there used to be a Purina feed store there years ago but it closed. The new business owner, Dave Bublitz, spoke to the Newport Kiwanis Club about hydroponic growing, which is far different than I imagined it to be. A couple years ago while helping the Edwina coon club to promote their St. Judge barbecue fundraiser I met Dave’s father, John Bublitz. You may recall the photos and stories of John, as he is an outstanding barbecue master. He used to live in Newport but was diagnosed with cancer and moved back to Knoxville where he has a radiation detection business. Dave remains living at the home of John and Barbara Bublitz off Mannings Chapel Road. Dave Bublitz was manufacturing tile for sale when I first met him. And at age 33 he could do this. Years down the road the work would have been too physically hard so he looked for a lighter, greener business. John had already been using hydroponic gardening. Dave admitted to “not having a green thumb but this is pretty foolproof.” He has sold systems that range in price from the basic starter setup for $350 to $4,000 commercial size units. Dave is handy with tools, and hardware and custom designs the systems. He does not mix the nutrients himself but buys and resells these. I looked at some large tomatoes and red peppers in front of his shop and was impressed with the size. The tomato vines were stunning. Compare your normal 8-foot vine to these with 90 feet of vine and able to produce 40 to 50 pounds of tomatoes per plant. The red pepper plants were over three-feet tall.

You may be interested to know that Dave, like his father, helps support local volunteer fire departments. I believe they have some barbecue fundraisers upcoming so you might want to see where John will be barbecuing. Dave was born in Columbus, Ohio, grew up in Knoxville and graduated from Bearden High School and Pellissippi State. So you see why he can figure out pipes and pumping systems. He is engaged to Tara Reese, of Greeneville, South Carolina, but I failed to ask if she is a vegetarian. John brings the barbecue brisket; Dave brings the green beans. You will be reading more about him and Nutrient Works no doubt.

 

Books & More opens soon

 

The way I learned about the soon-to-open used bookstore was from a phone message in early September. Teri called to say she read my Just Plain Talk column about several businesses and wanted folks to know about hers. Teri Vasileff is rather newly-married to John Vasileff, a retired machine repair tradesman from Detroit, Michigan, area. He moved to Newport about nine years ago. John had vacationed in Gatlinburg and “loved the area” so chose the best place, Cocke County. He built a home off Bridgeport-Edwina Road. A couple years ago he met Teri, also from Michigan. Teri operated a book store in Corbin, Kentucky, and wanted to do so in Newport. She rented a building from Arvis Keys in his shopping center between Auto Zone and Wright’s Swimming Pool & Spa and plans to be open by October 1. She has been observing that Newport needed “a bakery, a donut shop, and book store.” Food City opened its large bakery; a donut shop will open soon in Bryant Town; so that left a need for a book store. This will be a buy and trade store offering coffee and desserts, too. You will be reading more about this in the Plain Talk.

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