Â©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
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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