By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Barring any significant delays, the newest McDonald’s in Tupelo will be open this summer on a prime spot near U.S. Highway 45.
“McDonald’s typically takes about 100 days from groundbreaking to open,” said Rob Hudson, president of Hudson Management Corp., which operates restaurants in Tupelo, New Albany and Saltillo. “So, we’re looking at July, hopefully.”
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday morning at the spot of the newest restaurant, which is adjacent to the Sprint Mart on Eason Boulevard. It will employ about 90 people.
“That’s up at least 40 from what we have at the other location,” Hudson said.
The “other location” is the restaurant on South Gloster in front of Kilgore’s Supermarket and Wall’s Bargain Center, which will close to make way for the newest location.
It’s the third new McDonald’s for Hudson in about two years. The Saltillo location opened in 2009, and the company’s most recent addition at the intersection of President and South Gloster streets opened last fall.
“We’ve been blessed,” Hudson said. “I think about our business the last 25 years, and it’s truly been a blessing. We’re in the people business – we sell hamburgers on the side.”
Hudson employs about 600 people at his six locations and said it was those “team members” who helped drive the company’s success.
“I’m just one man,” Hudson said. “They’re our hands and feet and our heart and soul, too.”
McDonald’s Corp. recently had an employment blitz to hire 50,000 nationwide, and Hudson said his franchise would do its part to add to the total in the coming months.
When the South Gloster Street store closes, Hudson must determine what to do with its significant collection of McDonald’s memorabilia, which includes Happy Meal toys through the years.
“We’re still trying to figure out what to do with the memorabilia,” he said. “Maybe we’ll sell it and donate it to charity.”