MAXTON —Visitors to the new Town and Country Grill restaurant get a whiff of cooking collards and hamburger steak before they have even made it through the door.
For town leaders, the aroma smells like success. The restaurant is one of handful of new businesses that have opened recently or will open soon.
The businesses range from a bakery to a barbecue joint to an insurance agency. There are also plans for two chain businesses — McDonald’s and Family Dollar.
“The town is getting back to the Maxton that I knew as a little girl,” said Mayor Sallie McLean.
McLean said when she was growing up, there were many businesses in Maxton and all of the buildings were occupied. She left Maxton in the late 1960s to attend college and later traveled with her husband at the time, who was in the military.
“Entrepreneurship in our town is on the rise and I think a lot of people are realizing that Maxton is in need of economic growth,” McLean said.
Most of the people opening businesses in Maxton are natives.
“It’s important that we spend local dollars on local businesses,” she said.
James McDougald, who is in charge of the economic development with the Maxton Chamber of Commerce, said an estimated $14 million is spent by Maxton residents outside of the town every year, with about $4 million of that spent on restaurants.
“We’re hoping we are putting a dent in that $14 million,” McDougald said.
McDougald is pleased with amount of businesses that are coming to Maxton, but hopes more chain restaurants and businesses will invest in the city.
” … Chain restaurants are what gives a town legitimacy,” he said.
McDougald stresses the need for all of the businesses in Maxton to work together.
“This is a collective project, not an individual,” McDougald said. “Hopefully the businesses will work together to better Maxton. Each business can benefit from another business success.”
Sheila Emanuel Hardin opened Emanuel Insurance Agency in May and she already has 130 clients.
“It helps that my office is located right next to a barber shop,” Hardin said. “When parents are waiting for their child to get their hair cut, they may come in and get a quote.”
Samantha Usher, who has worked in Maxton for the past 12 years, said she loves the idea of homegrown businesses. She eats at Town and Country Grill at least once a week.
“I prefer the local, down-home businesses because it brings money into the town,” Usher said. “Not to mention the food is great.”
Town and Country Grill opened in September and is located at 509 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. It is open from 5 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
Rocking Pig BBQ is located at 103 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
Terri McLean Contracting office is located at 612 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. McLean leases out office space for businesses.
Mom’s Fish and Fry is located at 201 Wilmington St. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Eagle Taxi Service is located at 106 W. Central St. To get service, call 910-852-0419.
Emanuel Insurance Agency is located at 110 E. Central St. and open on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The McDonald’s will begin construction in December and the Family Dollar will be open for business in January.