Category Archives: Business Spotlight

iJump 280

Children from a YMCA day camp take turns on the inflatable tree house at iJump 280. Photos by Madison Miller.


Walking into iJump 280 makes even adults remember the excitement of childhood. With kids jumping around on every inflatable that they could possibly imagine, it’s a child’s paradise. Best of all, it’s weather resistant.

The space is equipped with seven large inflatables, a rock climbing wall, two arcades, a go-cart track, five private party rooms and a café.

The play center, located behind Logan’s Roadhouse and FedEx Office in Inverness off Highway 280, offers an alternative to the pool for families looking for kids’ activities to beat the heat. Continue reading


Off the beaten path: Highway 280

Joyce Balch demonstrates the best technique for picking blueberries at her u-pick farm. She recommends hooking the bucket on your arm and running your fingers along a cluster of berries as the ripest ones drop into the bucket. Photo by Kathryn Acree.


For many of us, summertime brings out the urge to hop in the car and see something new. Whether you are a longtime resident or have just moved to our area, here are a couple of venues we recommend a visit to this month. All of these spots are family-friendly and found a short drive from Double Oak Mountain.

Balch’s U-Pick Blueberries
Grab your sunscreen and load up the car with the whole clan because blueberry picking is easy and inviting to everyone from toddlers to grandparents. Bob and Joyce Balch have four acres of blueberries in Sterrett that are overflowing with the little blue gems this summer. All of the varieties available are known as “rabbiteyes” but vary in size and “juiciness,” with names like “climax” and “premiere.” Continue reading

Fancy Fur: Business Spotlight

Owners Christine Sato and Mary Woolbright with family dog Stripes.

Growing up, sisters Christine Sato and Mary Woolbright had dreams of their future.

“Christine had always had a dream to own her own business, and I have always had a dream to do something with animals,” said Woolbright, co-owner of Fancy Fur Pet Grooming and Boutique.

The Inverness residents decided to combine their passions and open Fancy Fur in 2008.

“I thought that Mary should have her own grooming place, and I’ve always loved animals so I thought it was a great idea,” said Sato. Continue reading

Business Spotlight: Rogers Trading Company

Rogers’ buyer Monica Sbrissa shows off the store’s women’s fashion for spring. Photo by Madoline Markham.

Rogers Trading Company has a storied past. It began as the Army/Navy store in the camouflaged building downtown, transformed into a hunting and fishing store and ten years ago moved out Highway 280 as an outdoors store. Today, located in their own building behind Logan’s Roadhouse, Roger’s is focused on not Army/Navy, not hard goods like tents, but lifestyle clothing featuring authentic outdoor brands—with strictly the people who live along Highway 280 in mind.

“We have learned who our customer is,” said owner Lee Rogoff, whose father started the business in 1945. “We want to emphasize that function plus fashion equals lifestyle.”

Continue reading

Business Spotlight: Attic Antiques


Attic Antique specializes in Americana antiques and has a wide selection of everything from quilts to dinnerware.

Walking through the door of Attic Antiques spurs on memories of a by-gone era. Every piece of furniture, quilt or small trinket holds the story of its previous owner.

For Attic Antique owners Barbara and Howard “Buzz” Manning, the store holds 47 years of memories of running a business together.

In their early-married years, the couple would refinish items together as a hobby.

“As a couple, you like to do things together, and [antiquing] is something that we both enjoy,” Barbara said.

Between Buzz’s affinity for refinishing goods and Barbara’s keen eye for a good find, their hobby turned into a business in 1977 when the family began to build their 3,000-square-foot store, located on Highway 119 next to Oak Mountain Elementary School.

“We just loved it so we incorporated it into our lives,” Manning said. Continue reading

Chic Boutique: Business Spotlight

Owner Eve Smith and Pam Phillips work at Chic Boutique. Photos by Brooke Boucek.


When Eve Smith saw the bright, bold patterns of Desigual clothing in Barcelona, she knew she had to share them with her friends back home. She did just that, and now you can find the funky line along with many others in her store, Chic Boutique in the Village at Lee Branch.

“I wanted customers to be able to come in our store and go home with an entire new outfit without having to make a trip to The Summit,” Smith said.

Chic Boutique’s clothes, jewelry galore, shoes with a purpose and other items appeal to teens through women in their 40s and 50s—all in a reasonable price range. For many, it’s a convenient stop after getting a manicure at Foxy Nails next door. Continue reading

Southeastern Jewelers: Business Spotlight


Mike Steed, Jessica Steed Landmon, Louis Steed and David Steed—all family members who work at Southeastern. Photo by Brooke Boucek.

You’ll find three generations of the Steed family at work at Southeastern Jewelers in Inverness. Louis Steed started the business in 1952 and still does jewelry repairs. His sons, Mike and David, work for the business today.

Mike’s daughter, Jessica Steed Landmon, thought she’d never work in the family business, but after graduating from UAB, she was drawn back to where her heart was—the jewelry business.

“Being a part of people’s lives in all different periods from engagement rings to anniversary and first baby pieces is the best part of working in the business,” Landmon said.
Continue reading