The 901: Will other Memphis restaurants unionize after seeing local Starbucks do it?

·5 min read
Supporters clap along during a protest Wednesday, March 9, 2022, outside the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library in Memphis. Participants met at the library around noon and marched to a Starbucks, 3388 Poplar Avenue, in support of workers who were fired while in the midst of forming a union.
Supporters clap along during a protest Wednesday, March 9, 2022, outside the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library in Memphis. Participants met at the library around noon and marched to a Starbucks, 3388 Poplar Avenue, in support of workers who were fired while in the midst of forming a union.

Good morning, Memphis, a Bartlett company makes the NASDAQ listing, but its CEO, Brian Cox, says it's just getting started.

But, first, the Starbucks at Poplar Avenue and Highland Street became the first location for the major coffee company in Memphis to unionize in June, but some think the victory could inspire other local fast food and restaurant workers to seek unionization, our Omer Yusuf reports in his story for subscribers.

Beto Sanchez, one of the seven Starbucks workers fired amid unionization efforts at the Memphis Starbucks, said other companies are watching how the Starbucks nationwide unionization movement unfolds.

“A lot of companies are watching us and seeing (Starbucks CEO) Howard Schultz and how Starbucks is fighting with us and at the same time we have a lot of other workers that are watching us as well and seeing how we’re able to fight back, being used as an example,” said Sanchez.

Now that this Starbucks store unionized, read Omer’s story see if more restaurants in Memphis will follow.

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What TD Bank Group and First Horizon executives said in Memphis about $13.4 billion merger

Leo Salom, left, president and CEO of TD Bank, and Bryan Jordan, right, president and CEO of First Horizon, speak during a luncheon Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis. The pair made their first joint public appearance at the luncheon after an agreement was reached in February concerning a $13.4 billion proposed merger between the two companies.
Leo Salom, left, president and CEO of TD Bank, and Bryan Jordan, right, president and CEO of First Horizon, speak during a luncheon Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis. The pair made their first joint public appearance at the luncheon after an agreement was reached in February concerning a $13.4 billion proposed merger between the two companies.

Leo Salom, president and CEO of TD Bank, and Bryan Jordan, chairman, president and CEO of First Horizon, were guest speakers at the Positively Memphis luncheon held in the Holiday Inn University of Memphis where they spoke about the impending $13.4 billion merger between the two banking institutions, Omer reports.

Salom and Jordan spoke for about 30 minutes on the merger’s impact and where Memphis fits into that.

Omer gives us three takeaways from the event, including what the merger means for current employees and how TD Bank plans to invest in the city.

NASDAQ listing just the beginning for Bartlett-based SurgePays

CEO Brian Cox sits in his company’s office at SurgePays on Monday, July 25, 2022, in Bartlett.
CEO Brian Cox sits in his company’s office at SurgePays on Monday, July 25, 2022, in Bartlett.

Two weeks ago, Bartlett-based SurgePays was listed to the NASDAQ exchange (NASDAQ: SURG), but CEO Brian Cox said the listing wasn’t so much a goal but just the start, our Corinne Kennedy reports in her story for subscribers.

Cox said the fintech company was seeing rapid growth, had big plans and intended to execute them here in the Memphis area.

The company started locally about 20 years ago providing pre-paid telecom services. Now, after growth and a couple mergers, SurgePays is providing pre-paid financial services and telecommunications products to unbanked and underserved communities across the country.

Read Corinne’s story to learn more about the company and how it plans to grow.

Drumma Boy and musician father James Gholson help U of M music students with scholarship fund

Memphis hip-hop producer Drumma Boy and his father, longtime U of M music department professor James Gholson, continue to help students with their scholarship program.
Memphis hip-hop producer Drumma Boy and his father, longtime U of M music department professor James Gholson, continue to help students with their scholarship program.

University of Memphis music student Onyinye Igboanugo was announced as the recipient of the James and Christopher Gholson Scholarship Fund earlier this summer, our Bob Mehr reports in his story for subscribers.

The scholarship — which has been handed out annually since 2012 — is given to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in Commercial Music or Woodwinds. For the Gholsons it's part of a commitment to Memphis music that bridges the worlds of music education and commercial success, of classical music and hip-hop.

Christopher Gholson, better known as Drumma Boy, and his father James Gholson, a veteran professor at the U of M music school, started to the scholarship as a way of helping music students, particularly those of color, further their studies.

John King, Ardent Records co-founder, dies at 78

Former Ardent publicist and DJ John King stands inside the Memphis Listening Lab, a new public space in the Crosstown Building, that allows patrons, researchers and the public to access his massive library of recordings.
Former Ardent publicist and DJ John King stands inside the Memphis Listening Lab, a new public space in the Crosstown Building, that allows patrons, researchers and the public to access his massive library of recordings.

John King, a co-founder of Memphis’ Ardent Records, a veteran music promoter and radio historian, died Monday morning, Bob reports. King was 78.

King was perhaps best known for his efforts on behalf of '70s Memphis pop band Big Star — whose debut album, “#1 Record,” was released 50 years ago.

"If it wasn't for John, no one would've known Big Star," said band co-founder Jody Stephens. "He was such a creative and enthusiastic guy."

Read Bob’s story to learn more about King and his legacy he leaves.

Southaven’s Ian Jeffries returns to high school football after not playing for 10 years

Southaven’s Ian Jeffries on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis.
Southaven’s Ian Jeffries on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis.

Southaven’s Ian Jeffries took a 10-year hiatus from football but returned to the field as a junior in 2021, Chris Van Tuyl reports.

“He met me early in the weight room one morning, when I wasn’t even expecting him, saying he was ready to play football — 'That's my best ticket to go to college,'" Southaven coach Eddie Stevenson said. "And that’s the best answer he could have given me, because I’ve heard a lot in my 20 years.

"Just watching how he’s blossomed has made him so much better on the basketball court. And in his case, one of the selling points that I’ve given to all these colleges is he’s raw. He’s got so many great years ahead of him.”

Jeffries is named No. 11 in The Commercial Appeal’s 2022 Dandy Dozen, a collection of the top college football prospects for the Class of 2023 from the Memphis area.

Mississippi State’s Mike Leach on revenge for Memphis, NIL model

Mississippi State coach Mike Leach shown on the stage during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame.
Mississippi State coach Mike Leach shown on the stage during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach was in good spirits while visiting the Memphis Touchdown Club. He shooed away any revenge talk for when Memphis comes to the season opener on Sept. 3, our Evan Barnes reports.

For him, it's about his team playing well and showing improvement rather than payback.

“You’re pretty keyed up for an opening game no matter what or who you play,” Leach said. “After playing against yourself for over a month, you’re ready to play anybody. We’re looking forward to it.”

Leach also praised Memphis quarterback Seth Henigan for playing well last season as a true freshman. But he had more to say about name, image and likeness during a question-and-answer session with fans.

Read Evan’s story to hear everything Leach had to say.

The 901 is written by Ray Padilla, digital producer for The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at raymond.padilla@commercialappeal.com or on Twitter at @Ray_Padilla_. 

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: The 901: Memphis Starbucks unionizes; TD Bank Group, First Horizon merger