Jonesboro increases student appeal with new businesses
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 23:08
The city of Jonesboro is growing with new businesses and hot spots for college students. Some of the new businesses include Starbucks, Jimmy John’s and The Urban Owl. Several of these companies are reaching out to make ASU part of their success.
“We’re supportive of the Red Wolves,” Laura Crabtree, manager of Starbucks, said.
Crabtree said the coffee shop has ASU posters to root for the college and welcomes students to come in and just hang out.
“We have a couple people do their homework regularly,” she said.
Starbucks opened this summer and Crabtree said there had been talk about adding a second location.
Jay Park, a manager at Jimmy John’s, said their business has seen great support from ASU.
“I will definitely say that our target audience was ASU coming in to this,” he said.
Park said Jimmy John’s is rather unique with their 13 subs under $5, delivery service that extends to campus and apps to use if a student is ever in class and hungry. The sub shop also sells day-old bread for 50 cents.
“We have a good product and affordable pricing,” Park said.
Jimmy John’s opened July 16 and is already looking at a second location on Southwest Drive and a third location near the new NEA Baptist hospital. Park explained that Jimmy John’s is very successful as a company.
To market more towards ASU and the Jonesboro area, Jimmy John’s started a sampling program Tuesday. They cut the sandwiches into thirds and then go hand out the samples. This program will eventually reach out to the ASU campus and include party cups and menus.
Josilen Fearson, a senior accounting major of Little Rock and delivery driver for Jimmy John’s, has been with the company since it opened in the summer. She said the business has started picking up now that school is in session.
Fearson also said it is a great opportunity for college students needing a job.
“It’s really close to campus, and they’re really flexible,” she said. She added that the managers are young, and create a fun work environment.
Melissa Burnett and Paula Raffo, co-owners of the The Urban Owl, are putting their focus on what other stores don’t have.
The Urban Owl, formerly The Sassy Zebra, opened in June and is now a mixture of consignment and new products. The shop also stocks Greek apparel, monogrammed items, home décor and consigned furniture.
The consignment process is a 50/50 split, and items are priced between 25-50 percent of their regular price. Raffo and Burnett place the items on the floor for 90 days.
“If you need to clean out your closet it’s a great way to get some extra money,” Raffo said.
The Urban Owl will be participating in Paint the Town Red and will have ASU geared items on display.
“Since we are in Jonesboro we really feel the need to support our university,” Raffo added.
The boutique has extended hours once a month from 6-8 p.m. for people who can’t come during regular store hours, with a 10 percent off storewide sale. Beginning Sep. 6 the co-owners will be accepting homecoming dresses for consignment. Sellers can price their own dresses and will get 70 percent of the profit.
More information on The Urban Owl can be found at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheUrbanOwl