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April 11 - Sunshine Fitness Acquires 13 Additional Planet Fitness Clubs Across the Southeast US

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

April 11, 2019 - Sunshine Fitness Growth Holdings, LLC, a leading owner and operator of Planet Fitness clubs in the Southeast United States backed by TSG Consumer Partners, recently announced its acquisition of 13 additional Planet Fitness clubs in South Carolina and Georgia from Anchor Fitness LLC. With this acquisition, Sunshine Fitness now operates 80 clubs across Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia.

“We are thrilled to welcome these exceptional new club members and employees into the Sunshine Fitness family,” said Shane McGuiness, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Sunshine Fitness. “As we continue to grow, we are excited to provide an affordable and non-intimidating fitness experience to even more members, and even greater growth opportunities for our employees.”

The addition of these 13 new clubs represents Sunshine Fitness’ third acquisition in the last 12 months. During this time, Sunshine Fitness has been one of the fastest growing Planet Fitness franchisees in the U.S. through the development of its strong club base in the Southeast and is well positioned to accelerate future new club growth.

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April 10 - Amazon Expands Grocery Delivery from Whole Foods Market in Savannah

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

April 10, 2019 - This week Amazon and Whole Foods Market launched delivery of natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now in Asheville, Charlottesville, Columbia, Lexington, Little Rock, Manchester, Mobile, Naples and Savannah. Prime members in those cities can shop through Prime Now for thousands of bestselling items including fresh produce, high-quality meat and seafood, everyday staples and other locally sourced items from Whole Foods Market and enjoy delivery in as little as an hour. The service is now available in 75 U.S. metros and will continue to expand throughout 2019. 

Today also marks another expansion of grocery pickup from Whole Foods Market to Columbus, Ohio. Grocery pickup from Whole Foods Market is available in 30 U.S. metros, with plans for continued expansion this year. To enjoy grocery pickup, Prime members place their order via the Prime Now app and choose the pickup option at checkout. Customers can choose free pickup in as little as an hour on orders of $35, or in 30 minutes for $4.99. After arriving at the Whole Foods Market store, customers park in a designated pickup spot and a Prime Now shopper will place groceries into their car within minutes. For customers who tell us they are on their way to the store in the Prime Now app, groceries will be ready as they arrive. 

“Prime Now delivery and pickup continues to be a hit with our customers and we’re excited to introduce the service to even more Prime members across the country,” said Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market Executive Vice President of Operations. “It’s just another way we’re making it even easier for more customers to enjoy Whole Foods Market’s healthy and organic food.” 

Prime members can shop thousands of items across fresh and organic produce, bakery, dairy, meat and seafood, floral and everyday staples from Whole Foods Market available for delivery. Select alcohol is also available for delivery to customers in Asheville and Naples.

Pickup and delivery from Whole Foods Market is available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. To learn more about grocery delivery from Prime Now, visit Customers can also find out if delivery is available in their area by saying, “Alexa, shop Whole Foods.”

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April 2 - Rise Biscuits Donuts Rebrands as Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

April 2, 2019 - Rise Biscuits Donuts recently announced its rebrand as Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken. The new name and logo reflect the evolution of Rise from a single biscuit and donut shop in Durham, NC to a franchised concept focused on delivering the best biscuits and its own “Righteous Chicken” for breakfast and lunch every day. Rise now has fifteen locations throughout the Southeast and will be opening in Columbia, MD and Asheville, NC in the coming months.

“We’ve learned a lot as we have grown, including how different markets react to our food, what it takes to run a profitable Rise location and where our future lies,” said Rise CEO Tom Ferguson. “We’re committed to being the best at what we do and focusing on what we do best. That’s biscuits. They are and always have been the soul of Rise.”

The updated concept focuses on Rise’s Southern Biscuits, Righteous Chicken, sweet treats and coffee. Rise makes their flaky, buttermilk biscuits every 30 minutes from NC-milled flour and 100% butter (no shortening or shortcuts) and fills them with savory ingredients ranging from crispy bacon and country sausage to fried green tomatoes and Righteous Chicken, which is tenderized, brined in buttermilk, fried to golden-brown perfection and then served on a biscuit or as strips with your choice of toppings and sauces. No Rise meal would be complete without including their famous jumbo Cheddar Tots, a sweet treat or coffee from NC’s renowned Counter Culture Coffee.

The rebranding began in the fall with interior renovations to their Carrboro and Durham, NC stores and has continued with updates to the menu that focus on innovative savory and sweet biscuit recipes. Last month Rise introduced cheddar and sweet potato specialty biscuits, available as an alternative to their classic buttermilk, as well as biscuits and gravy topped with everything from crispy pork belly to veggie sausage and mushrooms. While donuts will play a reduced role, the sweet stuff menu includes a glazed blueberry biscuit, a flaky strawberry biscuit and cinnamon pecan biscuit rolls, with several more creative and fun biscuit-centric dessert items on the horizon.

“We’re focused on serving the best dang biscuits and beyond, both at our restaurants and through our new online ordering options,” said Ferguson. “The changes to our concept and menu put our customers, employees and culture first.”

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April 3 - Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah Presents Over $7,500 to the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

April 3, 2019 - Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah presented $7,896.48 to the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire to support their mission to provide a restful, comfortable place for children and their families to find refuge and support as they receive medical treatment at nearby hospitals.

The funds were raised during the organization’s inaugural Royal Flush Casino Night attended by more than 200 people on Feb. 28 at the Savannah Station.

“The stress of having a child in the hospital combined with the expense of daily living while trying to be close and emotionally strong for their child can be overwhelming," said Roto-Rooter owner Sherry Daniel. "I’m so thankful and proud of our community who came out to support this event, ‘the house really did win’.”

Bill Sorochak, executive director of Ronald McDonald House, praised the contribution.

“This is not only a wonderful gift from Roto-Rooter, but it is a tremendous contribution to the community,” Sorochak said. “Every donation helps ensure we can stretch the dollars that support our 13-bedroom house in Savannah to better serve the families who depend on us.” “We are grateful to know that this annual event will continue to support the children, families and mission of the Ronald McDonald House of Savannah for years to come.”

The goal of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire is to create, find and support programs that directly enhance the health and well-being of children and families. The house operates on a waiting list most of the year. For more information, visit

For more information, visit

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April 1 - Wright Security Systems Celebrates 30th Anniversary in Business

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

April 1, 2019 - Savannah-based home and office security provider, Wright Security Systems, Inc. recently celebrated 30 years in business. Wright Security Systems, an authorized dealer, specializes in the design, installation, service and monitoring of security and fire alarm systems. The company also offers video recording and in-home automation for both residential and commercial markets.

Noel B. Wright III, President and CEO of Wright Security Systems, has been in the residential and commercial security dealers industry for over 35 years. Starting his career as an alarm technician of a small company in Savannah, Wright took a leap of faith and started his own business when his first child was born.

“This company started as my way of helping family and friends get access to tools that would keep their loved ones safe and secure,” Wright said, “It has evolved to give our neighbors and other Savannah residents access to the latest technology in business, home and personal security.”

In 2017, 8,554 burglary crimes were reported in Savannah, which is almost a sixth of the total crime reported for the state. or more information on reported crimes in Georgia, visit

An article published by Security Journal found that individual security devices confer up to three times greater protection against burglary with entry than no security. The study also found that combinations of security devices, in general, afford up to roughly 50 times more protection than no security.

Wright said, “People usually wait to call us until after they get broken into. By then, their belongings are gone, and the family tends to feel violated by the attack. I urge everyone to be aware of the criminal activity in our area and take preventative measures to ensure the safety of their family.”

The company now monitors over 1000 residents and businesses in Savannah and the surrounding area.

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