Mobile-headquartered Shoe Station recently announced the rollout of a three-year hiring initiative targeting current and former members of the armed forces, with the expressed goal of ensuring about 20 percent of its collective workforce will comprise veterans by 2020.

“Members of the military make a sacrifice that the rest of us can only imagine. They often spend months or years away from their families engaged in a service whose main reward is a stronger nation,” Shoe Station president Brent Barkin said.

“They return home ready to work but often are overlooked by employers. To combat this growing trend, the chain plans to aggressively recruit and promote those who have served or continue to serve the country.”

According to a news release, the goal is twofold. First, through contact with local organizations and nonprofits, all openings will be actively broadcast through various channels within local area military communities Shoe Station serves.

Second, the application process will take into account time-in-service as job experience. According to Barkin, much of the chain’s job training revolves around keeping a schedule, paying attention to directions, listening to authority and using problem-solving techniques in unfamiliar or unique situations.

Randy Lambert, Shoe Station’s vice president of stores, is a Gulf War veteran and will spearhead the program’s implementation.

“Military training effectively gives those applicants a boost in the strength of their resumes, one that is typically overlooked in the hiring process because other employers do not count that as work experience,” Barkin said.

More information can be found by visiting the company’s website, various social media channels or inquiring directly via email at

Commercial real estate moves
Bright Beginnings Academy, reportedly one of only a few local nonprofits exclusively geared toward treating dyslexic children, is moving into a 10,000-square-foot newly renovated facility located at 3590 Pleasant Valley Road, a few miles from Interstate 65. The facility will serve Mobile and surrounding communities.  

“This building was purchased on faith and a prayer,” founder and director Gina Englund said. Now in its fourth year, the school was formerly housed at Creekwood Church of Christ, located at 1901 Schillinger Road S. in West Mobile. Current enrollment is 27 students in grades 1-7 with plans to add more grade levels each year moving forward. The organization offers a full-day curriculum including archery, music, art and physical education employing teachers and dyslexia therapists.

An educational event will be held March 30, 6 p.m., at the new location, covering the nature of dyslexia. For more information, visit or call 251-535-9105. 

As reported by Lagniappe’s cuisine editor last week, Adana, Turkey-based restaurant franchise Bun-D recently opened a 1,500-square-foot space in downtown Mobile at 1 S. Royal St. Additional reports indicate this is the first restaurant in the chain established in the United States, according to co-owners Omar Serbetci and Fatih Namli.

Plans are also in place to open a second location in the next few months at the McGowin Park shopping center that will add 10 employees locally. Jay Roberds with NAI-Mobile handled the transaction.

Established in 2011, Bun-D has nine locations worldwide in four countries with a current footprint in Turkey, Germany, the United Kingdom and now the U.S. Plans are in place for aggressive expansion, according to Serbetci, with an expressed goal of opening 41 more sites in the next five years in Poland, Belgium and Italy.

The business model relies heavily on a well-developed relationship with NATO-member military facilities, with 50 percent of extant and future growth attributable to onsite construction on bases serving army personnel.

According to Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty, a local speculator paid $120,000 to acquire a 60-unit self-storage property on Wintzell Avenue in Bayou La Batre. Wright managed both sides of the transaction.

Marl Cummings with Cummings & Associates recently reported on three commercial real estate transactions he handled:

Some 1,750-square-feet of space at 3202 Dauphin St. in Dauphin Square was leased by Experimac, a retailer and repair shop for pre-owned and new computers, phones and tablets.

Fountain of Youth, a business for aesthetics, weight loss and wellness, leased 2,400 square feet of floor space at 6729 Spanish Fort Blvd. at Blakeley Square in Spanish Fort.

Some 4,840 square feet of space was leased to Outbreak Daycare and Ministries, located at 1365 Dauphin St. in Mobile.

An 11,500-square-foot new commercial property space, located in a shopping center at 18520 Media Drive in Robertsdale, was acquired by a local investor for some $1.8 million. Jerry Friedman with Bellator Commercial Realty worked for the seller.
Yarbrough joins staff at Providence Medical Group
Lindsay A. Yarbrough has joined the staff of Providence Medical Group — Dawes, a full-service primary care office that provides comprehensive family care to children and adults. The office is located at 8833 Cottage Hill Road in Mobile.

Yarbrough has been in private practice in Mobile since 2014, providing pediatric, adult and geriatric care in a family practice setting.

She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Bethany College in West Virginia, graduating summa cum laude; a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Pittsburgh; and a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s campus in Suwanee, Georgia.

Yarbrough completed her family medicine residency training with the Presence Health Family Medicine Program in Chicago, where she was named chief resident. Currently she is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians.