New staff at Thompson’s Store, Ward’s Grill

Published 12:29 pm Monday, November 1, 2010

Thompson’s Store and Ward’s Grill on Main St. in Saluda have announced two new staff members.

Jeff Southworth, former meat market manager with Ingles in Flat Rock, N.C., will be joining effective Nov. 1 to assist in the reopening of the store (opening date still to be announced). Southworth has a lifetime of experience in the food industry and is very familiar with all aspects of the grocery business.

Melissa Wood, owner for 14 years of Papa’s Dog House in Flat Rock, N.C., has joined the staff of Ward’s Grill. Wood, daughter of Dolly Pace Corbin and Larry Heatherly, is a native and lifelong resident of Saluda. She resides in her home town with her husband Jim and children, Karli and Hunter. She has deep roots in the community, being the great granddaughter of champion father of 29 children Ransom Taylor Pace. Saluda, originally named “Pace’s Gap,” was settled by Wood’s ancestors, who traveled from England to Jamestown, Va., on to western North Carolina. She is also the granddaughter of Ernest Heatherly, who worked for the town of Saluda for 50 years. Wood brings with her experience in southern restaurant cooking and has been a grill cook for many years.

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Clark Thompson and Judy Ward recently reacquired the historic building that houses Thompson’s Store and Ward’s Grill, putting it back in the hands of the same family that started it so many years ago.

Wards Grill recently opened, and Thompson and Ward are in the process of renovating Thompson’s Store.

Thompson and Ward have started a Let The Good Times Roll Friday evening concert series that features live musical entertainment combined with authentic Creole or Cajun food.

On Nov. 5, Peggy Ratusz will offer swampy blues, and Walt Whitney will perform rhythm, blues and soul on Nov. 12.

Reservations are encouraged; call Judy Ward at 828-749-2321.