Johnny B’s Grill Comes to Texarkana

February 3rd, 2017 by Megan Whitehead

Wendell and Sheila Crossland, owners of Johnny B's Grill in TexarkanaSheila and Wendell Crossland, owners of Johnny B’s Grill in El Dorado,  opened a second location in Texarkana in 2016.

The couple purchased the El Dorado landmark in 2012 and revitalized the restaurant with excellent food and friendly service. They had many requests for additional locations, but one in particular caught Sheila’s attention.

A citizen in Texarkana, Ark., thought the city’s historic downtown area would be a perfect fit. When she investigated, Sheila was attracted to the charm and potential of the old Glass Pharmacy building.

Sheila was referred to the Southern Arkansas University ASBTDC in April of 2015 by her local lender. Center Director Megan Whitehead was able to assist her with putting together a business plan and loan proposal.

Crossland secured financing through Farmers Bank & Trust and Main Street Texarkana, and also qualified for $25,000 in grant funds through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Economic Development Plus grant program.

Whitehead worked with the Crosslands on analyzing their potential expenses, preparing a business plan, and referred them to a SCORE counselor with expertise in the restaurant industry for assistance in designing the new kitchen.

The couple participated in two Real Word Classroom high-impact learning experience projects in the David F. Rankin College of Business at Southern Arkansas University.  The marketing research students prepared a market study on the area and determined that there was a demand for this style of restaurant, and the advertising and promotion students presented a marketing campaign for the new location.

“Wendell and I were very excited to work with Megan Whitehead and the marketing research students in the David F. Rankin College of Business at SAU. Their research and ideas were very useful as we worked on building the new location. Megan’s knowledge and willingness to help gave us a tremendous advantage with researching, developing, and implementing a strong strategic business proposal which was essential in financing, obtaining grants, and startup,” said Sheila.

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