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Weekend edition March 25, 2022 | Kailyn Lamb

Two businesses announce expansions in Sevier County and more Knoxville area business news

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region. If you have some business news that you would like to be included in Teknovation Weekend, please email us at

Parker Trutec MMI, Inc. to invest in $12 million expansion in Sevier County

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe joined officials from Parker Trutec MMI, Inc., in announcing the metal coating and heat treatment company would be adding a new location in Kodak. Parker Trutec will invest $12 million in the new location, which will create 48 new jobs over the next five years.

The new facility will help the company meet growing customer demand. It will be 54,000 square feet in the I-40 Industrial Park in Kodak. Parker Trutec is headquartered in Sevier and was founded in 1988.

“As a local citizen working a lifetime in manufacturing, I’m truly grateful to have the opportunity to expand our operations in Sevier County,” said Phil Whaley, President of Parker Trutec. “Our new facility, situated in the I-40 Industrial Park, will provide Parker Trutec with a strategic location to serve our customers throughout the southeastern U.S.”

KaTom Restaurant Supply, Inc. also set to expand in Sevier County

In more news out of Kodak in Sevier County, Lee and Rolfe made yet another announcement of a business expansion, this time from KaTom Restaurant Supply. The business, which works in wholesale food service and restaurant equipment, will expand its fulfillment center, investing $7.5 million to expand distribution operations. It will also create 120 new jobs in Sevier County over the next five years.

KaTom is adding 100,000 square feet to its existing warehouse in Kodak. The business was founded in 1987 and is one of the largest restaurant equipment suppliers in the country.

“We are the all-American dream. This is a win for Tennessee, a win for Sevier County and a win for team KaTom,” said Patricia Bible, Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer at KaTom. “This will allow us to expand our facilities, hire more amazing Tennesseans and serve many clients all across America from right here in beautiful Kodak, Tennessee. We are grateful and enamored by the support from Governor Lee and all others involved to make this dream grow bigger and better.”

The company is ranked #10 nationally on the Women President’s Organization list of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies and has also been ranked for the last 13 years on the “Inc. Magazine 5000” listing of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. We spotlighted Bible in a three-part series (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) in July 2020.

The Arc Knox County to host fundraising event and block party downtown

The Arc Knox County will host “Over the Edge Knoxville” on June 4 at the Trotter Building. Participants who raise a minimum of $1,000 will have the opportunity to rappel down the 16-story building.

The nonprofit is also hosting a block party that day. Registration for the event is $35. The Arc Knox County is committed to providing programs for people with intellectual disabilities. Learn more about the event here.

New Businesses and Developments

Several businesses and galleries are set to open in Emory Place in the coming weeks, according to an article from Inside of Knoxville. Pivot Point Gallery has a grand opening scheduled for April 1, located at 15 Emory Place. Nearby Lilienthal Gallery (23 Emory Place) is also close to opening. Both 11 and 13 Emory Place are under contract, with 11 focusing on cameras and a photography studio. A space between the buildings at 13 and 15 will be developed for outdoor seating. At 9 Emory Place, a vintage clothing store is set to open.

The former NV Nightclub and Bowery buildings have sold to Manki 3 Investments. The development company plans to use the first floor for commercial space with opportunities for 1-3 tenants. The second story of each building will be used for residential space. There will also be an outdoor patio and courtyard. Construction could begin as early as May. Read more in this Inside of Knoxville article.

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