“Suga’s Diner” sits on Highway 70 and was opened by a Memphis native about 12 years ago. An influx of customers is expected when Ford’s new plant is built.
STANTON, Tennessee — In the cotton fields of Stanton, Tennessee, cranes, makeshift trailers and construction trucks are being built, paving the way for Ford’s BlueOval city.
Lesa Tard, known as “Suga” by other Stanton residents, said many in the town were “excited” about the future factory.
“This has a big impact on Stanton, which has a population of 450,” she said.
Suga owns “Suga’s Diner” on Highway 70. The Memphis native opened it about 12 years ago. Suga said the shop is mainly known for its burgers and chicken wings, but they also offer other foods.
“We do stews, catfish, all kinds of vegetables and things like that,” she said.
Currently, the restaurant has only about 4 other Stantonites employees besides Suga, but their business has grown considerably since the BlueOval broke ground just a stone’s throw from her front door.
“[By] 8 It’s a ghost town,” said Yoshihide Suga. “Now that BlueOval is here, it’s busy—a lot of traffic, a lot of people.
To keep up, restaurants have partially simplified their menus so that food can be served more quickly.
“They need to move around because their lunch break is short,” Suga said.
The owner plans to expand the business.
“We’re going to accommodate as many people as possible,” she said.
When it’s up and running, Suga said, she’ll have a food truck on the grounds at BlueOval City.
One benefit that business owners see as the factory’s arrival is an end to the town’s brain drain.
“Young people who go to college — they can now come back and get a job here, they don’t have to go to another state or move to a different place,” she said.
Yoshihide Suga plans to continue feeding those who already live here and those on the road.
“They’ve been waiting for a long time and they finally showed up,” she said.