Monroe's, Brain Drain, Amada and Community Development | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Monroe's, Brain Drain, Amada and Community Development

The new Monroe's Donuts and Bakery has already enjoyed great business over its opening weekend and the start of its first full week.

The new Monroe's Donuts and Bakery has already enjoyed great business over its opening weekend and the start of its first full week. Photo by Trip Burns.

Monroe's Opens in Capital Towers

On Friday, Jan. 17, Monroe Jackson, owner of Monroe's Donuts and Bakery (6310 Medgar Evers Blvd.), officially opened a new location on the ground floor of downtown's Capital Towers (125 S. Congress St.). Downtown Jacksonians who were sad to see the departure of Scurlock's, the space's previous tenant, now have another frequent Best of Jackson contender for Best Donuts to enjoy.

Monroe Jackson's son, Monroe Jackson Jr., who usually goes by Monroe Jr., manages the new location, with the elder Jackson also making daily visits to bring fresh stocks of delicious pastries prepared at the main Monroe's location.

"My dad decided to open this new location last month when he heard the space was opening up," Monroe Jr. said. "People have been wanting us to come downtown for years. My dad spent 10 years doing a donut route around downtown, bringing fresh donuts to police stations, barbershops, car lots, colleges and all kinds of businesses."

The new Monroe's has already enjoyed great business over its opening weekend and the start of its first full week. Monroe Jr. is glad to be helping his father run the new addition to the family business.

"I've been helping my dad with the business since I was 5 years old, and I developed a passion for it," Monroe Jr. said. "I help make the donuts. I've helped run the shop. I do it all. I knew this was my profession."

The new Monroe's is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Mississippi Brain Drain Commission Presents Fast Forward

The Mississippi Brain Drain Commission, founded by Tim Mask, vice president of brand planning and development with Maris, West & Baker advertising, is a coalition of public, private and non-profit stakeholders with the goal of keeping Mississippi's homegrown intellectual capital in Mississippi. To that end, the organization focuses on making sure the best and brightest Mississippians stay in Mississippi.

"It is an aberration that Mississippi is a net exporter of college graduates who have a bachelors-or-better degree," Mask said in a release. "It is our goal to help young Mississippians realize they can have creative jobs within leading-edge innovative fields and in fact rise farther, faster by staying in our state."

In late 2013, the Commission partnered with Mississippi Public Broadcasting to begin a new interactive television series titled "Fast Forward" as part of Mississippi Innovation Month.

"Fast Forward" will highlight the career paths of young professionals in Mississippi and profile Mississippi's creative places and entertainment venues. Political cartoonist Marshall Ramsey hosts the series.

"The Fast Forward series offers great potential from an economic development and entrepreneurial standpoint," Ronnie Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting, said in a release. "It will inform Mississippians about the innovative career opportunities in our state. It will also be a tangible tool in marketing our human capital resources to companies looking to expand and move to Mississippi."

Young professional organizations across Mississippi will collaborate on content for the series, focusing on the entrepreneurial, creative and social aspects of the Mississippi economy.

Amada Senior Care Comes to Jackson

Orange County, Calif.-based Amada Senior Care, a company that provides non-medical in-home care and assists families in choosing available senior housing options for assisted living, recently announced the addition of a new Jackson-based franchise partner to the company.

John Merrell is in charge of bringing the Amada brand to the eastern United States. His branch had its grand opening Monday, Jan. 15.

Merrell is a former supply and distribution representative for Cardinal Health. He transitioned into senior care because of his experiences caring for his own aging family members. Merrell said in a release that he and his family were fortunate to have health-care professionals guide them and help them make the right decisions during that time.

"I've cared for a loved one through difficult times, and I know firsthand how hard it can be," Merrell said in the release. "There's a lot of pressure and a lot of questions you have. They truly helped guide us through a tough time, and it's something I'll never forget. That's what we want to provide for people in our own community through Amada."

Merrell and his wife, Nan, live in Jackson with their two children, Bentley and Miles.

Amada currently has more than a dozen franchise partners throughout the nation and expects to add more than 30 in 2014. For information on Amada Senior Care, call 949-54-AMADA or visit

West Jackson Community Development Expo

The West Jackson Community Development Expo is Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the gym of the Amazing Institutional Church (2603 W. Capitol St.). The event will present individuals and organizations with the chance to help come up with ideas for how to revitalize and better west Jackson.

The expo will feature exhibits on housing, gardens, drainage and schools, and have exhibitors on hand to talk with visitors about good ideas for what people want and need for west Jackson.

The Zoo Area Progressive Partnership is sponsoring the event. For information call 601-352-3398 or email [email protected]

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