Eleven businesses that were open on July 18, 1966 still open today

The Minden Press-Herald is celebrating 50 years, and there are businesses that are still thriving since the very first day of publication on July 18, 1966.

In celebration, the Press-Herald is taking a look back at those that supported the community and our publication throughout the years. Today, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Minden, Minden Medical Center, MBL Bank, McInnis Insurance, Ad Signs, Anti-Pest and Veitch, A.J. Price, Loye’s Pharmacy, Cones Feed and Seed, Hamburger Happiness and Neta’s BBQ have been with the Minden community since our first publication.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Minden

The Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Minden, located at 412 Pine St., was opened in 1901 and is still in its original location. Still owned by the Hunter and Robertson families, the business distributes Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper products.

After obtaining their Coke franchise in 1905, the company ran as two separate ones, the one in Minden and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Homer. The Hunter and Robertson families merged the two companies in the 1960s.

Jess Robertson is the current chairman of the board with Matthew Hirsch serving as president and Pat Wilson serving as vice president of sales and operations.

Serving Bienville, Webster and Claiborne parishes, the company has a long history of helping these communities.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Minden Medical Center

Minden Medical Center, located at #1 Medical Plaza, is celebrating 90 years of existence, still utilizing its original structure built in 1926. MMC is now a 161-bed acute care hospital that serves more than 70,000 people in the southern portion of Webster Parish and the surrounding communities.

Accredited by The Joint Commission, the medical facility offers a wide range of services including orthopedics and sports medicine, OB/gynecology, cardiology, 24-hour emergency services, medical and surgical services, pediatrics, home health, pain management, behavioral health and a full range of rehabilitation services. MMC offers its patients both the sophisticated technology and the compassionate personal attention and caring that are part of being a community-based hospital.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

MBL Bank

Originally opened as Minden Building and Loan in 1910, it now operates under the name MBL Bank. It has moved to several locations, including Pearl Street, Broadway, Main Street where it still retains an existing branch, and their newest location at 100 MBL Bank Drive. The name of the company changed in 2007, and is owned by shareholders with nearly 100 percent of the ownership residing in Minden and south Webster Parish.

It offers home, business and personal loans, checking accounts, savings accounts, online banking, mobile and text banking. MBL Bank also offers ATMs, 24-hour account access by phone, merchant services and mobile check deposit, just to name a few.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

For the last 10 years, MBL Bank has been voted Minden Press-Herald Favorite Bank by readers and Favorite Customer Service in 2016. The bank is a proud supporter of the Minden Charity Classic, Minden St. Jude, Grilling on Main and all local law enforcement (body camera fund).

McInnis Insurance

For more than 90 years, the McInnis family has provided insurance to the Minden community through McInnis Insurance Agency, which has been in business since 1924.

John L. McInnis Sr. first began the business, and his son, Harry McInnis Sr. succeeded his father as president and manager of the agency in 1946. He was in turn joined in the agency in 1973 by his son, Philip, who succeeded his father as president in 1994, marking the third generation of family members to hold that office.

It now has offices in Minden, Homer and Haynesville. The agency provides automobile, homeowners, commercial property, general liability, worker’s compensation, bonds and life and health insurance. McInnis has also provided coverage for special events, including parades and festivals around the community.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Ad Sign

Ad Sign Service Inc., located at 202 Parkway Street, originally

opened its business in the backyard of C.E. and Barbara Valentine on Milton Drive. Opening in 1956 after C.E. Valentine returned from the Korean War, Ad Sign is now a full-service company that is operated by his wife and their two children.

Ad Sign sells, services and installs all types of signs, plus offers a full-service vinyl department with a full-color printer for signs, banners, magnets and lettering.

The company owns five cranes and an auger truck for installation, lifts and servcing.

C.E. Valentine was responsible for manufacturing the famous rotating sphere and most of the signs up and down the Bossier City Strip, giving it the nickname “Little Las Vegas” in the 1950s.

The owners and employees of Ad Sign love Minden and supports many local causes.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Anti-Pest and Veitch

S.D. Veitch opened Anti-Pest and Veitch in March 1954 after working for another pest control company in Shreveport.

The business was originally located on E. Union next to the current Church’s Chicken location. In July 1976, the business moved to its present location at 220 Murrell.

Following in the steps of his father and grandfather, Jason Vietch is now leading the company into a new era.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

 

A.J. Price

One of the oldest businesses on Main Street, A.J. Price opened as Western Auto about 80 years ago on the corner of Main Street off Monroe Street. Collins’ sons are also working with their father as the fourth generation of A.J. Price Inc., the business’ corporate name.

A.J. Price was a middle-aged man with a secure job. In 1936, he made a gamble to better his life. He gambled on Minden, the church family of Minden and his own ability. It turned out to be a great bet.
Western Auto stocks a little bit of everything, from bicycles and appliances to lawn mowers and tools, but it specializes in Cooper Tires. It now has three locations, 724 Main Street, 473 Highway 531 and 6438 Highway 3 in Benton.

One of its biggest changes in the last several years is their marketing mix, where they have incorporated a larger percentage of rims and tires.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Loye’s Pharmacy and Gifts

Loye’s Pharmacy and Gifts opened in May 1963 at 710 Homer Road, and moved to its new location in 1977.

Originally owned and operated by the late A. Loye Jones, the business is now owned and operated by his children, Greg, Mitzi and the late Jody Jones. Loye Jones passed away in 2011.

Not only can they fill just about your every pharmaceutical need, the business offers an array of services such as its bridal and baby registry and gift shop. The gift shop includes everything from kitchen tools to matching sports cups and pitchers as well as coffee mugs and dinnerware. They are now selling a few women’s clothing items and accessories as well as great gift ideas for all ages.

Loye’s also offers FedEx and UPS shipping, fax services and copies.
All of the siblings worked at the business off and on since they were teens. Pharmacist Greg Jones became full time in 1981. Mitzi came on full time in June 2001 and eventually expanded the business to include its bridal and baby registry.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Cones Farm and Garden Mart

Cones Farm and Garden Mart Inc., is located at 221 East Union Street and is still in its original location.

Opening in 1946, Norman Cone Sr. operated the business until he passed it on to his son, Norman J. “N.J.” Cone Jr. in 2011. Erna Cone is the current owner, who took the reins after Norman Cone Jr. passed away in 2011.

The company offers an array of vegetable plants, shrubs and seeds. It also offers customers everything they will need to start their gardening project from potting soils and mulches to bulk landscape mix.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Hamburger Happiness

Claiming the best hamburgers in town, Hamburger Happiness is located at 515 Sibley Road and is owned by Bill and Donna Hoffoss at the Minden location and by John, Gail and Adam Hoffoss at the Dixie Inn location.

Hamburger Happiness has been in business since 1963 and was opened by Buddy and Yvonne Hoffoss.

Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

In 1976, Bill and John Hoffoss opened the Dixie Inn location and operated there for 31 years. Yvonne Hoffoss ran the Minden location until 1981. The new Minden location opened in 2004 under Bill and Donna Hoffoss, and the new building in Dixie Inn was opened in 2009 by John, Gail and Adam Hoffoss.

Neta’s Bar B Que

Neta’s Bar B Que was founded in 1955 and it is still in its original location at 1433 Shreveport Road.

John Procell started the business and his son, Mike, took over in 1976. Steve Davis is now the owner, taking over after Mike Procell in 2011, but has been working there since 1986.

Neta’s specializes in custom smoked meats, barbecue and hamburgers and offers homemade root beer.

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