AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Bobby Greenawalt, Managing Partner of Cigar and Fine Spirits off Ogletree Road in Auburn, has been in business since 2011.
With five expansions to the storefront within the first two years, there was a continuous need for more space and now in the past two weeks the management team has opened a wine and tapas bar next door, The Cellar.
"We feel like we cornered the guy market, the guy clientele for the Auburn, Opelika area and we wanted to create a more female friendly environment and we wanted to invite food into it as well," explains Greenawalt.
Greenawalt, Birmingham native and Auburn alum, knew this was the city to begin his career and he is not surprised Auburn has been named one of Forbes Magazine's Best Small Places for Business and Careers.
"In the past Auburn has been voted in the top 20 or 30 and even the top ten places to live in the country, so it only suits that business would follow as well," says Greenawalt.
Auburn ranked tenth on the list out of 184 cities nationwide.
According to Forbes, with a population of over 151,000 and a cost of living 5.3 percent below the national average, the magazine credits Auburn University as a vital part of the city's economy.
"Economic development is their focus and it's gratifying to see all that work done over time and that strategy of the years is paying off," explains David Dorton of the City of Auburn.
Even though The Cellar has been open for only two weeks, with its variety of food and drinks and option of live music every Wednesday through Saturday, Greenawalt is already thinking of taking his Auburn creation to the next level.
"We'd love to do some franchising within the next two years. We'd like to be in other college town and see where it goes from there," says Greenawalt.
Forbes Magazine has also ranked Auburn number 56 is cost of doing business, number 14 in job growth and number 23 in education.