Bowen and Ballew building up Thorsby

Published 11:24 am Friday, August 18, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Last year, Todd Bowen and Shawn Ballew decided they wanted to take on a new feat and saw an opportunity in Thorsby. Old, dilapidated buildings on Montgomery Avenue needed to be spruced up and updated to bring in new businesses to the city. The duo took on the task and is keeping the historic look and feel to the buildings as they go.

“So far, it is going good, just a slow go,” Bowen said. “It has been tough getting materials in so it is going a bit slower than expected.”

This is the first time Bowen and Ballew have worked on a project together, and they shared the same vision as Thorsby Mayor Robert Hight and the Thorsby City Council of keeping the historical and retro look. Both builders worked on other buildings in Chilton County, but this is the first either have worked on a building that is over 100 years old.

Bowen said the materials the buildings are made out of in Thorsby are completely different from buildings built in the mid to late 1900s.

“Flooring has been really different, nothing is really that square or level and everything has shifted over time,” Bowen said.

“You are really just working with what you got,” Ballew said.

Businesses have already snatched up the real estate as Touch of Grace Pageant and Prom has made plans to move into the left building with the gray and white paint. The business will offer dress options and other pageant and prom needs for girls across Chilton County. Bowen said he expects the building to be completed and the business preparing to open within the next few months.

“They have a pretty good plan, and it is looking good for them,” Bowen said. “They got a lot of stuff and they are just waiting to get moved in, and they will be moving in pretty soon.”

The right building with the red and white paint, Bowen and Ballew are bringing in a local food market that will sell local meat and produce. There will also be a patio area beside the market that will house events and have tables and chairs for seating. Bowen said signage space for advertisements is available around the patio.

“We are just going to do events out here on the patio, and try to make some good community events,” Bowen said.

Bowen and Ballew both are passionate about contributing to the growth of Thorsby and hope to bring people out from across the county once they are complete.

“We are looking forward to getting it open and having a place in Thorsby that the whole county can come to get fresh meat and produce,” Ballew said.