Shame on the citizens of Elmore County

Published 1:53pm Monday, May 5, 2014

Dear Editor:


I am truly ashamed of the citizens of Elmore County for allowing one of our hometown businesses to close. RJ’s Chicken Fingers closed on April 12. RJ’s had great chicken fingers, both fried and grilled, and the best chicken camp stew I have ever eaten.

But aside from the delicious food, its owner Richard Jones, a local citizen, was a strong supporter of Wetumpka and Wetumpka events. The restaurant was decorated with photos of Wetumpka activities and landmarks.

It sponsored a number of local sports teams and participated in functions such as the Taste of Elmore County. The primary employees were local students. You can’t get much more “hometown” than that.

Although Richard Jones is too much of a gentleman and a Christian to point any fingers (pun intended), the opening of a chain chicken place practically in the front yard of RJ’s was bound to hurt any passing-through, out-of-town business.

It is a real shame, however, that local people chose to support the chain chicken place rather than RJ’s after all that RJ’s gave back to its community. It is even more of a shame that the chain restaurant was allowed to locate where it did. Was that location on Highway 231 the only possibility for the chain to locate? I seriously doubt it.

Thanks for listening.


Mary Horton


  • Stan

    Yes, its our fault that Zaxby’s opened and RJ’s couldn’t afford to produce anything more than chicken fingers and wings. Why doesn’t he just move his business to downtown Wetumpka where there is a vacant building just waiting for a business?Is he open to selling more than just cheap overrated chicken fingers? How about actually making a scenic store to bring a good vibe to downtown? Find out the municipal interest, move to downtown, run by your regular store hours, and maybe you’ll see some progress.

  • Chris Biegler

    Was the response (May 6) supposed to make any sort of coherent sense? Among the many anomalies, what exactly is a “scenic store” and what does “run by your regular store hours” imply?
    Mrs. Horton is dead-on with her analysis. R.J.’s tried everything in the book to remain a viable business. Far too many citizens fail to see the big picture of creating a community that thrives from within and put very little thought into their actions. A greater disservice was perpetuated by both the city government and by Zaxby’s who were quite well aware of the implications of establishing a chain restaurant basically in the lap of their competition. Free enterprise allows this, but that does not necessarily make it a level playing field for all involved.
    For those whose mindset is centered on the perpetuity of living their lives through fast food chain restaurants, life will go on as usual, but there is a greater good to be realized by supporting those who attempt to live and grow for the betterment of the community.

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