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Side of the road shops cash in on travelers

When you think of where all the money goes in tourism, hotels and big name restaurants may come to mind. But there are other businesses cashing in on travelers.
Rebecca Melvin, who works at Nan's Country Store, discusses some of the items the store is best known to travelers for, including Amish products, ice cream, fudge and homeade candies.
Rebecca Melvin, who works at Nan's Country Store, discusses some of the items the store is best known to travelers for, including Amish products, ice cream, fudge and homeade candies.
JR’s Fireworks Co-Owner Melinda Poppell looks forward to the business extra traffic brings during the Fourth of July, Christmas and New Years.
JR’s Fireworks Co-Owner Melinda Poppell looks forward to the business extra traffic brings during the Fourth of July, Christmas and New Years.
"We wouldn't be able to survive without the customers driving up and down 231," said Nan’s Country Store worker Rebecca Melvin.

Road traveler spending is how they make a living, a way to meet and greet the passersby and fill up their cash registers.

"They help us keep our doors open, because if we didn't have the customers then we wouldn't have the store open,” Melvin said.

A gas station off of Highway 231 near the Alabama and Florida state line is the ideal spot for Jackson County farmer Rex Corbin.  When people fill up their gas tanks, he says they often stock up on his fresh produce.

"It's a big part of my business. It's probably 75% of the trade is the tourists coming through,” Corbin said.

A former truck driver, he's been selling fruits and vegetables for the last three years.

"It helps everybody to make a little extra money.  And, it also gives something to the tourists coming through that they can't get when they go back home,” said Corbin.

The owners of JR’s Fireworks have watched traffic flow in and out of their store for almost 30 years.  Open around the clock, they're fired up when people pop in at any hour.

"It really helps us 'cause we're open 365 days a year.  So it is our business, it's not just a hobby for us.  So we have people come in all different times a year, which really make a big difference," said JR’s Fireworks Co-Owner Melinda Poppell.

And with the Fourth of July around the corner, these store owners are ready for some detours, the kind bringing travelers from the highway to their businesses.

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