The Mojo’s brand is on the up-and-up! Owner Greg Bennett announced this week the wine and spirits store is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Additionally, Mojo’s Xpress Wash is set to add a second location later this year in Waynesboro.
According to Bennett, Mojo’s Wine & Spirits was built in mid-2011. He says he never really intended to build a liquor store here until he frequented a couple stores outside of Swainsboro. At that time, he was struck by his own vision of what Swainsboro could have. For weeks, he turned the idea over in his head, shaking it off every time because the town had two beverage stores already. When he came away empty-handed on a trip to find a certain brand of scotch here in town for a friend, Bennett knew he wanted to move forward with his store.
Sure enough, construction began on what started as a 4,000-square-foot facility. Mojo’s Wine & Spirits, still situated in its original location today, opened for business on July 11, 2011 and has been going strong ever since. In fact, Bennett has completed two additions to the space to bring it to a total of 8,000-square-feet. Mojo’s Wine & Spirits employs 14 full-time folks. Most impressive, perhaps, is the employee retention rate.
“We very seldom have a job opportunity at Mojo’s,” Bennett explained. “It’s a fun place to work. We try to make it a good place to work, too, so people usually stay a long time. Surprisingly, we just had three job openings at once.”
The spirits store, he continued, does four times as much business today as it did its first year. Its sole owner attributes the success to being dedicated to customers.
“Our motto is, ‘Yes, we have that!’ We try to make sure we keep up with new products as well as your tried-and-true stuff so that whatever people are looking for, no matter what it is, they come to Mojo’s and stay local. Also, a lot of people probably don’t know this but we buy ‘deals’ from our distributors in bulk so that we can keep our prices down. We actually have enough inventory in one particular brand right now to last us through about four years; we bought that much so that we can keep our prices as low as possible for our customers,” Bennett said. He continued about the decade anniversary, “It really hasn’t felt like 10 years! It’s been great. From the beginning, the community has supported us. We appreciate the business and the friendship, and we look forward to another 10 years to come!”
Yet there remains another development for the Mojo’s brand Bennett is excited about: adding a second car wash in Waynesboro, a town about 45 minutes away that is similar to Swainsboro in many ways.
The local Mojo’s Xpress Wash opened in 2018. Today, with Chace Scarboro at the helm as manager, the wash employs 15 to 18 area workers, including four or five high school students.
From a statistical standpoint, Bennett says the wash’s business continues to increase every year about 20 percent. In 2020, Mojo’s Xpress Wash put on a “haunted wash” around Halloween; its “best event yet” drew about 1,500 vehicles from all around the region in four days. The business is busiest, of course, around lovebug and pollen seasons, and this past May was Mojo’s Xpress Wash’s best month on record. On average, the staff shuffles some 6,000 vehicles through the drive-thru.
About a year ago, Bennett knew the local wash was at a good place, complete with the right staff, to move forward with an expansion, something he had long anticipated since opening Mojo’s Xpress Wash three Novembers ago. Consequently, he started the expansion process.
“It was definitely something I always wanted to do, but it was out of my comfort zone. I visit every single one of my businesses every day,” Bennett said. “If I opened another wash somewhere like I wanted to, I didn’t know if I’d be okay with not going by there every day. Expanding and adding another car wash was always in the back of my mind; I just had to get to a place where I knew the local wash would be all right on its own if I had to be away for a little more than usual to get the second one up and going.”
Once the decision was made, Bennett began looking at different cities, whittling those locations down based on a strict set of personal criteria. Ideally, the next destination would have a certain population, a Walmart, and a workforce that stayed in town during the day so as to secure the likelihood of patrons during business hours.
Among those in the running were Vidalia, Dublin, Metter, and eventual selectee Waynesboro. Since selecting the “Bird Dog Capitol of the World,” Bennett has locked in the land on which the second Mojo’s Xpress Wash will be built—in the Walmart shopping center next to Murphy’s. He says the City of Waynesboro has been helpful from the beginning, and the citizenry there seems excited for the wash, which will be the first of its kind to come to the area.
In the coming months, he’ll look to hire two managers, two assistant managers, and 12 regular employees to work at Waynesboro’s newest business.
While he is adding jobs to a workforce outside of Emanuel, he insists nothing will be taken away from the local area. On the contrary, he looked to a few locals to help in process of starting the new wash. Kevin Palmer, for instance, drew the plans for the new location. Derek Moore completed the drawings required of a civil engineer.
Before anything else can transpire in his latest business venture, Bennett must wait for a final approval from Walmart. In the meantime, he is in the process of bidding out the job for construction.
Sonny’s Car Wash, the same Florida-based company that installed the machinery used to clean area vehicles that frequent the Swainsboro location, will be on hand in Waynesboro to put together the second wash. Construction should hopefully begin in September and could take upwards of 10 months before the newest Mojo’s Xpress Wash is open for business. Nonetheless, stay tuned!