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Stanton, Tennessee, residents excited for Ford's BlueOval City

"Suga's Diner" sits on Highway 70 and was opened by a Memphis native about 12 years ago. An influx of customers is expected after Ford's new plant is built.

STANTON, Tennessee — Sprouting up amid the cotton fields of sleepy Stanton, Tennessee are building cranes, temporary trailers and construction trucks paving the way for Ford's BlueOval City. 

Lesa Tard, better known as "Suga" by other residents of Stanton, said that a lot of the people in the town are "excited" about the future plant. 

"It just made a big impact on Stanton with a population of 450," she said. 

Suga owns "Suga's Diner" on Highway 70. The Memphis native opened it about 12 years ago. Suga said the establishment is mostly known for it's burgers and wings, but they do serve other food.

"We do pot roast; catfish, a variety of vegetables and things like that," she said.

Currently the diner only employees about 4 other Stantonites besides Suga, but they've already seen a big boost in business since BlueOval broke ground just a stone's throw away from her front door. 

"[By] 8 it's a ghost town," Suga said. "Now that BlueOval has come, it's been busy—a lot of traffic, a lot of people." 

To keep up, the diner has partially simplified the menu in order to serve food faster.

"They need to get and go because their lunch breaks are short," Suga said. 

The owner plans to expand the business.

"We're going to accommodate as many people as we can," she said.

Suga said she'll have a food truck on the grounds of BlueOval City when it's up and running. 

The business owner sees one benefit of the plant's arrival as an end to the town's brain drain.

"The younger people who go off to college—they now can come back and get jobs here where they don't have to go to other states or move anywhere different," she said.

Suga plans to keep serving food to the people already living here as well as those on the way. 

"They've been waiting for a long time for something to show up and it's finally here," she said. 

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