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From left, Josh Calvert, Lynn Church, Louise Banner, Mickey Banner, JoAnn Banner, Jerry
Harmon and Tammy Hicks make up the friendly faces that greet guests as they enter Avery
True Value Hardware. The business’s with its emphasis on individual service has helped keep
it in business for 50 years.
Photo by Matthew Hundley

Originally published: 2012-11-01 16:27:37
Last modified: 2012-11-01 16:27:37

Avery True Value Hardware: 50 years of Newland service

Matthew Hundley / (

One of Newland’s longest standing pillars of business, Avery True Value Hardware, hit a remarkable milestone this year, with 2012 marking a full 50 years in business. In 1962, Floyd Banner started Avery Hardware in a quonset hut that was situated between what are now the two parking lots of San Dee’s and Carolina Barbecue in Newland. In a small gravel patch between the parking lots, the foundations that supported the original Avery Hardware can still be found. Fifty years later, Avery Hardware is still a Banner family business, with Floyd’s wife, Louise Banner, and son, Mickey Banner, working along side Floyd’s nephew, Lynn Church, to ensure that the business keeps providing Avery citizens with everything from nails to paint to farm tools to household decorations.

While it is now hard to imagine Newland without Avery True Value Hardware, it took several years for the hardware store to pick up speed. Mickey Banner remembered slim days in the 1960s.

“Dad really struggled in those early years,” said Banner. “But the good Lord allowed him to make it in the hardware business.”

According to Mickey Banner and Church, Floyd Banner moved Avery Hardware in 1972 to its current location on Estatoa Street, in the former site of Newland’s once prominent movie theater.

Mickey Banner shared his memories of the move to the former theater.

“I remember seeing ‘The 10 Commandments’ with Charleton Heston,” said Banner. After the theater burned, it stood as a vacant shell for nearly a decade before the Banners set about renovating the overgrown shell into the building that has served Newland as its hardware store for the 40 years since.

As one of Avery County’s longest lived businesses, Avery True Value Hardware has touched the lives of thousands of Avery citizens. More than simply dispensing construction supplies, Avery Hardware has consistently provided its patrons with a level of personal service that become harder and harder to find over the past half century.

“It is about the service-oriented experience,” said Church explaining Avery Hardware’s longevity. “We speak to each individual and try to be fair and honest in all our dealings.”

“My dad’s motto was that the customer always comes first,” said Mickey Banner. “Dad always treated the customer special.”

Mickey also remembered his father, who died 19 years ago, as a hard working businessman.“Dad never ever took a vacation,” said Mickey. “He believed that work came first. I don’t believe he would ever have retired.”

While Louise, Mickey, his wife JoAnn Banner and Church all carry on Floyd’s ideals every day in the store, the principles of service and quality have also been carried by many of the store’s other employees. The importance of those employees, as well as family, are evident throughout the store, as photographs of familiar faces can be found as soon as you walk through the door. 

Included among the photographs are individuals who gave years or decades to Avery Hardware, becoming part of Floyd Banner’s family and legacy. On the wall facing the front door are pictures of Junior Johnson, Beryl Benfield, Conna Cantrell Wiseman, Wilma Allen, Joe Hartley, Robert (Boonie) Haga and Beryl Benfield; all names and faces that will bring back memories for any Newland resident who ever ducked into Avery True Value for a box of nails, a few spare light bulbs or a can of paint.

Of course, visitors do not have to look to old photographs to find familiar faces. Avery True Value Hardware’s regular staff, Josh Calvert, Jerry Harmon and Tammy Hicks, along with Mickey, JoAnn, Church and Louise are always easy to find.

By providing long-term employment for its staff, Avery True Value Hardware ensures another of the keys to success that Church identified when explaining the business’s success: expertise.

“Here you have people who have been in the business for a long time and really know,” said Church. “We don’t have the solution to every problem, but we care and we try.”

According to Church, that expertise plays a special role in one of the business’s staple products, its extensive paint department. In that department, Avery True Value Hardware has state-of-the-art, color matching software. That technology, combined with the attention to detail and focus on customer satisfaction, ensures that the paint department remains a vital part of the company.

“We strive to be the very best at color matches and to satisfy our customers,” said Church.

Floyd Banner and Mickey Banner are direct descendants of Martin Luther Banner, who was one of the first pioneers to settle the area that later became known as Banner’s Elk and then Banner Elk. Generations later, the Banners remain dedicated to Avery County and its residents. Not only that, but they instill that spirit of hard work, service and individual attention in all of their dedicated employees. To experience that service firsthand, or to find out more about Avery True Value Hardware’s services and supplies, stop by Monday through Saturday, or call (828) 733-2616.