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Originally published: 2013-11-08 11:33:16
Last modified: 2013-11-08 11:34:01

To the customers and friends of Avery True Value Hardware

I am writing this letter to say "thank you" to everyone who has ever shopped at our Avery True Value Hardware. My family and I are selling our family True Value Hardware store.
My dad, Floyd Banner, started this family hardware in 1961 in the old domed Quonset hut building that used to stand at the right of San Dee's Restaurant in Newland. If there was ever a "mom and pop" store, Avery Hardware was it.
I was a small boy when Daddy started the store and was part of it from the start. My mother was employed at the Glen Raven Hosiery Mill in Newland. Mama paid all our household bills while dad worked at the store drawing no salary for years. He put everything back in the store trying to get it to survive. Dad's main rule was to take care of the customer. He made it a priority to speak to all customers and make them feel welcome and wanted in the store. This was passed on to me and all his employees, and continues to this day.
Dad was the smartest man I have ever seen. He knew everything. With his previous experience in building, plumbing and painting, he knew about the construction trade and could associate and help any customer with anything.
The years were hard financially when he started his new business. In 1964, Dad moved the store closer to the center of town to the building that Singleton's Furniture Store now resides. We stayed there 10 years before moving to our present location.
The store grew for many years. We sold everything from nails to TVs. During those years, Dad was able to purchase the C.L. Hughes building across from our store, which is now Premier Pharmacy, and the Popes building, which is now our paint store.
After dad's death, my mother and I purchased the green lot in the middle of town. The years were good to us and God gave us many blessings.
Dad was a dedicated merchant and rarely took any time off from the store he loved. Our two boys, Blake and Brent, were born and were raised in a playpen at the front of the store where my wife JoAnn operated the cash register.
In 1993, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which took his life about a year later. When he was sick, he became very depressed about not being able to go to work and see his customers and friends. He worked at the store as long as his illness would let him. Our sons are both grown. Blake, our oldest, works for Trump National Golf Course as a chef, and Brent works at Hendrick BMW as a technician.
Our store has a long list of employees that have contributed to our success. Many of them have passed away, but Avery True Value displays their photos just as you come in the front door. They are Wilma Allen, Beryl Benfield, Joe Hartley, K.L. (Boonie) Hagi, Cepheus Quattlebalm, Donna Cantrell Wiseman, and our beloved Junior Johnson who passed away two years ago. Our previous employees still living are David Banner, Jack Edwards, L.D. Vance, Amanda Jones, Michelle Calhoun, Jessica Church, Travis Hughes, Fay Woodey, David Mayberry, Russ Gaddy, Mildred Carpenter, Doris Whyde, Alfred Jones, Beth Daniels, Jenifer Calhoun, Rosa Calhoun, Mandy Ollis Carver, John Perry, Jeff Johnson, Michelle Jarrett Calhoun, Congressman Josh Dobson, Johnny Wise, Charles King, Andy Hensley, Rosa Trice, Jacob Francoviak, Jimmy Don Roberson, Kevin Roberson, Reverend Don Ford, Billie Church, Eddie Gibson, Larry Stamey, Jim Hoilman, Ken Hoilman, Karen Bounds, Mary Moldenhouer Aldridge, Whitney Baird Vance, Jordan Reep and Andy Rominger. Please forgive me if I have forgotten someone.
Our employees are like family to us. They are loyal to us and we are loyal to them. God has blessed us with a wonderful association of workers.
Avery County and surrounding areas have been good to Avery True Value throughout the years. Daddy also said, "Son, if it was not for our customers, we would not be here." That is why I want to thank each customer throughout the entire 50-some years we have been in Newland. To me it really does not seem like five decades have passed.
Since September 11, 2001, our business has steadily gone down. It is now apparent to my family that we must make some changes. We have decided to sell our mom and pop business. The economy is not our friend, and the task of making ends meet makes it just too difficult to continue.
It is a bittersweet decision to sell the store, and I can't imagine what life will be like without being a part of my family's store. I ask you for your prayers for my family and I as we make this transition. Our last day will be Nov. 15, 2013.
The store will be bought by local people and will continue to operate. I feel sure they will be able to stock the shelves, and have lots of merchandise to meet customer needs.
Unfortunately, my family could not afford to stock the shelves like they should be stocked, and many customers were disappointed because of our lack of merchandise. We are sorry for not being able to continue serving our customers as before.
I do not know exactly what the future holds for my family and I, but I do know that the past 51 years have been an amazing journey. My family and I have been able to meet so many wonderful people. I have known many families through the generations, their children and their children's children. For five decades we have served this area. We have cherished each and every year.
My family and I will never forget the wonderful customers we have served over the years.
This is written straight from my heart, and I am sincerely thankful for everyone who had a hand in helping Avery True Value survive in Newland for five decades. May God bless the new owners with his mercy and goodness. We wish them the best. Please support them by patronizing them. I urge you to shop locally when you can. It is greatly needed by your hometown merchants.

Mickey Banner
Owner and president of Avery True Value Hardware Store