Randy Davis decided to keep the business in the family when he recently purchased the Lovell Building Center from his in-laws, James and Bonnie Grisham. To keep the family even closer, he brought his parents, James and Carolyn Davis, from Oklahoma to Wyoming to help him run the business.
The Grishams owned the business for around 15 years and were anxious to retire from the hard work of running a small business. According to Davis, the other children in the Grisham family were busy with their own careers and it just made sense for him to buy the business. He hopes that the investment in the family is a good one for everyone involved and is excited to have his daughter’s grandparents close by for her to enjoy.
“It’s still in the family, especially since my mom and dad moved out here to help me with it,” explained Davis, who also works full-time in law enforcement. “It’s kind of hard to do this and work full-time, too.”
Although this is his first venture into the hardware business, Davis is full of ideas that he hopes will improve, expand and promote the business. Davis held an open house recently where he sold off a lot of the old merchandise that came with the business to make room for new items that he thinks will serve the needs of the community better.
“The business kind of declined over the last few years because my in-laws were just ready to retire,” explained Davis. “So, they let some things dwindle and that kind of hurt the business.”
To improve the business, Davis has committed to invest in a lot of new inventory. To that end, Davis has improved his plumbing inventory by carrying Pex, copper, Shark Bite, PVC, CPVC and brass fittings — pretty much everything a homeowner might need for sink, toilet and sprinkler repairs.
He also fully stocked his paint and lumber supplies and has expanded his tool inventory, including an all-new inventory of Vermont American drill bits and saw blades.
Davis invites members of the community to drop by and see the changes he has made.
“We’re trying to get to the point where we carry a lot of stuff that just normal, everyday homeowners need, like a miniature version of Home Depot or Lowes right here at home,” said Davis. “A lot of people haven’t stopped in for a while to see what we have to offer, so they really haven’t seen all we have now.”
Davis noted that there has been a lumber business in the location for close to 100 years and it’s always been a family-run business. His father-in-law built the current building, which Davis thought showed his “faith” in the town of Lovell.
“He spent a lot of money building this building here and for the longest time, this was the newest building in Lovell,” said Davis. “So, to me, he had a lot of faith in Lovell by doing this, and it was a huge leap of faith for him to build here.”
Davis eventually plans to have all new “fresh inventory” to offer his customers. He is also in the process of putting up new signage in the aisles to make finding items a lot easier than it has been in the past.
“We want people to realize that they can get pretty much anything here that they can get at either Home Depot or Lowes,” explained Davis. “If we don’t have it in stock, we can get it for them. Our prices are very comparable, too. We’re not going to be able to compete in everything price-wise, but we can in a lot of things.”
Lovell Building Center is located at 143 E. Main Street in Lovell.
By Patti Carpenter