Amherst, VA - It's a century in the making. Hill Hardware in Amherst celebrated its 100th birthday Friday. It's a big accomplishment for a mom and pop store that's up against big box chains like Lowe's or Home Depot. It's been four generations of family and a whole lot of faithful customers that have kept Hill Hardware open this long. They say today is a day to be thankful.
"It's awesome for a business to be around that long, and that shows you the quality that they have," said Sherman Massie, who is a regular customer at Hill Hardware.
It all started in 1914 when Mr. Hill opened Hill Hardware. In 1919, the now Vice President Walter Turner's grandfather started a job there and ended up buying the business during the Great Depression. Since then Turner's grandfather, father, him, and now his son have worked there their whole lives.
"The community's been real good to me and we have a lot of customers that keep coming back," said Turner.
He says big name stores like Lowes or Home Depot haven't put them out of business because their prices are competitive and they sell a little bit of everything. Plus they have loyal customers.
"Some of them come daily or every week to get what they need. Plumbing, or electrical, or a two by four or whatever they need," said Turner.
Sherman Massie owns Massie Construction Company. He says Hill Hardware always has whatever his business needs.
"They're friendly, they're great to work with and I highly recommend them to any builder or any customer," said Massie.
Another factor in their thriving business- good employees, the store has about 15 of them and many have been there for years. Like Nat Campbell, he's been working at Hill Hardware for 43 years.
"It feels like I've been here half of it....I've met a lot of people I've made friends with and a lot of good customers that come in and I've enjoyed it, every bit of it," said Campbell.
They don't plan to close any time soon.
"Try to stay here another hundred years," said Turner.
The store says they were busy all day Friday with customers coming by to say hello. They had coffee and donuts in the morning and a fried chicken lunch catered by Charley's Chicken. They ended the afternoon with some cake.