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Business Pulse - Morrison Hardware has new Kings
morrison hardware family.jpg
Chuck and Leslie King, shown along with their daughters Olivia and Aubrey, are the proud new owners of Morrison Hardware.

Last week I left you with the promise of more about the new owners of a Morrison business mainstay. So, here you are.

A business fit

for kings

Morrison Hardware has been a hub of the Morrison community for over 60 years and new owners Chuck and Leslie (Hollis) King have no intentions of letting that change. The Kings just took over the business from previous owners Dwayne and Bernadette Doud last Saturday. They don't know exactly what the future may hold for the business as it evolves but they know what they won't be changing, and that's the strong feeling of community and family that has always accompanied the long history of this Morrison gathering place.

"We're planning on keeping what's here the same but only adding to it, not taking away," said Leslie. "We want to really learn the business before we make any changes."

Leslie is no stranger to the hardware business, as she was working at a hardware store when she met her now-husband, Chuck. "Since we got married, we were talking about purchasing a business at some point down the road. We met in a hardware store and we always planned on retiring in a hardware store. Through our friendship with Dwayne and Bernadette, the idea of buying Morrison Hardware came about," Leslie said.

The Kings are joined on this business adventure by their daughters, Olivia, 7, and Aubrey, 6. The cute pair are sure to become familiar faces to frequent customers at Morrison Hardware.

Chuck said, "It basically boils down to, we wanted something we can do as a family and spend more time together with our children and hopefully have something to leave to them."

Leslie has fond childhood memories of the business and looks forward to sharing that experience with her own daughters. "I grew up in Morrison and many of my childhood memories involve coming to the hardware store with my mom as she worked at the bank next door. And this is where we go to church. I'm from Morrison and Chuck grew up in McMinnville."

Leslie left her job at Ben Lomand Connect last Friday to commit full-time to her family's new venture, while Chuck is still working at Bridgestone and working at the hardware store on his days off. 

Jason Heath, who helped manage operations of the store for Dwayne and Bernadette, is remaining on for a couple months to help make the transition a smooth one for the Kings.

Leslie stressed, "We are not changing any accounts, we are keeping everything the same, we are still going to be called Morrison Hardware. We're just making it our family's. Our story started in a hardware store and now here we are."

"Without Dwayne and Bernadette, this would never have happened. They're like family," Leslie said.

"I worked for Dwayne when I was 14 or 15 and I've known them ever since. They will still be active in the store and they're here for anything we need," Chuck said.

One of the store's biggest sellers is Schaeffer's Specialized Lubricants. "Schaeffer's is a really good lubricant. It's a family-owned company and we're the only place you can get it locally," said Jason. "We also carry Klein Tools, DeWalt, Ghost gate closures, custom hydraulic hoses and a wide variety of fasteners, both standard and metric."

"We're known for having things most other places don't have," Leslie added. "We've had people say 'that's where I go when I can't find something.'"

The store is also a UPS drop-off spot, the only one in the area. "We want to be a community asset and we want people to feel like they're a part of the family when they come here. We don't want customers to feel like they are in a box store but that they are part of something when they come in the door," Chuck said.

Morrison Hardware is located at 141 East Maple Street in Morrison or, as Chuck says, "I tell people coming from McMinnville to just turn right at Prater's and we're .9 miles down the road." The store can be reached at (931) 635-2265.

A different kind of real estate company

Debbie Fisher began her real estate career in November, 2006 and she's been a broker for the last three years. Over the last two years, Debbie, much like someone looking for a house, has been searching for a home to continue her real estate career.

"I had been looking for somewhere to go for a couple years. I had met with other companies and I really wasn't finding a company that offered the opportunity to grow. Highlands Elite offers leads and handles the marketing for us. They provide a back agent where everything is taken care of. Other companies may offer those things but the one thing that struck me was the fact that Dagan Greene, the owner of the company who is based out of Knoxville, cared enough to come and talk to me himself. He made me feel at home" Debbie said. 

Highlands Elite Real Estate opened its first branch in Cookeville around a year ago. It started with 13 agents and now has 60. Highlands then opened a company in Crossville and recently opened its McMinnville location at 111 E. Morford St.

"This company is really like a family and Dagan treats us like a family. We care about one another and the other agents have been so helpful and provide training for us," continued Debbie. 

Debbie is the principal broker at the McMinnville branch and joining her are agents Vicki Benedict, Carla Bush, Kim Chisam, Crystal King, Michael Morton, Paddi Smith, Gericia Taylor and Conner Wilson.

"We're very excited. This company is a newer company but I like everything they're doing," Debbie concluded.

And speaking

of real estate ...

I was informed Friday afternoon of a major sale. Terrie Kirby of the Kirby Group with Village Real Estate has sold the old police station property at 204 Red Road for $6.5M. The property was sold Tuesday to an investment group from Brentwood. All of the current tenants are relocating and Store Opening Solutions is expanding its Morrison location. Attempts to contact officials at Store Opening Solutions were unsuccessful at press time but hopefully I'll have more in a future Business Pulse.

Looking for a job? huddle up!

Our local Huddle House is hosting an Autumn Hiring Day Tuesday to grow its McMinnville team. It will be held at Huddle House located at 937 Smithville Highway from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Winning is Bliss

On a personal note, after working at the Southern Standard for 25 years, I've watched a lot of children and grandchildren of coworkers grow up around the newspaper. We've always had a pretty family-friendly newsroom where kids were free to hang out and be kids so I always feel a bit of pride when one of the Standard kids I've known most of their lives goes on to big things. 

Bliss Zechman, granddaughter of Standard publisher Pat Zechman, certainly belongs in that group.  Bliss is the anchor of Good Morning Chattanooga at Chattanooga's ABC affiliate, News Channel 9. Last week Bliss, along with videographer Webb Wright, were awarded with the first-place prize from the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Awards for their coverage of a house invaded by snakes. Congratulations, Bliss. Your Southern Standard family is proud of you.

until next time,

same biz time,

same biz page

Thanks again to everybody who has been so helpful in providing tips and suggestions. Please keep them coming at (931) 473-2191 or by email at