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Grove Supply: Back in business after storm

By Shelley Smithssmith@salisburypost.com
Grove Supply Co. in China Grove has been in business since 1949, but some major changes took place in the past year because of an odd weather occurrence.
On July 21, 2008, a microburst, or an intense downward burst of air, hit the building, causing the walls to fall and forcing the store to close for a little over a year.
“Just as we were finishing up the renovations, the basement wall caved in,” said Mark Huffman. “But we managed to rebuild and remodel the store, and it looks better than ever.”
Grove Supply has added a Shaw carpet design center and started carrying Kathy Ireland products, gas logs, DISH Network and tile flooring, among other things.
The Shaw carpeting is 100 percent recyclable and can be recycled multiple times.
“Shaw even pulls carpets out of landfills to heat their manufacturing facilities,” said Huffman.
The grand reopening for Grove Supply was Sept. 11, with TV and radio stations and vendors. A special call came from Los Angeles.
“Kathy Ireland was supposed to be at our grand reopening but couldn’t make it due to her role with Dancing With the Stars,” Huffman said. “She sent us bouquets of flowers, a $500 rug to give away, and called to see how things were going the day of our opening. She’s a super-nice lady.”
Huffman said despite the downturn in the economy and contractor work, business is good.
“We’re getting mostly mom-and-pop remodels,” Huffman said. “We’ve been here since 1949, so we get a lot of repeat business. We were here when there wasn’t a Lowe’s or Home Depot.”
Huffman said most employees at Grove Supply have been there 20 or more years.
To top off renovations is a marble plaque outside the entrance, dedicated to Huffman’s father, Alvin.
“My dad started this place in 1949, and my brothers and I have grown up here our entire lives,” Huffman said. “The school bus let me and my brothers off right out front of the store. Our dad worked here, and so did our mother. I couldn’t have handpicked better parents than what I have.”
Huffman has two brothers, Jerry and Tony, who also run the business.
“We three boys have always gotten along well,” Huffman said.
Grove Supply Co. Inc. is located at 1600 N. Main St. in China Grove.

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