When Thomas McKeithen came to Statesboro to attend Georgia Southern nearly a decade ago, he never imagined Statesboro would become home. Nevertheless, as we all know, Statesboro has a way of grabbing a hold of you and never letting go.
He began a seven-year career with the Statesboro Police Department and met his wife Madia in the grocery store. Already with a 14-year-old daughter, Thomas and Madia became the parents of identical triplets. And after their birth, his parents Tom and Paula McKeithen decided to relocate from Florida to Statesboro. They wanted to be closer to Thomas, their only child, and their grandchildren.
After moving, the entrepreneurial bug bit them.
Dad Tom McKeithen continues working as a health care consultant, which gives him the flexibility to live anywhere. With his business skills and Thomas McKeithen’s people skills, they began looking for a small business opportunity in Statesboro.
“When we decided to move to Statesboro, we really wanted to invest in a business that we could run as a family and provide a future for our grandchildren,” Tom McKeithen said. “We looked at several existing businesses but didn’t find anything that was a perfect fit. Then we began researching the market for needs and niches not filled. That is what eventually led us to opening a locally-owned True Value Hardware.”
Many things attracted them to True Value. They are one of the world’s leading hard line cooperative wholesalers with a globally recognized brand, providing customers in over 60 countries an expansive product set. True Value serves about 4,400 stores worldwide with retail sales in their communities, totaling about $5.5 billion. They have 13 regional distribution centers and approximately 2,500 True Value associates.
Having a proven brand to help train and support them at every step of the process, backed by the buying power of a national brand and the opportunity for local ownership appealed to the McKeithen family.
They have been very methodical with their research and planning for the store, which is located at 58 Independence Way off of Fair Road behind Wild Wing Cafe and the soon-to-open Shuckin Shack. They have it fully stocked with national brands and locally sourced items.
The 9,000-square-foot store includes a well-planned design and is very inviting. Their location is also very easy to access and convenient.
“Our goal is to provide exceptional, knowledgeable and friendly service at competitive prices in a store that is convenient and easily accessible,” said Thomas McKeithen said. “Growing up, my dad and I made almost weekly trips to the locally owned hardware store. The relationships we developed there really shaped my childhood. We want to replicate that here.”
Giving back and investing in the community are also very important to them. They hope to have a soft opening later this week and have their official grand opening event this weekend – Friday through Sunday.
During the grand opening weekend, they will have vendors demonstrating products, bounce houses, local entertainment, great food and tons of specials throughout the store.
In addition, Habitat for Humanity volunteers will be on hand selling five-gallon buckets for $2, which will go to the charity. Anything customers can fit in the bucket will earn a 25 percent discount.
Stop in, meet Thomas, Tom and their family, and support their tremendous investment in our community. McKeithen’s True Value Hardware is located at 59 Independence Way. They will be open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.