New farm, hardware store opening in familiar location
NATCHEZ — Local hardware company guru Jimmy Smith has a hunch about a piece of land on U.S. 61 South.
“It’s going to be a good location,” Smith said Monday as crews erected a new sign in front of a location practically synonymous with hardware, a location where for more than 40 years, the Stahlman family sold construction supplies and hardware.
Stine Lumber purchased the Stahlman Lumber business in 2000 and operated it at the same location until the company constructed a new building.
Smith’s company, Central Network Retail Group which operates 43 hardware stores and home centers in seven states, will open store No. 44 at the former Stahlman Lumber location in Natchez.
The store will be called Town and Country Farm and Hardware, located at the intersection of U.S. 61 South and Col. John Pitchford Parkway.
Residents likely know some of Smith’s other businesses, including Home Hardware Center, a company he founded in 1984.
“It’s going to be different than our other stores,” Smith said. “It’ll be a different selection and lots of things we don’t have room to display (at the Natchez Home Hardware Center location).
“It’s going to be a combination of a tractor supply and a hardware store,” he said. “It’s something I’ve thought about for quite a few years,” he said. “I’d been talking with Cappy (Stahlman, the building’s owner) for a year or so about the building.”
Stahlman said he was excited by Smith’s new venture and knows it will be a success.
“I think he’s going to do well here,” Stahlman said. “He has one of those minds that sees digits and can make money. In my day, I was pretty good, and he’s better than me.”
Smith said the company will offer traditional hardware supplies, including the Pittsburgh paint line, animal supplies for both small and large animals, a full nursery, tractor and farm implements, treated wood products, housewares and grills and even automotive accessories and work clothes.
Smith said he expects the store to open the week of April 15.
Although the store will be new, a few faces will be familiar.
Smith said he’s hired Dusty Cauthen, former manager of the Natchez Tractor Supply Co. store, as the manager of Town and Country Farm and Hardware.
Gary Simpson, recently retired manager of the Natchez Sherwin-Williams Paint store, will run the new paint department.
Once open, the store’s hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.