The Arnall Grocery Company opened in 1869, and they are preparing to celebrate their 150th anniversary on Aug. 10.
Owner Shane Prophett said there will be a party at Arnall Grocery from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free food served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Prophett’s Sunday school class from Royal Baptist Church will be providing hot dogs, chips and drinks.
Prophett said that vendors and customers will be there and that it will be a time to reminisce and celebrate the business. The first 150 customers will receive a gift with purchase, and there will be special sales and door prizes.
H.C. Arnall, the grandfather of former Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall, founded the Arnall Grocery Company in 1869.
The business was bought by Dorsey Beavers and Bryant Owens in the 1960s. In the early 1970s, Dorsey Beavers’ sons, Hugh and Jimmy Beavers became co-owners with their father,
and after their father’s retirement, they became the sole owners of the business, according to their website.
Jimmy Beavers said his father Dorsey worked for H.C. Arnall’s son, Joe Arnall. His father worked there before World War II, and after the war was over, Joe Arnall asked him to come back.
“My dad only had one job in his life, and that was it,” Beavers said.
Following the death of Hugh Beavers in 2007, the business was owned and operated by Jimmy Beavers until 2015, when it was purchased by Shane Prophett, according to Beavers.
“I was there pretty much all my life,” Beavers said. “44 years.”
The store used to be located where the Governor Ellis Arnall Parking Lot is on Perry Street. They moved to the location they are in now at East Washington Street in 1973.
Beavers said the store was originally a wholesale grocery store.
When he first started working there in the late ‘60s, they sold products to school lunchrooms in Coweta and surrounding counties. He said they also sold to small local grocery stores.
Beavers said that they sold lots of feed back then, especially hog and horse feed.
“When I first used to work there after school, in the late sixties and seventies, I think everybody in Coweta County had a hog,” he said.
Although 150 years leaves a lot of time for change in the business, Beavers said that he thinks some things have stayed the same.
“It’s had its ups and downs, but it’s always been good. We always had a real good customer base, loyal fans,” he said.
Beavers said the garden business never really seemed to change, and that people liked to get information about the plants and seeds they were buying.
“I’ve seen some things completely go away, and some things have stayed the same,” Beavers said. “I feel proud that we were able to adapt to the changing situations and keep a business, a small business, for the years we did.”
Prophett has owned the business since 2015, but he estimated he worked there for 10 years before he became the owner.
He said he thinks the key to owning a small business is having good employees and a great customer base.
“Having good employees and family that helps makes it easier for me,” Prophett said.
As for the next 150 years, they are planning to “keep growing and keep serving the community,” he said.