Maplesville Farm and Home closing December 31

Maplesville Farm and Home on Highway 22 will be closing on Dec. 31.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

Maplesville Farm and Home on Highway 22 will be closing on Dec. 31.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

Maplesville Farm and Home will close on Dec. 31. Owner Albert Fowler plans to sell or lease the property.

Many in the community know the store and are familiar with its history, according to Fowler. He said the store has been in business for over 50 years, and sometimes people will stop in and tell him about a visit to the store with their grandparents 40 years ago.

According to Fowler, the property was originally owned by the Farmers Bureau and then bought by Brooks Burnette and renamed Central Grain and Feed.

Fowler has owned the store for the past six and a half years, and now wants to move on to something else.

“I’m getting older and I want to watch my grandkids play ball and do stuff like that,” said Fowler.

He said he might eventually move closer to Birmingham to be nearer to his grandchildren.

“That’s my problem. It takes me an hour to get [to them],” said Fowler. “They’re seven and four, and most of their games are in the mornings. That’s when I’m here … six days a week.”

Originally, Fowler bought the store as something to keep him occupied after retirement.

Albert Fowler, Owner

Albert Fowler, Owner

“I worked for a metal company … for 30 years. I was getting close to being ready to retire from that and I saw where Brooks had it up for sale, and we were able to work something out,” said Fowler. “I decided just to buy this and give me something to do for five more years and then stop it … I’m six and a half years in now, so I’m past when I wanted to be here.”

Fowler said he plans to have sales next month to clear the inventory so that he can sell or lease the property. He reminisced on what the store has meant to the community.

“It was a convenience deal for people … I’ve got a bunch of day in, day out type customers that are pretty loyal with me, but the problem is it just isn’t enough to keep it going,” said Fowler.

He said he knows many of his customers are wondering what they will do once the store closes, and that is part of why he is staying open until the end of the year.

“I’ve got a lot of hunting clubs and individuals that have been real loyal to me, so that’s why I kind of carried it to the end of the year to make sure I could still supply them this year,” said Fowler.

Maplesville Farm and Home is located at 7060 Alabama Highway 22 in Maplesville. The store sells feed, seed, tools and other supplies for rural living.

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