Home, outdoors businesses coming to county in March

Two new businesses promising March openings are creating buzz around the county.

Dublin Home Store and MEFCOR Outdoors have announced their plans through Facebook postings.

Dublin native Kayla Lewis and her family are local entrepreneurs who will be opening the Dublin Home Store discount furniture and cabinet store in March of 2021.  The original plan was to open during the spring of 2020, but the COVID pandemic suspended those plans until this year.

Dublin Home StoreDublin Home Store will be located at 112 Trade Circle in Dublin, just across from the Town of Dublin Police Department.

“It was basically an empty warehouse without electricity and water, but we’re doing a complete renovation on the 10,000 square foot building.  We’re finishing the sheet rock this week,” said Lewis.

“The Dublin Home Store is a family business that will provide high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinets at discount prices.  People will be really surprised by the excellent price and quality of the cabinets that feature MEFCOR 1solid wood, dove tail drawers and soft-close doors,” explained Lewis.

Kayla and her husband, Brian Hartley met after college and settled in North Carolina for several years before moving to her hometown of Dublin.  Kayla and Brian have two children: daughter Gianna Hartley, age 8 and son Gage Hartley, age 5.

Inspired by friends in Greensburg, N.C. who own a furniture store, Kayla said she fell in love with the idea of owning one herself – but wanted an expanded version of what their friends had.

By this summer, she plans to expand their product line to include bedroom and living room furniture, home accessories, console tables and mega-lift chairs for individuals who need assistance getting up after sitting.

This savvy businesswoman says she loves working with USA based companies and women owned businesses.

“We are actually taking orders now for kitchens.  One of our vendors for kitchen and bathroom cabinets was very smart when COVID hit and ordered a year’s supply in advance.  We are having a 15-day turnaround while others are waiting for weeks to receive their cabinets,” Lewis said.

By summer, Lewis anticipates that one of her furniture suppliers will be able to ship direct to customers.  “And if customers don’t see what they want in the store, they can go online to order from us and the vendor will ship direct to their house,” Lewis explains.

Their enterpreneural family business partners include Kayla’s husband Brian, her father, Todd Lewis, brother Chris Lewis, and her sister, Hope Lewis.  Additionally, Kayla is in business with her mother, Karen Tuggle and together own the Southern Harts Boutique located at 405 East Main Street in the Old Dublin Train Station.

“Southern Harts is a fun place for women and girls to shop for clothing and accessories,” states Lewis.

Lewis looks forward to welcoming customers this spring and encourages everyone to follow their progress on facebook at:  Dublin Home Store.

Kyle Hurt, VP of MEFCOR Outdoors is excited about their newest store to be located in the former Peebles/Gordman’s storefront in the Pulaski Food Lion shopping center.

For those not familiar with MEFCOR, the store caters to equipping sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.  They specialize in camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding and are the top two Jackson Kayak dealer in Virginia.  Additionally, the Pulaski store will have floor space for clothing, shoes and gifts for the sports-minded (antique metal signage, mailboxes that look like fish, etc.)

Their unique brand goes beyond just selling sports equipment.

“Our staff is customer service oriented.  They will not only help you get you the right equipment but can also help train you with techniques and safety measures in using the equipment.  We have a Certified Paddleboard Instructor who can give lessons in proper use and safety issues with paddle boarding,” explained Hurt.

The 20,000 square foot Pulaski MEFCOR Outdoors store will be the largest in the company’s portfolio.  In June of 2019, MEFCOR moved into Bluefield and opened a 10,000 square foot store.  The original store in Tazwell was only 2,500 square feet and still includes the family mining shop.

Hurt stated on Facebook that his parents started Mining Equipment Fabricators Corporation (MEFCOR) in 1976. His farther invented and patented several safety devices to be used in the mining industry.

When Hurt decided to open an outdoor store, he wanted to keep the MEFCOR name in honor of his family’s business, so they added the word “Outdoors.”

Hurt had been considering opening another store since September 2020.  When his business landlord alerted him to the upcoming vacancy in Pulaski, he decided to quickly sign a lease believing that proximity to Claytor Lake and Gatewood would benefit individuals interested in easily accessible sports equipment.

When asked if COVID-19 has affected his business, Hurt commented, “Other than getting enough items in stock, sports equipment has sold better in 2020 because people have decided to get back to the great outdoors.  We have enough inventory to cover the entire year; and it should be another great year for the outdoor industry.”

Hurt is planning to initially employ 10 – 12 people in the Pulaski MEFCOR store and will be taking applications in the future.

“Look for announcements, photos and requests for employment on our Facebook page.  Although it is nice to hire people who are familiar with our products, we don’t turn down applicants who are willing to be trained.  Some of our fishing team members will be at the Pulaski store for the first month and some of our vendors will be coming in to help also.  They will sit down with our customer service reps and slowly train them on all the products we have,” said Hurt.