Friday, November 23, 2012

An Old Family Business Expands! – East Tennessee

Most of my career was spent in retailing…May Department Stores/Venture Stores/Household Merchandising/Ben Franklin/Coast to Coast Hardware/TG&Y Stores/Vons Grocery Stores/ Stop & Shop/Bradlee’s, and Montgomery Ward.   Consequently I hate shopping…I just don’t like being in and around most stores.

However, I do make an exception now and then.  There are fun stores and food stores and there are also local retailers that have survived and prospered despite all of the big box stores that have multiplied and spread over the landscape like giant fungi.  This blog is about an East Tennessee retailer that’s been around for a long, long time…and which has been growing in recent years.
This was the Grand Opening back on 11/3/12 for the new Sloan’s Village Home Center.  It’s located at County Road 444 and TN Route 72, at the south end of Tellico Village in Loudon Tennessee.  It is the 3rd store in the area for the Sloan family.  Sloan’s Village Home Center sells building supplies including lumber, a wide hardware, tools, pet care items, lawn and garden (including a full service nursery supplies), rocks, mulch, patio furniture and fishing gear…
Among other diversions, there was free professional face painting, an inflatable slide and an enclosed inflatable bouncy attraction for the kids.  There also were hay rides and live music!
Our local provider of milk and dairy products in these parts is the Mayfield Dairy from Athens Tennessee.  This giant cow was situated at the end of the parking lot…no doubt as an attention getter for those driving by the big event.  Also, there were free Mayfield Ice Cream sandwiches for everyone!   Yummy!
This particular booth was selling homemade candies to raise funds for a local child in need of medical care.
This lady was selling purse organizer inserts and aluminum credit card holders.  She represented 'an expense' to Laurie picked up an organizer and a card holder for herself and another set as a gift.  This was the first time I’d seen someone use one of those newfangled “Square” mobile credit card readers that the merchant simply plugs into their phones…then the salesperson swipes the card and waits for the approval.  It was kind of cool…but I worry about Internet and wireless security…
This is the ever popular and highly needed Adopt-a-Pet booth at the opening of Sloan’s Village Home Center.  In these tough times, many owners have given up or abandoned their pets as they can no longer take care of them… Pet Owners are definitely needed!  To check out the available pets/family members in Loudon County, go to  To look over the animals needing a home in Monroe County, go to  For Blount County, go to
With Sloan’s Village Home Center being located on the south edge of the main portion of Tellico Village in Loudon County, it was a great time to show off one of the key pieces of equipment owned and operated by the Fire Department.  This is a 2005 Ferrara pumper built on a Sterling chassis.  It carries 1,000 gallons of water as a backup although there are fire hydrants located in all areas of Tellico Village. 
Free ‘stuff’ is always popular!  At this Grand Opening, Sloan’s had free hot dogs, (I had 2 with chili and Laurie had 1), ice cream sandwiches, (I mentioned this one before…we each had one!) and popcorn… (I managed a small bag of popcorn as well) We didn’t go for any of the free soda…
This is what part of the inside of the new Sloan’s Home Center looked like during the opening.  The staff is extremely friendly and helpful.  The store carries a surprisingly wide selection of products at very competitive prices. 

Many local building contractors shop here for lumber, electrical, plumbing items, etc.  As you can see, just from this photo, we have a bit of Christmas, a selection of water features, keys, kid’s wagons, tool rentals, bird feeders, and more… In season, many ‘Tellico Villagers’ & landscapers, have always purchased their lawn and garden supplies as well as their trees, shrubs and flowers from Sloan's predecessor that used to operate at this convenient location & they still do!
I also now have an alternative location where I can buy live bait and extra fishing gear.  Sloan’s is a Bass Pro distributor!!  The gentleman behind the counter is a rep from K-Bar Knives sharing his knowledge of those special blades…plus there was a Bass Pro Fisherman on site doing demos and discussing how to catch that big fish.

Sloan’s was also giving out door prizes… The big one was an $800.00 decorative fountain…and there were gift certificates and more!  Forty prizes in all… 
Sloan’s Home Store is located at 200 Mialaquo Center in Loudon Tennessee.  Phone Number: 865-458-6336.
This is the Sloan’s operation at 107 Highway 360…at the corner of US Highway 411 …in Vonore Tennessee.  This is truly a one-stop shopping destination.  There is a full line grocery store, a hardware store, a Bass Pro outlet with live bait, a gas station/convenience store and a car wash, all located on this corner.  The latest addition is the new Deli that operates from 6 AM until 8:30 PM daily.

The big challenge for this store…at least the grocery portion of it…will be the opening of a new Food City grocery store just a mile or so down the road at the south side of Vonore.
In one form and location or another, Sloan’s has been in operation since 1901.  They purchased this location in 1993.  A listing of the officers that I found on the internet includes Steve Sloan, Bobbie Sloan and William Sloan.  Bill Sloan’s daughter, Whitney Grubb is managing their new Sloan’s Home Center in Loudon.  Her children are now working and helping out in the stores…which I believe is the 5th generation of Sloan’s to be involved in the business.
This isn’t the greatest photo…I took it, not Laurie…but this is the Sloan’s Center in Madisonville Tennessee.  We haven’t been in this store but from what I’ve read, its official name is Sloan Center Hardware, LLC.  Apparently this facility serves at least as a convenience store, hardware store, gas station and car wash.  Bill Sloan’s father opened a hardware store in Madisonville back in the 1940’s…and this is the updated and expanded version of that operation. 

Sloan’s Center is located at 4500 US Highway 411 in Madisonville Tennessee.  It’s open 7 days a week.  Phone: 423-420-0008.  For more information regarding the various Sloan’s locations, you can go to
Support small business and local retailers in your area!  It’s good for the economy and it helps keep those big box stores honest as regards to pricing and selection. 
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for the Grand Opening!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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