Kenny Rowland and his wife Kathy bought Young’s True Value on Two Notch Road in 1982. Kathy’s father opened the shop in 1971, and Rowland began working there shortly after college.

“I had just graduated from college and couldn’t find a job, so I came here to work on a temporary basis in 1979. But, then my wife and I bought it in 1982 and I have run it ever since,” he said.

Rowland has devoted 40 years to Young’s. Recently he decided it’s about time to begin the next chapter of his life. Wednesday at 6 p.m., the hardware store’s doors will be closed for good, and Rowland will officially be retired. Although it’s easy to assume he might be apprehensive, Rowland said he’s ready. “It’s a lot more sweet than bitter,” he laughed. “I’ve got plenty to do. I’m 63 and healthy, so I know when the getting is good.”

Two Notch Road has grown significantly since Young’s first opened 48 years ago. Rowland said when they began, the store was considered to be “way out of town” in a rural area. Then, as the road became developed throughout the years, larger competitors were positioned nearby, but Rowland said their store still thrived. “We’ve had lots of competition but I have been blessed with some really good customers. I had a moment a few weeks ago where I realized I would have never made it 40 years without some really helpful, kind, generous customers,” he said.

All of Rowland’s employees have known the closure was coming. “They’ve all stayed with me until the last day. They’ve got good job prospects, so it’s turning out a win-win for everybody,” he added.  Employee Carl Butler said he will be continuing with his lawn maintenance company, Butler Landscaping.

Most of all, Rowland said he is happy the closure is taking place on his own terms: “My saying is that I’m walking out, I’m not getting carried out, and lot of guys can’t say that.” He said the property is going to become a Circle K.

All merchandise, fixtures, and equipment that goes unsold by the end of Wednesday will be auctioned off Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. on-site. Young’s True Value is located at 7734 Two Notch Road.

Categories: Business, Columbia, Richland County

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