Sparr Building and Farm Supply of Sparr, Fla. is celebrating its 70th anniversary.
Company president Sam Howard is a second-generation family member to own the business. He serves along with his brother Paul, who is vice president, though Sam Howard told the Ocala StarBanner that the two are equal partners. He just earned the title of president by being the oldest.
The company was formed first as a grocery store in 1945 by Howard’s uncle and aunt, Elbert Griggs, and his wife, Mary.
In 1947, Mary went to Tallahassee to visit relatives, the StarBanner reports. Her husband was tired of dealing with food spoilage and converted the store to carry hardware and building materials instead. He named it Sparr Farmers Supply. In the late 1960s, his uncle changed the name to Sparr Building and Farm Supply.
In 1981, W.T. Howard, Mary Griggs Howard’s brother, acquired the business. He and his wife, Ruth, offered their sons Sam, Tim and Paul the business in exchange for “sweat equity.” The young men accepted the challenge, the paper reported.
Expansions began again in 1999 with the addition of a second store in Williston, Fla., reads the history on the company’s website. In 2003, Sparr Building & Farm Supply acquired a third store in Wildwood, Fla.
The Williston location was expanded in 2004.