Hickman Building Supply is this week’s Surviving the Hard Times business.
For almost 50 years, Hickman Building Supply has been at 821 North 19th Street in Middlesboro.
Ben A. Hickman opened Hickman Building Supply in 1964. The store has gradually expanded over the years to the point where the business has now grown into several buildings.
Originally, just the front of the store was a showroom with the rest of the building used as a warehouse. The store has expanded every three of four years since the business opened in order to accommodate the increasing needs of the business.
Hickman currently has 15 employees, four of which are members of the Hickman family. Two of Ben’s sons and two of his grandsons help run the store.
In regards to the economy, Hickman Building Supply is holding their own.
“Oh yes, it’s affected us but it’s not hurt us that bad,” said Hickman.
Hickman talked about how his family’s other businesses have helped the store remain successful and will continue to help the store survive in future hard economic times.
“We have a lot of rental units that keep us going,” explained Hickman. “(They) take care of us when (and if) business is bad.”
The family businesses are not the only thing that has kept Hickman busy for the past 50 years; he served as Middlesboro mayor for 17 years, from 1994 to 2011.
Hickman Building Supply is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. If you have questions about specific supplies, Hickman Building Supply can be reached at 606-248-4575.
To nominate a long-standing locally owned business to be featured in Surviving the Hard Times, contact Reina Parker Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 205.