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Young couple invests in downtown Camden

Jimmy Pugh joined his father to run Camden’s Coast to Coast Hardware Store in 1978 in his 20s. After 44 years of running one of the town’s most successful businesses, he handed over ownership to a young couple with big plans, Lee and Katie Turner.

Offering everything from hammers to hammocks, Coast to Coast True Value, 201 Claiborne St., never stopped growing. Over the years, Coast to Coast expanded from the historic Matthews building to include a furniture store in the former Western Auto location and the old Weatherbee Department Store next door, and appliances are sold across the street. 

The Turners, along with their three young boys, came to town in 2021 after 11 years in Virginia, primarily to be closer to family. They arrived with a dream to build on Lee Turner’s background in horticulture. The couple originally planned to buy a corner lot in Camden to build a greenhouse business. 

That plan took a big turn when the opportunity to become the new owners of Coast to Coast arrived. In their first few months in Camden, the couple frequented the store and became familiar with Pugh, who was looking to retire. Pugh decided to trust the Turners to continue his business. 

“It was a leap of faith,” Katie Turner said. “But we’re happy to carry on the tradition.”She said the couple knows the importance of Coast to Coast to the community and the hometown atmosphere it reflects and supports. 

The store is an essential anchor in downtown Camden, according to resident Kristin Law. She said the store is the reason Wilcox County does not need a Walmart because it stocks everything from children’s toys to gun safes. 

The store not only provides necessities, but it also provides an old-fashioned atmosphere, with old friends greeting each other as they stand on well-worn wooden floors.

Though they plan on keeping up with tradition at the store, the Turners are bringing in new merchandise offerings and plugging into Lee’s background in horticulture.

Katie Turner is updating and ordering new merchandise at Coast to Coast furniture, wanting to provide more style options. The couple also tasked the middle child of the family with picking out new toys for the store. 

They are also expanding their gardening section and are building multiple greenhouses. Most of the plants sold at Coast to Coast are grown by the Turners. Currently, a wide range of flower and herb options are available for summer gardens. 

Offerings will vary seasonally, but one plan for the Christmas holiday, offering live Christmas trees, is already sparking excitement in the community. Locals say live trees have not been sold in the area for many years.

Pugh and other employees are staying around to help with the transition. Shoppers can expect to be entertained by Pugh’s dog, Cricket, and the youngest member of the Turner family, 1-year-old Sanders, who can be spotted waddling around the store or taking a nap in Coast to Coast’s stock of dog beds.  

Coast to Coast True Value is a family affair, with every member pitching in somehow. The Turners said they are happy to be able to carry on the legacy of Coast to Coast in the community. 

Coast to Coast is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. The store closes at noon on Thursdays and 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Coast to Coast is closed on Sundays. 

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